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  • Name Bill Crews
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Occupation: Enterprise IT Architect
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Some brains cannot have expanded view?
As it turns out, yes, it is the same.  I was quite unaware that my version was now the non-beta free version.  I'm not sure how that happened; not with my involvement - that I know.

I'm a long-term licensed Pro user that often participates in betas.  It would seem there would be a way for a person to use pbrain as a pro user without ever losing that and to be a beta participant as well at times.  My license key shouldn't be in use and then disappear just because I've downloaded & installed a beta version.  Then when the beta version I'm using becomes released software, it should revert not to an unlicensed version, but to the Pro license I've always had.

If I seem to have any misconceptions, please correct me.  Thanks for the reference, jostber.  I'm back to being a non-beta Pro user again.  Is there no longer a beta running?


Some brains cannot have expanded view?
I have at least one brain that, when I open it, has the "toggle expanded/normal mode" button greyed out.  My way of using pbrain these days is to toggle not infrequently between normal and expanded modes, depending on what I'm doing.  Therefore, being stuck in normal mode is killing me, though less than someone who only uses expanded mode.

What is causing this?  I've re-indexed and whatever else I could think of, but the syndrome remains.

Using Pro.

-bc can't open
Like mcaton apparently did, I ended up just moving to the beta; it seems to be soaring away without release to the production public, anyway, so if it is reasonably stable, it's a better place for me, anyway. That worked for me, as it did for mcaton.

Matt, I was a beta member for 4.0, but I then became a conservative production user.  I am now on a new laptop, and until now, I had never installed the beta on this machine.  I am quite confident of that.

Anyway, I'm past it now, using the beta.  Thanks.

-bc can't open
pbrain version opening brain saved using pbrain  Have not participated at all (zero downloads) in the beta program this time around.  Get messages "cannot be opened with this version of PersonalBrain. You must upgrade to at least version 4.2" and "redundant autohide call" right after logging the "Initializing ..." line.  Output.log file attached (line 107) and a zip of the brain.

Do I have to start using the beta in order to continue to use the production version?

Wrapping my head around types and supertypes
The usual example for supertypes for people is to define a type Person and then define subtypes, such as Employee or Caucasian or Dimwit or whatever such type is apropos to your model.  So, Person will have no supertype, but Employee would have Person as its supertype.  In this case, unless overridden, if Persons are blue, Employees should also be blue.

Now, I've become 'way more conservative over the years in my modeling.  I personally think supertypes should be pretty permanent.  For instance, maybe it's OK for an Employee to quit, in which case, she'd cease to exist as an Employee (maybe become an Ex-Employee, if you want), but she'd still be a Person.  It is less likely that a Caucasian will become something else -- presumably another type of Person.  It depends on how much type-changing you want or how temporal you want your models to be.

Certainly, an Other Person would become a Person I Know instantly upon being introduced.  That seems pretty dynamic to me, but who knows -- it could suit your purposes.


Named plexes
I think the type lists would be the main lists to use.  I'd generally not use the thought & link lists, but I thought it might be best to allow them for fringe purposes I haven't conceived yet -- maybe for those major parentless link thoughts or whatever.  It might also be nice to use as an exception list -- like all "vendor" thought types except Microsoft or whatever.

btw, I think you could use named plexes to get dimensionality, but you'd probably run out of attributes of a thought or link.  If they would add tags to the criteria, that might extend the metaphor a lot.  I haven't really thought about that.


Named plexes
I've been waiting quite a while for filtration on thought & link types in pb4pro, and I continue to wait.  I've also taken note of suggestions about saving the state of an expanded view for later restoration.  But I've never read a suggestion of what I would hope for in the pro product, so here it is:
  1. As architects often define a unique model and various views of that model (model/view/controller, or MVC pattern), in pb4pro, we would define for a given brain various named plexes.  When opening a brain, a preference setting would indicate whether to show the default full plex or to show a chosen named plex.
  2. A user-defined plex would have a name, as a thought has a name.  Saving/restoring a named plex would cause to be saved/restored:
    • A list of thought types to be shown (or hidden).  The full plex shows all thought types.
    • A list of individual thoughts to be shown (or hidden) with the location on the canvas of each anchored thought.  The list for the full plex is empty.
    • A definition of the link types to show (or to hide) between those thoughts and whenever pairs of shown thoughts would have such link types between them.  The full plex shows all link types.
    • A list of individual links to be shown (or hidden) when the corresponding thought pairs are shown.  The list for the full plex is empty.
    • The font setting.  The full plex has the pb4 default font setting.
    • The distance between thoughts setting.  The full plex has the default pb4 distance between thoughts setting.
These capabilities -- together with the ability to save, load, export, import, and select based on named plex -- would finally give me the base functionality I've been seeking.  Now, I can maintain a brain to be a unified body of knowledge and plexes to be presentation-oriented subsets of that body of knowledge.  No longer would I have to maintain brains with redundant thoughts to show different aspects of the same body of knowledge.

Notes could optionally be separated into pure xml for the knowledge base, and css/xsl can be stored in plexes (with the current default css for the full plex).

When I build a brain, I don't want to presuppose a particular use of that knowledge, but rather just the knowledge itself, in the form of thoughts, links, and thought/link types.  I'll craft named plexes according to the intended uses to which they'll be put.

You like?  Other ideas?


I upgraded to the latest Java and of pbrain, and it still occurs.

But, I have discovered the difference.  I work almost exclusive these days in Expanded View, and the behavior of which I spoke occurs there.  I see that all [we need a real name for this feature] comma tricks continue to work in Normal View, unlike in Expanded View.

I'm still not sure when I'd want to use this capability, however.


On the comma trick:

I created new brain with home thought foo, then children 1, 2, and 3, then child "1, 2, 3" of 1, then linked grandchild to each of 2 and 3 as parents, and sure enough, got the predicted behavior when and only when 1, 2, or 3 is the selected thought.

1. Um, why would one want this behavior?

I then created new children of foo as red, green, and blue, then child "red, green, blue" of red, then linked new grandchild to each of green and blue as parents.  Once again, I got the predicted behavior.

However, when I now select 1, 2, or 3, I no longer get the predicted behavior for "1, 2, 3".  It appears that only the latest grandchild created in this way works, which leads me to...

2. Is this just a bug at this point?  Not only do I not understand why one would want the behavior, but it also doesn't work most of the time.


This forum
A forum like this would, it seems to me, to be a killer app for PB, though the SiteBrain would have to be customized a bit and more dynamic.  Any thoughts on this?


This forum
I've been reading the Yahoo! group via daily email digests.  I don't see this capability here.  Is that right?  No email digests?

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