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  • Name Pragy Agarwal
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What's wrong?
Thanks for replying [smile]

ruudhein wrote:
This year TheBrain goes back 20 years... demise has been predicted many times and has been suspected by myself...product that has developed, expanded, yet stayed true to its core.

Oh, it's good to know that the software is going strong. Personally, I try to improve my tools frequently, so a software with the core philosophy of resisting change is probably not meant for me. Given how version 9 is a complete rebuild gives me hope that TheBrain isn't such.

ruudhein wrote:
...features... Discussions and requests about them in the appropriate place are usually handled very well, in my experience.

I couldn't agree with that. A quick scan through the feature requests subcategory leaves it clear that the features are almost always postponed into oblivion. See my post http://forums.thebrain.com/post/developer-api-9616985


ruudhein wrote: I've seen users frustrated because the software doesn't do what they think it should be doing; could that be your case?
...
So -- let's make this fun. Welcome -- and what is it you want to achieve or do with TheBrain?

That's probably it. I've explored Anki, Mnemosyne, Supermemo, Evernote, XMind, Vue, TiddlyMap and more, but I've failed to find a software that lets me offload my memory onto a digital system. I used to think that Spaced Repetition is the key, but have realized its shortcomings after several years, and have found conceptmapping to gracefully handle most of them. Thus, I'm trying to find a good tool, but have utterly failed to do so.

I'm sorry that the frustration has left me bitter.
What's wrong?
I'm a new user, and I recently posted this rant criticising TheBrain: Unprofessionalism! I was expecting a bashing from the users here, but I got worse - no response! Not even from the devs.

My problem is, that I've failed to find another mind mapping tool that supports multiple parents, can handle thousands of nodes and still look pretty. Therefore, for now, I've settled with using TheBrain on my desktop instead (SSD + 16gigs RAM + GTX1080). TheBrain runs smoothly on it. (Note: The performance issue persists on my laptop. Not everyone can afford a system designed for Deep Learning)

However, there are still tons of issues that need to be solved. For example, there are hardly any options! The lack of customizability makes the software extremely immature. I haven't used the previous versions of Brain, so I'm not sure if they supported many more options or not. I can't even fix the "Normal" view to always show me 2 levels deep (it always resets to 1 level upon changing layouts).

The forums are essentially dead! For a software that claims to be used by Fortune 100 companies, and have millions of downloads, having a dead user forum is a big red sign of the software being close to collapsing. The devs/company might still be earning from it and not see the coming doom soon enough.
Also, the forums are a mess! The register function is buggy, hell even the "Remove Formatting" button doesn't work on hyperlinks!

There are tons of open feature requests and issues, and the core developers aren't able to keep with it (common with good software). However, a mature company will take steps towards handling this issue, which TheBrain doesn't seem to be doing.


This is a nice mindmapping software, please don't let it die a slow, painful death.
Developer API?
There are tons of features that I would like to develop for my personal use and for the benefit of the community

- Most frequently used topics - The pinning option is great, but is manual and limited. Having a node of Most Frequently used items will provide quick access to topics, and can be updated dynamically by an extension

- To be processed tag - Not everything you add to the brain needs to be stuff you know and understand. I come from the world of Anki (an open source, and extremely flexible Spaced Repetition software), and I have the habit of using software to store unprocessed content as well. I want the brain to be able to support that functionality. You just found a great blog post? Just add it to the brain, it will automatically be marked as unprocessed. Once you read it, you can extract out thoughts and links, and mark the blog post as processed. (This is similar to Anki's and Supermemo's Incremental Reading (IR) feature)

- Recommender System - Being a Machine Learning researcher, I can't help but think of adding ML to TheBrain. One of the features I would like is for TheBrain to be able to recommend new links between thoughts! This is not a novel idea, Facebook uses Machine Learning on social graphs to suggest friends. Such a feature could help you discover new connections between knowledge, and help improve your creativity.

- Spaced Repetition - Wander is good, but does it optimize for preventing forgetting? Spaced Repetition is easy to implement, and provides you with an epsilon-optimal strategy to never forget the stuff you've added in your Brain. Essentially, the wander function can be enhanced to simple wander to the nodes that you're most likely to forget soon.


With a dev api, not only do others start contributing to your project essentially for free, but the core devs benefit since supporting a developer API forces them to clean and refactor their codebase for the better. This helps the software mature extremely quickly.
Developer API?
It would be great to have a developer API. TheBrain doesn't need to go opensource for it. There are great software that benefit from open source extensions, while the core remains closed and paid (Sublime Text for example)

A lot of feature requests (like the recent "Duplicating Brains", which has been requested since TB8) can be easily and quickly handled by the opensource community, without bothering the core devs.

Currently, almost every feature request gets closed with the generic "I've documented this feature request" response.

Please consider this.

PS: I'm not the first one to request this. Here's a loyal customer who has been requesting it since the past 7 years! [1][2] @GerSch: I feel you, man.
Two fellow devs wanting an API in 2007: [3]. The same user requesting it again in 2008 [4].
More [5], and more [6]
Here's another customer, with a bolder request: [7] <- this is also one of the top threads on this forum.
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