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Java 6 Update 22 Breaks PersonalBrain

this is it. sorry. i've had it. just lost enough thoughts in my pb due to this thread's mess that it'll cost me about a month of work and don't ask about financial loss.

i know i could have checked the forums/ kept updated with pb dev/ ... BUT ... really?

no way, a software that costs that money just cost me too much... and i've been a +10year user. i just can't take this "stuff" any more. sorry.

PB steals application focus at least three times on startup

Another focus issue:

Whenever i start PB the application window steals application focus at least three times (sometimes it feels like 4-5 times, switching back and forth between applications), making me use Alt-Tab to switch back to the app I was using  many times.

Is there a Java-option that one can set so that the window doesn't steal focus?

Btw: I'm using openbox as window manager under Linux.

Thanks for any insights!

loosing focus in notes window

Hi all,

i wonder if it's just my setup or if any of you have had the same experience:

When writing in the notes-section of  a thought and then using Alt-Tab to switch to e.g. dictionary-application/ web-browser and finally coming back to PB with Alt-Tab the focus/ caret position w/i the notes-section is lost. Well actually, it seems to be still there as a Shift-Tab will recreate the caret as will an F5, of course, but i always have to use that workaround to be able to go on writing.

Can you confirm this or is it a Linux/PB5.5 specific thing? If any of these, I think this could be considered a bug, albeit a minor one as the workaround is simple enough.

Ahh, i tell you. The notes editor always gives me headaches... :-)


Import/ Export boken

Matt, Zenrain,

thanks for looking into this. Maybe it's a linux-only thing? Or a Pre-6 issue?

Well, Zenrain's info is great news! I might try and update to PB6 to see if it fixes this problem, but i will need to be able to revert to PB5520 afterwards.

If you can tell me how to best go about this, i can report back.


PB6: need thought xml-export with notes interlinked

hi zenrain,

that was quick :-p


PB6: need thought xml-export with notes interlinked

Hi all,

not having a second computer at hand and not wanting to install PB6 yet (calendar bugs being the biggest nogo i guess) could someone please paste (or pm me with) an xml export of the following setup:

One brain, one main-thought, two child thoughts called 'foo' and 'bar', one thought tagged with tag 'zzz' and one link link-typed as 'yyy'. Then link thought 'bar' from the notes-section of thought 'foo'!?

That would be great! To make things easier (possibly) i've attached a brain like the one described above as a brainzip albeit w/o the notes-link.

Remember: I need an XML-Export of it! Not a brainzip :-)

Thanks to anyone willing to go to the length of helping me out with this!


Changing default browser.

Hi all,

old thread, but hey: there's still one more thing you could look into.

- Check /etc/mime.types for relevant mimetype(s) (here i suggest esp. "text/html" (and then maybe some of application/xml* if you need it, know what you're doing and your browser supports that)
- Edit /usr/share/application/default.list and find the mime types from above, replacing application name with an application available within the directory /usr/share/applications/ as "APPNAME".desktop
- if you use nautilus (i don't), restart nautilus (running "killall -1 nautilus" from a command line or wait for next reboot)

This will set the default application for any mime-type system wide on gnome or kde systems. Changing this on a per user basis would probably be done in ~/.local/applications/mimeapps.list and default.list resp., these will override the global system default mentioned above. 

Cf. here and e.g. here for more info.


Blank Installation Screen - Ubuntu 7.04

Hi all,

i remember having issues with blank screens in Java for some time now and since i have no Beryl/Compiz enabled and setting the AWT-MToolkit didn't fix all issues, here's another fact:

Sometimes borderless windows (i.e. "No window decorations") causes the same issue.

As I use PB on a netbook with small screen real estate, i turn off window decorations (no title bar e.g.). For some reasons, setting the java options found in my signature works fine for me (an in the case i do have a white window - happens when hitting F2 from time to time - i turn on window decorations (on Ubuntu by hitting Alt+Space then D) and it shows the contents nicely.

My workaround is to add the following java-options to .bashrc:

export _JAVA_OPTIONS='-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=lcd -Dswing.defaultlaf=com.sun.java.swing.plaf.gtk.GTKLookAndFeel -Dawt.toolkit=sun.awt.motif.MToolkit'

Thought to add this here for anyone with this specific issue.


Import/ Export boken

Any input on this?

Especially issue #1 is a show-stopper. Does anyone on the forum have an insight on this or should i contact support?

Or is it a design decision, not to allow exports be re-imported at a later stage? I mean, even Windows Explorer knows that copying a file into a directory containing one with the same name is a reason to ask the user what to do and not to simply rename the file whatever and go on with it. There's no data consistency here and that is bad for a PIM/PKM/MCM application.

Also regarding issue #3 i think that an xml-export of an entire brain SHOULD mirror the ENTIRE brain. Not just excerpts. Again: Data consistency.

I do understand that PB6/WB development/ fixes is a priority at this time but since xml import/ export is one of the only ways to move data around from w/i PB and into PB this should be addressed as well imho.

Again: Thanks for looking into this. Let me know if you need further information


Private WebBrain Data


thanks for clarifying my first point.

But what about the second? Interpreting your answer I understand that traffic to and from PB<->webbrain.com is now TLS-encrypted by default. What about the data on the server?

Are attachments/ thoughts/ notes encrypted ON webbrain.com infrastructure? And if yes how. If no: what is your take on that in the future.

Thanks again for clarifying.


Private WebBrain Data

I'd like to bump this.

Any news on this?


Import/ Export boken

Hi all,

either Import/Export is broken or it doesn't behave as expected. I'm trying to: Export an entire brain to xml and re-import into the same brain with changes made to the xml. A couple of problems:

1) GUIDs w/i the xml don't get honored when re-importing. When a thought's GUID is the same w/i the xml and w/i PB, PB should ask "Do you want to overwrite" or sth the like and NOT create new GUIDs for every imported thought.
Even better: Add versioning and reconcile e.g. the Notes-sections etc.. But just checking GUIDs and thus making thought-updates via xml-export/import possible would be fine.

2) Imported thoughts ALWAYS get linked to the currently active thought. But in case their GUID was previously linked to another parent, that's where they should go imho. I do understand there's a certain logic to link to the active thought, but this should only apply to parent-less "top-of-the-thought-chain"-thoughts, no? Btw: Importing new/fresh Xml into PB and including a Link to an existing (but not defined w/i the xml) thought w/i PB worked like a charm.

3) Tags that have no "clients" (thought's tagged with them) are not respected in the export of an entire brain. Bug imho. Hard to fix as Tags are represented as <Tag />-children of <Thought /> w/i the xml. (Dirty) Workaround: unlinked thought gets tagged w/ all tags and is exported as well.

I can confirm this for Linux and would be happy to know if anyone can reproduce on Win/Mac. Steps:

Create a brain, add children ("1;2;3;4") to main thought.
Tag them a bit and make sure one tag isn't used.
Go to File->Export->PB Xml & save.
Go to File->Import->PB Xml & navigate to Export from earlier an import. Import.

Thanks for looking into this!



Hi all,

thanks for pointing to TiBo. Looks good..


Joel, you might want to create a super structure for your daily thoughts. I usually access from "this weeks"-thought (cf. my post on hassle free thoughts for every week of the year somewhere in this forum) that is usually pinned. But I also have daily thoughts underneath, and every "single-day"-thought get's relinked to TL_DAYS (timeline days) just as every week is a child of TL_WEEKS and every month-thought (regrouping weeks but i might throw in the occasionally important day-thought as a jump or so) is under TL_MONTHS.

For quick access I name thoughts w/i the timeline with an underscore as first character (e.g. _may;_0713 etc.). The only downside I've seen to this so far is the need to mass rename (no available in my 5.5v) one year's thoughts at the end of the year into _TL_year_** so that my system keeps working. Same goes for next year's thoughts (_Y11_may etc.) that also need renaming. I usually export to XML, make changes, delete w/i PB, re-import and fix links. Not nice, nut it works.

But I digress.. I've found this structure flexible enough to accommodate every access need i had so far. Maybe this helps.


5 to 6 upgrade truncates long Thougt Names!!!


just my 2 cents: this seems related to an OLD (in IT-time) problem: http://forums.thebrain.com/post?id=3999947

Your problem is not exactly the same as mine, but i remember solving the same issue by using an old xml-export, parsing it for all thought-names longer than 128 chars and outputting a list of these. I then did an xml-export of the new (defective) brain and replaced the truncated thought-names w/ the correct ones, then re-creating a brain from scratch w/ the changed xml-export.

Here's the perl-script (requiring XML::Simple from CPAN) that will output all thought-names longer/equal than 128 chars:

Quote: #!/usr/bin/perl

use strict;
use XML::Simple;

# create a hash where we keep everything:
my %t = ();

# parse the xml file (called export.xml w/i same directory as script) from PB into $data
my $xml = new XML::Simple;
my $data = $xml->XMLin("export.xml", ForceArray => qr/^(name|Tag)$/);

# get all thoughts and fix encoding of names etc into %t
my @thoughts = @{$data->{Thoughts}{Thought}};
foreach my $thought(@thoughts) {
    if ( $thought->{isType} == 0) { # the thought entry is not a link-type
      if (length($thought->{name}->[0]) >= 128) { print $thought->{name}->[0], "\n" };

It should be easy to modify this to parse two structures, referencing the guids ($thought->{guid}) and replacing defective names from the backup, dumping the corrected structure and importing into a new brain.

Maybe this'll be of help to someone.


Geotag - Shangri-La?


Not sure if this is what you want.

Google Earth uses the KML-Format to make persistent space-nexi. E.g.:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
<kml xmlns="http://earth.google.com/kml/2.1">
<name>Ile de la Cité, Paris, Frankreich</name>

(save this as a textfile w/ a ".kml" suffix)

Attach this to any thought and you should be able to launch gearth focusing on the defined spot from w/i PB. 

In case this doesn't work, you might have to add the .kml-extension to PB's program execution list (don't know how to do this in windows, under linux it should be the file ~/.PersonalBrain/DefaultUnixCommands.properties)

Hope this helps

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