Cornan
It seems that at least some settings in the 6.0 setup are overwriting my 5.5 settings.

The one that always seems to get reset during installations is "Open Last Brain at startup", and sure enough after the 6.0 beta setup my 5.5 version had that option checked.

I don't have the time to scrape my system and do a second 6.0 beta installation just to duplicate this problem, but as I always run my brains via a command line (or shortcut) parameter, this is a setting I've always noticed during upgrades.  It's also possible that one of the 5.5 updates reset the setting before my 6.0 installation, which if true should also not have happened.

It seems that keeping allowing different releases to co-reside (and the settings file) is still a work in progress.  I can see that the versionless "TheBrainPreferences.xml" was replaced by the partially-versioned "TheBrainPreferences5.xml", explaining perhaps some of my difficulties going from 5.0 to 5.5 (this should be fixed, too).

If there is another major update (6.5?), then the single-digit separation of settings files should be expanded to include major updates to further limit settings problems.

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rhodes
I've managed to get around this problem by creating a test brain IN v6 and using that alone till I make a decision about when or whether to upgrade.

The most annoying thing I find about the 6.0 beta versions is that each time I run one to test its new features it destroyes my 5.5 window layout which takes a while to get right.

Steeph also commented about this in a separate post here. As a result I've now decided not to download any further releases pending a firm assurance that the layout for 6 will not overwrite that for 5.5. This is one aspect that should have been given priority right from the beginning of this new version, since I understand the same problem arose between v5.0 and 5.5.

Alan Rhodes
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Harlan
I took a look and it does not seem what is being described above is possible. All settings are saved in a single location, including window layout and the "open last brain at startup" setting. If one were getting overwritten, they all would be.

The preferences file "TheBrainPreferences.xml" is only written to by version 4. "TheBrain5Preferences.xml" is only written to by version 5. "TheBrain6Preferences.xml" is only written to by version 6.  

PersonalBrain 6 loads old settings from version 5. It does not overwrite them. Likewise, version 5 loads old settings from version 4 but does not overwrite them. 

If you look in the location where the preferences are stored (C:\Users\USER_NAME\AppData\Roaming\PersonalBrain), you will see that the modification date of the version 5 file does not change when using version 6.
Regards,
-Harlan
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Cornan
Thanks, Harlan, for taking a look, but there is definitely something going on.  I'm not saying that is related to the XML settings file in particular.  (one unique problem with the 5.5 beta was that it shared "TheBrainSettings5" with 5.0, but that doesn't apply here.)

My main problem is that I can no longer give my 5.5 version the name of a brain to open as a command-line parameter.

I noticed something interesting this morning that may bear on the issue.

After 5.5 started without opening the brain specified in the shortcut, I noticed that one of my brains was listed twice in the brain window.

When I clicked on one of them, three things happened:
   1) first, a message about something not existing, I think with "DB" somewhere in the garbled text.  In the message, all the punctuation was stripped out.
   2) then the brain was recovered from continuous backup, even though it had opened fine the last time I used it.
   3) I accidentlally triggered the Windows shortcut to that brain, and this time it worked (!!!)

I seem to remember something about the command-line brain opening failing silently in some cases.

Could it be that because the 6.0 installation reset "Open last brain at startup" to true and tried to convert my 5.5 brains (I said "no" of course), the initial steps of the "pre-conversion" could have changed some files?  Could those changes then have made the brain seem to not exist and (third) fail silently when run from the command line?

Just to add some detail, I have verified that though this problem did not
occur for "Steph" on what seems to be a 64-bit Windows system, on my 32-bit Windows XP my Windows shortcuts for 5.5 no longer work.

Because I chose to kill an instance of PersonalBrain in a previous session, I rebooted my system to verify this.  In all, I have tried the following:

1) Clicking on existing shortcuts - 5.5 runs but fails to open the brain
2) running from CMD.EXE "Start" command
3) running shortcut (.lnk) file from "Start" command
4) modifying the shortcut to incluse ".brain"
5) running PersonalBrain from CMD.EXE without the START command (even though this wouldn't work in a CMD file, it makes a "pure" test).

Bottom line, the side-by-side installation of 6.0 beta has cost at least two hours extra effort so far, though this is more than an order of magnitude better than the hundreds of damaged thoughts I had to recover going from 5.0 to 5.5
, a process that took tens of hours to rectify.
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Harlan
6.0 does not affect how 5.5 handles command line parameters. If you are opening Brains via a command line that invokes 5.5, then something else must be causing the problems you are having with your shortcuts. If your shortcuts are simply links to .brain files, then those may be getting passed to 6.0 instead of 5.5... What command exactly are you running from the command line (cmd.exe)?
Regards,
-Harlan
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rhodes
Harlan, thanks for replying.

I run Windows XP and installed v5.5 in a folder named PersonalBrain55 and v6.0 in PersonalBrain60. I don't know where you derived the filepath you quoted; my 5.5 Preferences File is located at C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\PersonalBrain\TheBrain5Preferences.xml. The same folder also contains TheBrain6Preferences.xml.

I agree that the 5.5 Preferences file timestamp is not changed after running PB6. However:

1) When I first installed PB6 (now 6.0.2.7), I left the layout at default (Notes along bottom left, all other tools along bottom right). Running 5.5.2.4 afterwards reverted to the default layout, instead of my usual one which is to have the tools docked against the RH border of PB window, basic layout only (Advanced unchecked). This is the annoyance. I reset the Tools to the RH border (important).

2) Then I tried opening PB 6 and docking its tools against the LH border of PB window. Closing and reopening PB6, it remembered the new location.

3) I then reopened 5524 and as expected the layout reverted to default.

4) I then reopened 6027 and to my surprise it had forgotten the LH dock and reverted to default.

Conclusions:
1) PB layout reverts to default only when switching from PB6 to PB5 OR VICE VERSA. In either case, each version reverts to default.
2) Whatever causes this must be located outside the Preferences file.

I call PB 5 or 6 from shortcuts located on the Windows Toolbar, the string being "C:\Program Files\PersonalBrain55\PersonalBrain.exe" (or "C:\Program Files\PersonalBrain60\PersonalBrain.exe").

This exercise has been time-consuming so I hope the team come up with an answer. Thank you.

Alan Rhodes
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Cornan
Thanks, Harlan, for the replies.

No I'm not executing the .brain file.

Sorry my last post was a bit long, but my current hypothesis is (as briefly as possible):
1) [fact] The installation reset "Open last brain at startup" to true (checked)
2) [fact] When I opened PB 6 it tried to open the last brains, which were of course at 5.5 locations and after the initial steps I said "No" to the conversion(s)
3) [hypothesis] #2 altered the contents or presence of some files before I was given the chance to say "No".  Then, when I tried to open the brains with my 5.5 shortcuts (that is, 5.5 PersonalBrain path followed by 5.5 .brain file path), 5.5 could not find an "openable brain" and "failed silently".
4) [fact] I tried numerous times to use the shortcuts and CMD files
5) [fact] I opened one of the 5.5 brains manually after resetting "Open last brain at startup" and [fact] I restored my other "home" .brain file and folders from the backup I made before installing 6.0
6) [fact] After manually opening one brain and restoring the other brain completely, and without running 6.0 at any time during that time, my shortcuts work again.

Conclusions: When 6.0 began the conversion process (before I said "no"), something was altered in the 5.5 brain folders that prevented the 5.5 shortcuts from working until the databases were restored or opened at least once (manually) with 5.5.

I guess I've found a work-around.  I would also respectfully suggest considering either: 1) defaulting "Open last brain at startup" to FALSE on installation, or 2) Prompt the user during installation for the value of "Open last brain at startup" (or some variant that would not always set it to TRUE.)

Harlan et al, I hope you will find this useful.  I'll post again if the shortcuts stop working again.

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rhodes
I'm surprised no one has commented on my post #6 (July 19) where I described how versions 5.5 and 6 remember their own layout settings, yet when I switch between them (using different Brains in each, naturally), they each revert to the default layout.

This wouldn't be picked up by those who prefer the default layout (all tools at the bottom of PB's window). But surely there must be others who dock their tools somewhere else, like me (basic, not advanced, layout). Also I guess most users are either happy with 5.5 and so are not trying 6 beta, or have upgraded and decided they're not going back, so would miss this peculiarity.

I would like to hear from others who are also "between" these two versions if they also experience the same default layout problem.

Alan Rhodes
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Cornan
Well, I've got both 5.5 and 6.0, and I'll be making parallel entries in the brain that I've copied and upgraded to 6.0.

I use Advanced layout, and configure the tools section fairly drastically.

On my portrait mode system (currently 5.5), I have this layout:

    ===        PLEX            ===
    ===        Notes            ===
    Tags           |    all other tools

On my landscape-only system, the 5.5 and 6.0 brains have this layout:

      ====       plex           =====
       Notes | tags | other tools tabs

You can see the lower right corner of my portrait layout at this link (6.0 thought name too short)

What exactly do you expect to revert back to "default"?

I'll let you know if it happens on my Windows XP sp3 system.

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rhodes
Hi Cornan, thanks for replying.

I couldn't see any screenshots in your "6.0 thought name too short in Thought tab" but I understand your layout from your diagram.

My monitor is landscape mode, though that shouldn't make any difference.

I tried out both your layouts above on v 6.0 and 5.5 and in both cases, after changing from 5.5 to 6.0 or vice versa, PB changed each layout to default, i.e., all tabs along the bottom, Notes on the left and the others in a group on the right. It was not possible to sustain a layout with Notes above the other tools, or even tags at the bottom in a pane separate from Notes and other tools.

So the bug is really consistent on my system and does not depend on the fact that I prefer to dock my tools against the sides of the PB window. Perhaps one of the developers can look into this issue again and confirm the existence of this bug.

Alan Rhodes
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mcaton
Yes, I've replicated the issue and will inform our engineers. 

Thank you,
Matt
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rhodes
Thank you, Matt, I'm glad this has been confirmed.
Alan Rhodes
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Cornan
With regard to Rhodes' issue, I've noticed in the last two or three updates to 6.0 that my tools are also being reset somewhat, I'm not sure if fully back to their default values.

The only system where I have 6.0 installed (6.0.3.5) is where my tools are layed out as three side-by-side panels, and when I install an update it goes back to two.

before update: Notes    | tags | all others
after update:     Notes       |  all others

So for me, it simply seems that the tags panel was rearranged, though this may well be the default layout.



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rhodes
It's definitely the default layout, and only happens (as pointed out above) when one switches between v6 and v5.5, or vice versa. It happened again recently when I tried out the latest 6.0 beta. Thanks Cornan for confirming this and thanks Matt for passing it on to the engineers.
Alan Rhodes
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