zenrain

First of all, congratulations. A lot of hard work and thought (pun not intended, but enjoyable anyway) has obviously gone into the latest version and it shows.

Tabs - As I thought, they are going to be a game changer. Not just the ability to have multiple tabs open, but the ability to drag a tab to create a new window will be a huge boon to productivity. For a second I missed being able to open a separate notes window, but then I thought about it a minute, dragged a tab to create a new window and maximized the notes. Awesome!

Live Preview - Game changer part deux. This will actually reduce my need to add thought icons. Previewing web pages is pretty quick, and also works on mouseover, which is very, very useful. I really like being able to preview attachments also. Double clicking on the attachment tab opens the attachment. Another example of the nice little touches that have been added throughout version 9. 

Information Real Estate - It was one of the selling points in the New Features pdf, and I was a bit skeptical at first. However, after an hour or two, I fully agree. The latest version puts my information front and center and tries to keep everything else out of the way until you need it. For example, the reports pane doesn't have it's own tab, it just appears when you activate it, and then goes away when you are done. Very nice. 

When you aren't editing notes, you don't have to see all the formatting buttons and widgits. Again, your information takes center stage.
Or, if your thought doesn't have notes, but have an attached web page or file, it will appear instead.

One thing I would like is the ability to re-arrange the attachments so you can choose which one will appear if you have multiple. I didn't see a way to do this, and I think it would be useful.

The Plex - Moving around is much smoother, as are the animations. It feels more organic. Scrolling and zooming using the trackpad is very, very nice. Framerate suffers with a large number of thoughts on the screen, but it's no worse than TheBrain 8, and in most circumstances, a lot better. I like that everything fades out when you create a new thought except the one it's being linked to. I've actually slowed the animation because it's enjoyable. Thought Images no longer have a spinny thing when there's a lot of them in view at once. Very cool.

Instant Find - I like that this now returns both thought name and extended search results. I was wondering if it being in the top right would bug me, but thus far I don't think so.

I think here we have lost some power, it no longer includes or searches the contents of my notes as far as I can tell. If we are going to be restricted to the instant search window I think at some point in the future it would be useful to have an increased syntax. For example: "Attachment:Japan" or "Note:Rugged AND veracity". I think you could bake in some increased features for power users while remaining true to the simpler vision.

Mind map view - Frankly I haven't used this much, and my first thought was... Why doesn't the plex re-arrange when I click a thought. Then I read about the view and realized that it was supposed to do that, and it made sense. And THEN I discovered I could change the active thought by arrow browsing and hitting enter, which is another nice touch. [smile]

Going Native - I almost forgot about this one, but then I started typing in notes and when I expanded a text expander snippet it worked. And when I went Full-Screen, it worked. And when I typed in a bullet point, it didn't jump focus to the last paragraph. It's a beautiful thing...


Things I'm already missing:
The ability to duplicate thoughts. Yeah, I know I could copy and paste, but then it retains the links and I'm really looking for the ability to create a template thought and create thoughts that match that template when possible. Duplicate thoughts did that for me. And yes, I do this multiple times a week. I'm weird.

The Calendar - I think/hope this is still coming, it's just not implemented in the Preview release. 

The Ability to shift-drag to create an exclusive parent. This was really useful. I hope it comes back.

The ability to hide siblings - It makes the plex cleaner, and I shifted between hidden and non-hidden quite often.

The ability to double click the plex to maximize it. I would also like a keyboard accelerator to maximize the plex and the notes/attachments area. The targets are to small to access conveniently.

Keyboard accelerators - I know, I know. Preview release. But ⌃+⇧+1-3 is just weird for switching views...
Update: Duh - Now it's OS X Native, I can just go into the OS X Keyboard preference window, go to the Shortcuts tab and set them here. Never mind...
Update 2: This works after you access the Menu using the mouse dropdown. However after switching to a different app you can't invoke menu shortcuts again (it will give a beep) until you access the menu again.

Things I think I will probably miss, but might not:

The ability to set tags and thought types upon thought creation. I have noticed that they can be set easily on the active (and now non-active thoughts) and think this is quite useful. However, it's not quite as convenient as when I'm creating the thought.

Reports: Yes, they aren't gone, but they have lost quite a bit o' power. I think reports would benefit from a re-imagining in a future release, but I understand they aren't a focus in this one.

Java - Because seriously, who doesn't love installing new versions of Java, and dealing with it's idiosyncrasies on OS X. 

Themes - Because... convenience.

Fluffy Bunnies - Because... Seriously, do I even need to explain this one?

Summary
I see what the direction and focus is, and I am finding myself really liking it.

I have a pretty good idea how tough it is to strike a balance of making things simple but keeping things flexible and powerful. Making things accessible and intuitive to new users, but not losing so many features as to alienate the power users. And above all, keeping the software useful and focused. It's a tough job, and I don't envy you.
I think the team has done an amazing job thus far. Going to a native application has paid off, and allowed for a close examination of the purpose of TheBrain and how it can best be used. I think the new version has lost quite a bit of the cruft from the old version, has adopted a much more modern UI and is a great starting point for the future. Amazing job, and it's been well worth the wait. I can't wait to see how things progress.

macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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andreas

Nice and full of new, exciting possibilities. Definitely on a good track! I love the new notes-tab, and the tabs!

Here are a coulpe of first impressions/thoughts (Mac version):

- It would be nice if a note could be locked so that the note stays in place when clicking on other thoughts

- playing movies (e.g. quicktime format) is not yet possible from within the brain, you need to change screens. This is a problem when doing presentations on a projector. So from a teacher's perspective, this is quite important.


- I had the notes open in full screen (just the note, no plex) and pressed on the link for another thought. The note changed for the note coresponding to that thought (of course). But now I wanted to go back to the other note and that was not possible until I changed into the plex view and clicked on the other thought. There is a lot of space just above the "Notes" tab to put in a forward/backward button. This way I could stay in the full notes section and go check sth in another note and quickly go back.(i.e. similar to how Evernote works). 

- I opened an evernote-note in the internal webbrowser. Clicking on a link in the note does not do anything.

- storing webpages for offline reading would be wonderful.

- love the splitscreen possibilities in mac ElCapitan

- It takes a split of a second too long to load a pdf preview. Plus, the pdf preview image first goes to 150 %ish then back to small. Maybe store preview images that are immediately available.

- I imported my Brain8. That one crashes regularly after a few clicks.

- I search for a specific phrase and get many answers, also from attached pdfs. But, if I check the pdf for the phrase, this phrase does not exist in the file. So a lot of false positive search results.

- There should be a way to safe the fact that I want the notes on the right side. I have to reshuffle the notes after every crash.

- In the pdf preview, there is a white box with information on the pdf file (size, date modified, etc). This box should be optional as it takes away a lot of screen realestate. If the box is gone, the pdf preview picture is larger. 

- With the fulscreen apps running, the image I want to capture for a thought most of the time is on another screen/monitor. Could the "capture image" be adapted so that I could change screens?

- Is there a way to hide private thoughts?

- creating a pin for a tag or a type does not work.

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zenrain
Quote:

- I had the notes open in full screen (just the note, no plex) and pressed on the link for another thought. The note changed for the note coresponding to that thought (of course). But now I wanted to go back to the other note and that was not possible until I changed into the plex view and clicked on the other thought. There is a lot of space just above the "Notes" tab to put in a forward/backward button. This way I could stay in the full notes section and go check sth in another note and quickly go back.(i.e. similar to how Evernote works). 


You should be able to do this now, using the back and forward buttons in the main toolbar:
Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 8.02.39 AM.png 

I've noticed in some scenarios when you have shrunk the window down it hides those, I've created a post requesting a change here.

Quote:

- There should be a way to safe the fact that I want the notes on the right side. I have to reshuffle the notes after every crash.


I've had this happen too. The secret is TheBrain does save the layout, but when it crashes it can't. Start TheBrain, set the layout how you want and then quit. It will then save that state when you open it next time. [smile]
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
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Harlan

Thanks for all the great feedback here. It's really helpful for us to hear from you about what changes have worked both positively and negatively for you. We'd love to hear more from everyone about your thoughts on the changes, in addition to information about bugs.

I'm not going to comment on everything mentioned here, but will mention a few key points:

1. Re-arranging attachments will be added in a future release.

2. Instant search should include the contents of notes and attachments. If notes are not being found, that is a bug.

3. You can change the active thought in mind map by via context click > set active thought.

4. Keyboard accelerators can be modified by power users by editing the InputBindings.txt file in ~\.TheBrain\v9. The reason you are having trouble with the OS X method of changing them is that the menu items are dynamically created when the menu is accessed.

5. Many things that are in TB8 will be added in a future release.

6. The calendar from TB8 will not be making a re-appearance anytime soon. Links to thoughts from external apps will enable you to use any third party calendar with support for URL links to track your events and have them tied into thoughts.

7. Problems with imported brain will be improved in the next release.

8. Re: false positive search results: PDF and other attachment search is done via the OS. Try searching using Spotlight and see if the results come up there. If they do not, it is a bug in TB9. If they do, either they are there or there is a bug in Spotlight.

9. On Mac OS, you can use Cmd+Shift+4 to capture an image and then paste in into a thought. We may remove the "Capture Image" feature as being redundant for this reason.

10. Pins for tags and types will be fixed shortly.

11. Yes, settings are only saved if TB9 is exited normally, without a crash.

Regards,
-Harlan
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andreas
I have to correct myself about the missing backwards/forwards arrows in the full screen notes. That option is there and I was simply looking in the wrong place…

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mcaton
Thanks all!  Lots of new issues / feature requests in this thread.  I've made sure all have been documented for further review.

Thank you,
Matt
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korm
@Harlan wrote:
4. Keyboard accelerators can be modified by power users by editing the InputBindings.txt file in ~\.TheBrain\v9. The reason you are having trouble with the OS X method of changing them is that the menu items are dynamically created when the menu is accessed.


Please consider adding a less-powerful user interface at some point.

It would be useful if TheBrain 9 would also support a copy of InputBindings.txt file at the root (\.TheBrain\v9) and the root bindings, if any, would override the current user bindings -- allows us to set global bindings for all users.

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korm
@Harlan wrote:
The calendar from TB8 will not be making a re-appearance anytime soon. Links to thoughts from external apps will enable you to use any third party calendar with support for URL links to track your events and have them tied into thoughts.


I think calendaring features and/of OS X Calendar integration is a standard feature on competing (IMO) products: MindManager, iMindMap (i.e., DropTask), Curio, NovaMind, iThoughtsX.  

On OS X, it would be odd and very time consuming, also in my opinion, to use TheBrain 9 to do work planning by creating the calendar events in Calendar, the reminders in Reminders, and then dragging ics or links back to TheBrain -- links that cannot be maintained except by time-consuming search and update procedures.

OS X provides lots of infrastructure and SDK support to implement Calendar and Reminders integration -- why ignore it?

At a minimum, you'll want to explain in depth (with examples) to users what the migration path is for those of us who have salted Google calendar integration throughout our Brains.  I wouldn't want to dread upgrading to TheBrain 9 because it ignores my existing calendar.
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perry
zenrain wrote:

The Ability to shift-drag to create an exclusive parent. This was really useful. I hope it comes back.



+1

I use this ALL the time

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dkbeauchamp
zenrain wrote:

 

The Ability to shift-drag to create an exclusive parent. This was really useful. I hope it comes back.

The ability to double click the plex to maximize it. I would also like a keyboard accelerator to maximize the plex and the notes/attachments area. The targets are to small to access conveniently.



+1 

Both of these are a huge part of my workflow.

zenrain thank you for taking the time to write all these thoughts and observations.
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