A small detail: the direction indicator on the link type points from e.g. left to right, but the direction indicator in the plex shows this the other way around?!

What I did:
  • created thought "source"
  • created thought "target", drag link from parent gate
  • selected link between "source" and "target"
  • opened link details dialog
  • clicked edit button, by this open link type details dialog
  • set name of link type to "is a"
  • clicked once on direction indicator
At this point, the direction indicator changes from a dot to a triangle/arrow head, pointing to the right.
I understand this as "link between 'A' and 'B'", where 'A' is the thought, where the link was startet, and 'B', where the link is pointing to, respective ends. In my example above, I want to enter the statement "source is a target".

BUT: the plex shows the link the other way around, with the direction indicator pointing to "target"?
Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-24 um 08.20.18.png 

[Update] Just tried the link type for child and jump thoughts. On jump thoughts, it seems to be relevant, where the link was started. Sample: Created a thought X, created link from X to 'Source'. Activated 'Source', changed type of link from X to Source. Result: link direction is pointing from X to 'Source' Concerning parent and child thoughts: the link seems to be directed in any case, no matter where the link creation was started at, from "parent" to "child"?!

Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-24 um 08.43.17.png 

Yes, this is correct, in TheBrain 9 when you are choosing directionality on Child - Parent relationships it is no longer based on Source to Target, but now the first click always points from Parent to Child, second click always from Child to Parent.

I wrote about this here when I first discovered it.

zenrain wrote:

Today's little thing is for those of us who create Link Types with arrows. Bear with me, it's a bit tough to explain.

In TheBrain 8 when you set link direction, the way the arrow points is always the way you create the link. In other words, the first time you click the arrow it will point Away From the thought you started the link from, and Toward the thought you attach the link to. 
This is particularly troublesome when you add a link type with an arrow, depending on how you linked the thoughts you may have to click the arrow button a second time to get it to point where you want it to.

In TheBrain 9 when you set a link direction, the way the arrow points is based on how the thoughts are related (in Parent-Child relationships). The first time you click the arrow, it will always point From Parent To Child. The second time you click the arrow, it will always point from Child to Parent. 
This means when you add a link type with a direction in Parent-Child relationships, it will always be consistent with the direction you chose when you first set up that link type[smile]

Note: Jump thought directionality in TheBrain 9 still behaves the same way as TheBrain 8, the arrow points away from the thought you dragged the link from, and towards the thought you dragged the link to.

I really appreciate this change. The reason being, because it's no longer based on where I drag a link when I create the relationship, when I add a link type to a Parent/Child I don't have to worry about how I created the link. Now it's always Child -> Parent or Parent -> Child, which I define when I first create the Link Type.
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119

for jump thoughts it's still relevant, where you start to draw the link, see thoughts "X" and "jump" in second image above.
Links to parent and child thoughts are handled like you said.

So, we do have two (!!) different ways link directions are handled.

Currently, the links point from a parent to a child thought. If you have a link type like "is a" above, I suppose, you must have either two different link types, or you ever create a "is a"-link in the form "parent 'is a'(reversed direction) child".


for jump thoughts it's still relevant, where you start to draw the link, see thoughts "X" and "jump" in second image above.
Links to parent and child thoughts are handled like you said.

Yes. I suppose it could behave either as Source -> Target, or Left|Right. I could go either way, but I think my preference is with the current behavior. Maybe. [biggrin]

Currently, the links point from a parent to a child thought. If you have a link type like "is a" above, I suppose, you must have either two different link types, or you ever create a "is a"-link in the form "parent 'is a'(reversed direction) child".

Not necessarily. The directionality of the link is still hierarchically before link type, so if you changed the link direction it will override link type arrow direction.

In my database, directionality is generally very consistent for link type relationships. For example, Performed in always points from Child -> Parent, Reports To Always points Child -> Parent, Requested by always points from Parent -> Child, Author of always points from Parent -> Child. In TheBrain 8 and lower I'd always have to stop to think about which way I'm dragging the link to make sure the arrow pointed in the same direction before I assigned the link type. In actual use this generally followed the following pattern:
  • Drag the link
  • Apply the link type
  • Roll my eyes because I'd forgotten and dragged the link from the wrong thought's gate
  • Fix the arrow direction.

In the case you brought up there are several options I'd look at:
  • Create two link types - Very quick to assign, will show differently on report
  • Use one link type, change on the link - takes longer, will show under one on report
  • Look at what I'm trying to achieve with the data presentation and see if the relationship should always be the same.
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
We can use it, the way it is, sure.
But it's wrong.

Create: A->B. The link starts at A, and ends at B.
Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-25 um 08.46.07.png 
The link type has a direction:
Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-25 um 08.52.25.png 
That's correct, the arrow is pointing to the right.

Now make 'A' the parent thought of 'B':
Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-25 um 08.46.18.png 
The GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION of the link is still correct, and follows the link type direction definition.

But now, make 'A' the child thought of 'B':
Bildschirmfoto 2017-02-25 um 08.46.28.png 
Now look, what happens: the graphical representation of the link has changed. It now claims that 'B is a A'. This. Is. Wrong.
Please keep in mind: on the one hand, we do have the internal link information: the link starts at A, and ends at B; on the other hand, we have the graphical representation, which gives the wrong information: link starts at B, and ends at A.

If you play around, and make A a jump thought, or parent thought of B again, you will see, that the direction indicator flips back to it's original state.

As I already said: we can use it the way it is. But it's wrong.

I'm thinking just one or two steps further. Let's assume, that one day [in the far, far future ...] we will have an API, or query language in TB.
You then will be looking for 'A->B', right? Well, but that's ... what? ... the internal representation? ... what you see on the plex?

And just another point: "is parent", "is jump", and "is child" ... are just meta link types, associated with the three gates on each thought.
Currently, there can be only one link between two given thoughts. [Yes, I know, we can use it this way...]
But I would like create multiple links between two thoughts.

And, at some point, the three gates/meta link types are not relevant any more.
I just want to have my two thoughts, and a link in between:


And I want TB to show exactly this.

It is wrong if my mental model is based on where I drag a link from. However, this is based on an action that occurs when thoughts are initially attached, which is hard to remember in an hour or so, let alone years later. At least it is for me.

However, if I don't use that mental model, then it's not based on the drag direction but the final relationship of a Parent/Child. In this case the functionality is not wrong. 

I do understand your points. However I don't believe sacrificing ease of use and a more reliable behavior in the context of actual use is worth being "right" in as far as link directionality based on drag source.  

After over 6 months of using it this way I find the new behavior to be a vast improvement and I believe reverting to the original behavior would be a big mistake. 
macOS 10.14.6
TheBrain 11.0.119
Aren't parentage and linkage two different, and possibly non-consistent, relationships?   B could be the child of A (parentage), but B could be an exemplar for A (linkage).   So Jane is Mary's mother, and Mary is Jane's role model.    One of those things that induces headaches because it is not wrong it is merely different [crazy]

I do see your point. It's easy to toggle a link direction to point the correct way, but the behavior is different when it's hard coded to a link type.  I'm sure there's no easy solution for this, but I'll document your observation for further review.  Currently, the easiest fix is to just change the link direction in the Link Properties Display for this individual link.  Yes, it's an extra step, but the individual link properties will override any applied Link Type.


I myself prefer using types instead of setting each individual thought's / links's properties.

As shown above, the starting thought of a link stays the starting point, even if you drag the start thought around - make it parent, child, or jump. With this in mind, it's hard to understand that start/end do count for jump thoughts, but they do not for parent/child thoughts. In other words: TB9 offers a link type (with direction property), but whether, or in which way it counts depends on the "hierarchy" of the linked thoughts.

imho, it's pretty easy: a direction is defined by a start and an end.

A practical example: I want to drive from Washington D.C. to New York City. Does it make any sense to you if I tell you that the direction of this route is 'New York City -> Washington D.C.', just because New York City is to the north of Washington?


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