Hello Everyone,

The version 5 beta is available now for download from the main download page at http://www.thebrain.com/download.

New features include presentation mode, outline view, tags (vastly more powerful), saving of expanded views, import of Word, MindManager, FreeMind, and OPML formats, and much more... I've attached a couple screenshots to whet your appetite.

Thanks for your enthusiastic encouragement and patience!

Here are the official release notes as usual:

Version – First External Release

November 7, 2008

  • Presentation Mode
    • This mode takes over the entire screen and automatically hides the pins and past thought list
    • Press Esc to exit this mode or right-click on the background and use the context menu.
  • Outline View
    • This view enables seeing an arbitrary number of childward thoughts while retaining the network display of multiple parents and jumps.
    • Each child Thought can be expanded and collapsed, give fine-grained control over what is visible.
    • The expand all and collapse all commands will show and hide entire levels of the display at once.
  • The View toolbar button now displays a menu showing which view is active. The following views are available:
    • Normal
    • Outline
    • Expanded

·         Preferences

o    The preferences dialog box has been reorganized so it is more easier to use and organizes related preferences into the same areas.

  • Saving of Expanded Views
    • Expanded views can now be saved and loaded.
    • To save an expanded view, arrange the Thoughts as you prefer, including which Thought you would like active, and select Options > Save Expanded View…
    • To load an expanded view, use the Options > Load Expanded View menu.
  • Tags
    • There is a new “Tags” tab in the tools area. Tags are useful for flagging thoughts that you want to be able to reference as a group, but where using a parent thought to do so may be too visually distracting. For example, you may want to create a “To do” tag so you can get a list of all your to do Thoughts very quickly.
    • Thought tags are now global for a Brain and can be toggled on and off via the Tags tab
    • Reports can be filtered by tag using the “All tags” dropdown
    • Words previously entered into the “Tags” field of PB 4.X are automatically converted into the new tagging system (Note: converted tag information and new tag information entered into version 5 will not be accessible from version 4.5)
    • Thoughts can have one or many tags at once.
    • Tags can be created, renamed, and deleted. Renaming a tag changes its name across the entire Brain and deleting also functions similarly.
    • Conversion of parent Thoughts into Tags and vice-versa
      • If you have been using parent Thoughts to group information such as “To do” items where you have many Thoughts all under a single parent which functions similarly to how a tag works, you can convert the Thought into a tag by right clicking it.
      • A tag can be converted into a parent Thought by right clicking it in the tags tab.
    • In a future beta release, the option to display next to Thoughts in the plex will be available.
  • New Import Formats
    • The File > Import menu now includes support for several new formats.
    • Word 2007 Outlines
      • Outlines created in Word 2007 and saved as “.docx” files can be imported and will be converted to a hierarchical set of Thoughts for each bullet point.
    • MindManager
      • Imports both .mmap and .xmmap file formats
      • Topics, subtopics and floating topics are all imported along with the following attributes
        • Topic name
          • Font color of topic
        • Relationship links between topics
          • Color of links between topics
        • Imports GUID associated with topic
        • Images
        • Icons
        • URL’s
        • Topic notes
        • Topic attachments
        • Topic tasks
    • Freemind
      • Mind maps created in Freemind can now be imported. Attachments, images, colors, notes, and link information are retained.
    • OPML
      • OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is an XML format for outlines. The data contained in this format can be imported into PersonalBrain.
  • Import and export of XML formats via files is now available under the File > Export and File > Import menus.
    • Previously these formats could only be imported as exported via the clipboard.
  • Search
    • More powerful advanced search
      • The dialog now allows you to toggle which types of information you wish to search through. This enables searching only tags and name for example while ignoring attachments and notes.
    • The search index is verified on startup so that if it becomes out of sync you are automatically prompted to rebuild it
    • Hyperlinks that are inside of Thought notes are now searchable. For example, if a link to http://www.yahoo.com is added to a note, but this link is not part of the text (For instance like this: <a href=”http://www.yahoo.com>my link</a>, searching for “yahoo” will find this note.
    • Index “locking” errors due to shutdown irregularities are automatically detected and fixed
    • Added additional logging to troubleshoot search problems
    • Fixes:
      • Fixed: Reminders are not removed from the index when the owner Thought is forgotten.
      • Fixed: Reminders are not added to the index when the owner Thought is remembered.
      • Fixed: The index stores an empty note when the first attachment is added to a Thought without notes.
  • Keyboard accessibility
    • Keyboard mnemonics have been added for the menus under Windows and Linux.
    • Under Windows, you may have to press the Alt key to make the mnemonics visible.
  • Outlook Drag and Drop Enhancements
    • The security prompt that was displayed by Outlook when dragging and dropping an item to PersonalBrain has been eliminated.
  • Utilities and Reports
    • Search and replace attachment locations
      • File > Utilities > Replace Attachment Locations… allows search and replace of attachment locations. This is useful when all of the attachments at a given location have moved. This may happen if the server hosting them is renamed for example.
    • Broken URLs Report
      • When indexing URLs, PersonalBrain will note any URLs that are not responsive. The Thoughts that contain these URLs are can be viewed via the “Broken URL Attachments” report.
    • Report of “Private Thoughts”
    • Report of “Public Thoughts”
  • Welcome Screen
    • When PersonalBrain first starts or if no Brain is opened, a welcome screen is displayed. This screen shows:
      • Recent Brains
      • New and open Brain commands
      • Program information (edition and update status)
      • Tips and link for help
  • Copy and paste of Thoughts
    • If a set of unrelated thoughts is pasted, they will all be linked to the active Thought instead of adding them as orphan Thoughts.
  • Thought Types
    • When there are a large number of Thought types, sub-menus appear under the Set Thought Type menu so they can be seen even if there are hundreds of Thought Types.
    • Thought Types are listed alphabetically regardless of upper/lower case usage.
  • Reminders
    • The reminders window is now sized according to how many reminders are displayed and is properly centered.
    • Fixed: Sometimes the reminders window is not drawn properly on startup.
    • Fixed: Mouseover of events in the calendars does not always show the complete event information.
    • Added snooze options for 15 and 30 minutes plus 2, 3, or 4 days.
  • SiteBrain
    • Thoughts in exported SiteBrains are now ordered according to the current settings in the plex (by type, name,  or date)
    • Fixed: If the user’s name contains foreign characters they don’t show properly.
  • Localization
    • Images used in the editions explanation dialogs can be localized.
  • Improved installer
    • Updates uninstall version number properly
    • Offers option to add desktop icon
  • General Fixes
    • Fixed: The toolbar for notes does not show all of the available commands if the window is too narrow
    • Fixed: When deleting multiple attachments, the user is prompted to confirm each deletion one by one.
    • Fixed: Select attachment to open dialog can be too tall to fix onscreen.
    • If an error occurs due to running out of disk space, this is automatically detected and reported to the user.
    • Fixed: There is no user feedback during the “Crawl Brain and Modify Selection” process, which makes it seem as though the program has crashed.
    • If an error occurs due to loss of network connectivity, this is automatically detected and reported to the user.
    • Fixed: Sometimes images pasted into notes are not saved locally and are left in the temporary folder.
    • Fixed: Links to external files on a network drive that is not available slow down PersonalBrain.
    • Fixed: Pasting of Thoughts from within PersonalBrain or from a text outline sometimes causes an exception to be thrown.
    • Fixed: When opening a BrainZip, if you try to overwrite the currently open Brain, there is a message telling you that can’t be done. But, it does not give this message if the brain you are trying to overwrite is open in a separate instance of PersonalBrain.
    • Fixed: Right-click on a Thought and selection of “Open Attachment” does not allow user to select which attachment to open if there is more than one.
    • Fixed: When opening a new Brain, some thread resources are not be released.
    • Fixed: PB gives “no starting thought found” error when regional settings are Turkish.
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Thanks Harlan!!!

Will give it a try.  Didn't want to do any real work today anyway.

Any news on the upgrade fee for those of us that have been around a while?
I read that there will be no fees for people that purchased the license after the 15 of October 2008.
I purchased a Pro license the 28 of August, it will be impossible to ask to my organization to pay again for an update less than three months after the purchase of the software.
I believe in a correct business model you should allow people that bought the licence in the last six months to upgrade freely.

Great news!  Nice features.   I know this is beta, but has there been any new work on performance and resource usage?

As many items are fixes, will you apply these fixes to release 4.5 too?  For new features like tags, I understand that they are only available in the new release, but I think that fixes and some improvements of actual functionalities should also be applied to the current release (4.5x or 4.6).  Thanks.



Antonio68 wrote:
I believe in a correct business model you should allow people that bought the licence in the last six months to upgrade freely.

I tend to agree with this statement, even more so considering I had to pay out of my own pocket!

Downloading now - I'll post comments later on.
Just another comment...  I was hoping that the greatest new feature of PB5 would be the availability of PB for iPhone (in sync with desktop version).  There are millions of potential customers that would discover TheBrain if you release a version of PB for iPhone.  I think it could be one of the best move you could do and the return on investment would probably be very interesting. 

Yes, I was also hoping for iPhone integration. That would be really helpful to always carry your brain around. I usually get the best ideas out walking, and in a conversation it would be really helpful to just pick up your phone and crush the debater back to hell.

And also, the screenshots looks really interesting. Really excited of this new version.
A couple of questions before I take the plunge here...

First, does installation of the beta overwrite my v4.5?  Is there an expiration on the beta? Will it use up another of my allotted registrations? (Sorry - yes, I'm paranoid)

Also, is this beta going to convert our 4.5 brains to a new format or will the brain still be accessible by 4.5?  I've got my backups, of course, but I would like to know whether I need to do dual entry with new data to preserve its accessibility....?

BTW, the feature list looks VERY promising!!

Newguy, to answer your questions: the installation (at least when run under win) asks for a folder where it should install. You can assign a new V5-folder there. V4 and 5 run perfectly nice together (not on the same brain, of course).

V5 doesn't convert to a new format, so you can still access your Brain with V4. (But if you assigned any tags in V5 with the new tags-feature, they won't be visible in V4).

Hi, I have just downloaded and checked to see if some of my old "errors" are still there. Some are. I will post them individually once the 5.0 Beta forum is opened.

For now I'll just have to say that it looks like the guys TB have fulfilled a lot of wishes from these forums. Save-able expanded views, tags with more functionality, import/export from several formats. Thanks guys.

Now I have to go  as a mad-man.

Regards Hans Henrik Nørregaard
TB 9.1.9 (Pro Combo) Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Java 1.8.0_151
Harlan - maybe I'm being stupid, but can you give a bit longer explanation of tags.  I have a 'to do list' parent.  I right clicked it and selected the covert to tag option.

It created the tag OK.  I also selected the 'delete thought' option but it didn't.  Maybe because the thought had a jump link as well as the child links?

Now I can see the tag on the tags tab, but what do I do with it?  Do I have to run a report and find the thoughts that tab?  Is there any way to get all the tagged thoughts to appear on the plex?

Tommy wrote:
PB for iPhone (in sync with desktop version).

Now THAT would be worth paying for...
FYI, the date for free upgrades has been moved back to June 1, 2008. (Anyone who bought or upgraded to Core or Pro of Version 4.X on or after June 1, 2008 will get a free upgrade to Version 5)

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