Scapple for Mac (née "TheBoard"/"Vellum") - feedback wanted

ma
mary
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Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:52 am Post

Something just occurred to me - I'm running Tiger on the eMac, and Leopard on the iMac. Maybe TheBoard requires Leopard? After all, most people have that now-

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KB
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Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:10 am Post

Hi Mary, it may well require Leopard, I can't remember offhand (I'm away from my coding machine at the moment) - because this was a simple test app I didn't worry too much about the minimum OS, sorry.
All the best,
Keith

P.S. Thanks to everyone for testing it out and giving feedback - although I haven't had time to answer properly I am taking everything on board and look forward to going through all the ideas properly and spending some more time on this project.
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Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:33 pm Post

Mary, I'm running Leopard on my G4. I bet that's it.

Ke
Ken Cunningham
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Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:03 am Post

Ok, I'm a bit late to the party on this one but I'm really digging the potential of this app, so I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

First off Keith, you are brilliant. A mind mapping like writing app with out the restrictive tree structure, love it. The fact that it doesn't impose a structure is important. Its a space that shakes up you thinking process. This is a good argument to keep it separate from Scrivener actually, and the way I currently use MindNode. It helps me break whatever pattern I'm are stuck in.

I haven't played with it a lot yet and probably won't for a couple of weeks (going on holiday for the first time with my 17 month old daughter and to reduce on stuff carried, I'm going to see how I fair just taking the ipad) but I have a couple of thoughts off the top of my head.

I like Sean and Ioa's ideas on a quick way to keep typing and start a new note. Related to this, it would be nice to be able to split a note in the way cmd-k splits a document in Scrivener. I could see this being useful.

A fullscreen mode for an app like this would be a very nice way to work (maybe a moot point once Lion arrives). MindNode has this and its really nice to just have that clean space to work in.

Someone suggested ThoughtBoard, thought that worked nicely as a name.

MimeticMouton was talking about using the free form cork board for brainstorming, and it gave me the thought that being able to import one of these projects into the free form cork board could be an interesting importing solution. From there you could lock the order the way you normally would in the free form cork board. Now, how that would work with the rest of the program I have no idea... probably completely impractical to implement, but thought I'd throw it out there anyways.

Well there you go. Again Keith, great little app. Looking forward to see how it shapes up.

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4miler
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Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:12 pm Post

I'd prefer something like Keith's proposed "Board" rather than a traditional mind map that has all the arms emanating from one source, and imposes on us a style of arms structure. Keith's board seems more free-form, which is how I'd do it with pen and paper.

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:32 pm Post

No wild and crazy laughter please: any hope of this "mind mapping" software which hasn't even been written from Mac yet ever coming to a windows platform? You see, I am turning into a kind of Scrivener fanatic, and the prospect of a mind-mapper by KB is boggling my... mind. :)

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Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:35 pm Post

I am not a tech person, but a couple of comments:

1) Most of the mind-mapping software seems to have become addicted to the drug of complexity. I like the simplicity. Long, long ago, back in the Pleistocene of computers, Apple II could run a program called ThinkTank that was similar to what you have outlined. It was wonderful ... and it disappeared.
2) Could the solution to converting to a linear file be as simple as dumping each element to a separate line on a CSV file. The result would then show up in Excel (e.g.) as a line item? Probably not in the 'correct' order, but easy to manipulate.

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KB
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Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:23 pm Post

Please note that I have updated the first post in this thread with a new download. I haven't had much chance to work on all the great suggestions in this thread yet, I'm afraid, but the updated version fixes Undo and some other bugs, and supports some Lion-only features (but works on earlier systems, although not on PPC machines). I'm hoping to get some time to work on this properly soon, now that Scrivener 2 is fairly mature and requires less constant attention.

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback so far!

All the best,
Keith
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sarajiel
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Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:01 pm Post

I don't want to sound offensive, but to me it still looks and feels just like a prettier and less functional version of OpenOffice's drawing application. :roll:

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Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:36 pm Post

Vellum (TheBoard that was) doesn't work in Snow Leopard? At least when I just downloaded it, that's what the computer told me.

Ach!

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KB
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Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:23 pm Post

sarajiel - then don't use it, it's clearly not for you; that's not really helpful feedback. :roll:

Ahab - oops, sorry about that. I've updated it - it should now run on 10.5 or later.
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bgood
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Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:28 am Post

Just tried Vellum out today. I can see a lot of potential.

It's always hard to look at new software and not want a bunch of new features but I'm assuming you're aiming for a more frictionless approach, both from a user standpoint and your own time.

I'm amazed at the thinking behind the fade option. Such a good idea.

The idea of adding photos is great. I use Curio for similar functions but find myself messing interminably with all the options. Given how thoughtfully Scrivener is done I have no fear in that direction.

Rather than mention features, it's probably more helpful to tell you what I need (really what I want).

It would be a virtual drafting table where I could leave post-its, stick them on photos, have a pile of articles, draw diagrams, annotate maps. Something I can dump things and recombine them in useful ways. I love the way Curio works with pdf's in this regard.

Probably the overriding idea is simplicity, easy and quick to use. Slap ideas down in whatever form and then let them ferment for a while or in my case too long. Being able to search through drafting tables would be part of that.

Tightly controlled formatting options would be good from a constant tweaker's perspective, save me from myself.

I see a lot to like in your approach so far. I haven't seen the dragging to create links before. After all I've said I found what is out now to be very useful.

Thanks.

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KB
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Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:28 am Post

Thanks for all your thoughts, bgood - appreciated and all noted. I'm not sure about being able to sort through multiple boards other than via Spotlight, but everything else should be in scope.

bgood wrote:The idea of adding photos is great.


D'oh! You can already do this in the new build, but I forgot to add it to the list of additions - I've done so. Just drag in an image file from the Finder. It still needs a menu item for it (I think), but you can drag images files in at least, and resize them by dragging the vertical edges.

All the best,
Keith
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dr
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Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:54 pm Post

Long ago, I said this was not for me, but now I've changed my mind.
I'm using it to show relations between characters who descend through a series of books.
It looks like a genealogical chart: name, birth/death dates, with lines linking descendants.
So this leads me to ask about something little discussed so far: Export Options.
I see a slide-out panel, but nothing in it, and no +/- options to add formats.
For me, an RTF export would be useful, or else OPML, to put it in outline form.
Or something that would give me a series of folders/items for Scrivener.
Like everyone else, I do appreciate the simplicity and ease of entry and editing.
Would be nice if we could add RTF styling, especially bold, italic, and underline.
And a Page View, to help improve printing. (Print as PDF is another form of export.)
A little slide-out panel with basic instructions would be nice.
Also, I was going to buy Curio to do this: you've saved me many bucks!

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Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:55 pm Post

KB wrote:Would you use something like this?
...
It needs some way of exporting to a text format in a linear manner, but I'm not sure as yet how to take the unformed mess of ideas that is the raison d'etre of this app and turn it into anything with a structure; that needs some thought.


I would if I could... I'm a Windows user so can't, but hopefully that doesn't invalidate any suggestions from a conceptual basis.

I've attached a photo of the first draft of my NIAD chapter which shows that the way I plan out work is not that dissimilar - albeit on a whiteboard or sheet of paper instead of a computer screen.

AbzMqkHCIAARrKh.jpg
AbzMqkHCIAARrKh.jpg (22.69 KiB) Viewed 2285 times

As such I already have a mental process for how I translate this map of info into a linear structure. I'll jot something down and post it here if I get chance over the next day or so, assuming it'd still be useful, of course.
Last edited by pigfender on Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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