node cloning/mirroring...

tom wilde
  • tom wilde

    tom wilde - 2004-04-02

    hi there... gr8 sofwtare - I use it all the time :-)
    Got a funcionality question. I'd like to be able to have a node being present in more than one location in the graph. So if I edit one copy the other one updates automatically - a similar process to symbolic links in *nix.

    Is this possible?

    • Remco Boerma

      Remco Boerma - 2004-04-06

      Hmm. nice feature, but would you like children of the origninal node to be mirror as well, or only content?

      • Richard Ries

        Richard Ries - 2004-04-06

        >> would you like children of the original node to be mirrored as well, or only content?

        My view of a clone is that it includes descendants (sp?) as well. The idea that a node describes should also have the subsequent / subsidiary ideas as well. Otherwise (IMO) a copy of the node would be as effective.


    • Mark Ng

      Mark Ng - 2004-04-06

      Why don't you use a link? Ctrl Shift click first node, drag to 2nd node.  That way you can do cross-ref nodes without increasing the size of the map.

      • Richard Ries

        Richard Ries - 2004-04-06

        I think links add visual clutter, without enough information. They tell me _something_ is linked, but not what. I know, I can right-click on the link to see where the other end is, but that's too much work(!).

        The other thing I don't like about links is that the line goes where _it_ wants: I cannot change it to avoid going through other nodes. Also, I tried linking two adjacent nodes, and got this grand loop, where a short curved line would have served better. A map filled with these links would start to look like a web made by a drugged spider. 8)

        Also, clones would allow you to follow the idea without having to keep track of where you came from:

        Great Idea1 --- Sub-idea1.1 -- sub-sub-idea 1.1.1...
        Great Idea2 --- Sub-idea2.2 -- Sub-idea1.1...

        I'm trying to show two branches, not necessarily physically near each other on a map, but where the thinker notices a correlation between Sub-idea2.2 and Sub-idea1.1 and wants to show it. Using links has the drawback of needing to remember whether you came into Sub-idea1.1 from Sub-idea2.2 or Great Idea1. Minor? Yes, but if you have sunken deep into the thought process, coming back up to "where was I?" chokes the flow.


    • John Dubery

      John Dubery - 2004-04-13

      Hi all,

      I also like and use FreeMind quite a lot.

      I would very much appreciate cloning as discussed - like, the ability to have the same nodes appear in 2 (or more) places.

      For example, when managing software development, does an enhancement to a colour selection facility get stored under enhancements, or colour selection, or work to do in May? I would suggest it should be cloned into all 3 places (with a means of stepping between the 3 clones). After all, the whole idea of a mind map is to help me organise thoughts - not to restrict how I organise thoughts.

      If you want an example of software with a clone facility (and of its usefulness) have a play with Leo (see\).

      • Seth Johnson

        Seth Johnson - 2006-05-22

        There's a guy doing a version of Leo called JyLeo that uses FreeMind for a front end (using Jython to hook up Java with Leo, which is coded in Python).  That gives you mindmapping with clones.  You can find JyLeo in the list of files for Leo on SourceForge.  Unfortunately, his latest version broke the FreeMind interface.  He says he will provide a patch to fix that soon.

        If a lot of folks showed interest, that would likely encourage him to maintain it and iron out the kinks.  And it could very well feed into creating an incentive for the Leo project to try to do it directly in Python.


    • Fargo425

      Fargo425 - 2004-05-15

      I just want to chip in and say I'd really appreciate a cloning feature as well... and a segusoland sort of filtering functionality would rock as well. But I'd be more than happy if cloning could be implemented! :)

    • Andrew

      Andrew - 2004-06-21

      I would also appreciate this feature as it would greatly help in linking a document, for example, to multiple nodes without using the arrow links with the visual and usage issues others have already mentioned about them.

    • WojtekCz

      WojtekCz - 2006-05-22

      I've found mind mapping software with node cloning

      • Seth Johnson

        Seth Johnson - 2006-05-22

        That's pretty cool, but unfortunately I don't find it the most appropriate interface for brainstorming.  It's an interface that really emphasize the hierarchy, and doesn't really have the radial arrangement of main branches around a center, which deemphasizes linearity while you put your thoughts down -- deferring structuring til later.


    • Seth Johnson

      Seth Johnson - 2006-07-29

      Folks who'd like to see FreeMind work with a cloning backend might want to put in a word on this message on the Leo forums:


    • Seth Johnson

      Seth Johnson - 2006-07-29

      That's the most recent message from a user hoping for mindmapping.  The following is the last message in which the JyLeo developer -- leouser -- spoke of fixing the mindmap plugin in JyLeo:


      That might also be a good place to put in a comment like "Any luck getting this to work?" or something along those lines.

      Here's the Leo files page, where you'll find the latest JyLeo:


      There are earlier JyLeo versions available there, including one for which the FreeMind interface works, if you set all the startup paths right.

      Here's a thread with those instructions:


  • Big Ron

    Big Ron - 2010-10-10

    I registered just so that I could comment on this topic.  This is the only feature that I need.  Everything else about FreeMind is perfect.  Without this cloning/mirroring feature, I am limited to using local links so that all copies point to the original which has all of the details.  I would like to point out that cloning/mirroring does not have to increase the size of the mind map.  It can be done with pointers.  All of the clones would point to one place behind the scenes which stores all of the details one time in memory.  I wonder why it has been 4 years since this topic has been discussed here?  Has there been a solution constructed since then that I have yet to discover on the forums?

  • DaveE

    DaveE - 2010-10-20

    I've been thinking about nodes appearing in more than one place too.
    I've started some tinkering on trying to implement it too. but I have not had a lot of time as of late to pursue it
    I got it sort* of working, but not well enough to be useful.


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