online colaboration

  • demwz

    demwz - 2010-03-26

    Hello altogether,

    i want to idtroduce an idea i had while traveling bored by train today.

    I'm using freemind frequently to design technical papers as well as developping projects and presentations. Also
    as a moderator in meetings and workshops. In my mind one great deal would it be to support cooperativ development
    of maps. 

    If every function that updates or ads a node would post its arguments to a socket that is connected to a xmpp (jabber) conference and one could design a driver that reads these messages from that socket and creates an event or
    directly involves the corresponding function with the same arguments maps of serveral clients would be in sync
    in realtime. Alternatively one would only need to modify the update_node() function to send the complete content of a node to jabber and a function that replaces the whole node when receiving data. this would have the same effect but would produce much more traffic.

    Locking could be done by sending an event to jabber when an node gets selected or loses selection. receiving a lock event would cause freemind to prevent selecting that node. to prevent dead locks a timer could be implemented that frequently asks for confirmation on a lock. if the initiator of the lock would have left the conference the lock would be removed after some time.

    The last big problem would be to provide initial syncronisation to a member that joined the session. therfore the master (initiator) of a session could dump the complete map to jabber.

    it is not only that maps could raise in groupwork. there are other open source applications that organize there data
    as xml nodes. one example is gantproject. an inerface could be implemented in the same way and once a node gets an attribute "task" it would be recognized by ganttprocect an displayed in realtime. the projectmanager could define dependencys and effort within ganttproject wich is much more comfortable. the data would be sent back to all members as attributes.
    Think about issue trackers wikis and so on.  acls wont be needed for now.

    There are java classes that support xmmp and the sending part would be easy i my mind. the driver that receives messages may be more complex since it has to run in an internal loop that sould not be hold by any action in freemind. i also dont know how freemind would behave when an edit function is called by the input driver  while someone modifies any other node. would that node lose focus ?

    It is a long time ago that i did my last software procect. computers run on msdos these days.:-) and i'm also in doubt if find free time to implement this. but maybe one or the other would help me improving the idea to get
    a complete concept (we could use freemind if it was multiuser enabled:-)

    however comments are welcome

  • samos29

    samos29 - 2010-03-29

    more and more users need this feature. I think that it's due to the online MindMapping solutions (Mindmeister, Comapping,…) who can propose that.
    Yesterday, I tried something with 2 PC ans 2 Dropbox accounts : it works great !! versions of .mm files synchronize automaticaly. Even if 2 users are modifying the same map at the same moment, a new version of the map is created (a Conflict version). After that, it's possible to merge the new nodes in a single file. It's more difficult when 100 users modify 50 nodes a the same time, but what is the probability of this situation ?
    Openning a Dropbox account is free until 2Gb of files. It's enough for our Freemind maps.


  • demwz

    demwz - 2010-03-29

    hi samos,

    but merging files is not the same as online colaboration in realtime. you could do this on your local system (at least on linux) by a simple diff an patch command . what i ment would be at a power of ten in benefit.

    @ daniel, yes ive seen this post but -  times have changed since 2004 :-)

  • samos29

    samos29 - 2010-04-03

    I just did it Dan ;-) !!
    I didn't know that this request could be interesting 6 years ago.

  • Carlos Lopez Molina

    I'm using FM 0.9.0 RC2 and recently found a couple of options at Tools menu:
    - Start collaboration master
    - Start collaboration slave
    The use is quite obvious. You can share online your maps through a socket  to collaborate. Any update you make in a node (it doesn't matter who do it, whether master or slave) is updated at the other participants map.

    This function isn't included in the more recent versions. Has anybody more information about this interesting feature? I was thinking about upgrading FM, but I wouldn't want to lose this feature.

    Best regards.

  • Anonymous - 2010-10-10

    I love the idea! I've been trying to get freemind to 'play nice' on my desktop:

    But really want to see something that will allow EVERYONE to be able to edit a freemind map online in real time with wiki like history. Throw a chat/VOIP/SIP on top and it would be golden! Maybe get a collection plate started? All opensource of course!

  • Anonymous - 2010-10-12

    That's fascinating! I've been looking for same for sometime… but, I think there would be plenty of instances online of FM collaboration? I'm actively looking for a wiki like FM like tool. Please post back if you have found such a thing.

  • VicGee

    VicGee - 2010-10-12

    There are quite a few of these - not exactly using FreeMind controls or appearance, but similar.  Some are subscription based but with a limited-maps, free option, and some are completely free.

    There's a list here:


  • Gorka Puente

    Gorka Puente - 2011-02-08

    there is a paper entitled "GroupMind: supporting idea generation through a collaborative mind-mapping tool" Ref  and it is based on FreeMind. However, I have not been able to find it. It would be interesting to add this functionality to FreeMind


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