Freeplane vs. Freemind v0.9.0

  • Anonymous - 2011-03-14

    Just curious - with the release of v0.9.0 of Freemind, what is the status of Freeplane?

  • Dimitry Polivaev

    Freeplane is developed as an independent project. Its first stable release is available since last Summer, and the next version is under active development.

    Visit to get information about its current status.

    Kind regards,

  • Anonymous - 2011-03-14

    Perhaps I should ask the reverse.  What's the status of Freemind?  Will it ever reach v1.0.0?

  • Daniel Polansky

    Daniel Polansky - 2011-03-17

    FreeMind is being developed in a slow pace, but developed nonetheless. In 2010, we have fixed several critical and non-critical bugs that made it possible to release final FreeMind 0.9.0 in quality, even if not in time and budget. ("We" refers mostly to Christian Foltin, with one or two bug fixes suggested by me.)

    We have not dicussed criteria for what FreeMind has to do in order to deserve "1.0" label, but it seems more important to provide reliable and bug-free software that people want to use than worry too much about version numbering.

    Some enhancements of FreeMind 0.9.0 made by Christian Foltin are already in CVS, so the development really goes on.

    -Dan Polansky

  • Lane Lester

    Lane Lester - 2011-04-21

    I'm very glad to see this thread; I've been googling for a couple of hours, and this is where I finally learned about the development status of the two projects. I'm going to be using mind maps in a course I'm teaching in a couple of months, and I need to decide between the two programs. I guess the only thing FM has that FP lacks is the icon collection. I'm familiar with FM, and now I need to see if the extra goodies in FP are more helpful than they are confusing to new users.

  • Ian Higgs

    Ian Higgs - 2011-05-02

    Clearly, Freemind and Freeplane diverged fairly recently - they both claim the same file format and the GUI is mostly the same.

    Please could somebody expand on the motives for Freeplane.
    Is Freeplane "just" a different GUI?
    Will they continue to accept each other's files?
    Is Freeplane intended to explore some different principles to Freemind?

  • Ian Higgs

    Ian Higgs - 2011-05-02

    I can understand the attraction and benefits of reconstructing the software design.

    From a user perspective - what differences will we see?
    Will they continue to accept each other's files?

  • Dimitry Polivaev

    The longer the programs are developed independently the more different features they get. So even if the format compatibility for the common elements is kept the maps using the new features are displayed differently by the both programs.

    I was asked not to advertise Freeplane here. Therefore please have a look at freeplane's pages to get more concrete information about its features.

    Regards, Dimitry

  • Ian Higgs

    Ian Higgs - 2011-05-02

    Understand about not advertising here - Freeplane advertising should be via Freeplane's forum.
    However, this is really a Freemind discussion…

    The issue remains that users *do* have to make a choice.
    Do we stay with Freemind or switch to Freeplane?

    At the moment there seems to be confusion
    - both use .MM as their file suffix
    - both declare their file format as version 0.9.
    The implication from this is that they are interchangable alternative GUIs.
    If that is *not* the case, then
    - change the Freeplane file suffix to be something else
    - change the file header to not claim that it is version 0.9
    This allows the users to run both.

    As things stand only one can "own" the MM file suffix and users have to choose which.

  • Daniel Polansky

    Daniel Polansky - 2011-05-03

    Hello Ian, historically, FreeMind is the program that started using MM file suffix and introduced the file format. Freeplane is a fork of FreeMind. Thus, when Freeplane makes changes to the file format as it does, it seems to be the task of Freeplane to choose a new file extension AKA suffix such as FPM or FPMM or at least mark the format as distinctly one of Freeplane in the XML text of the mind map, such as <map version="Freeplane 1.1.0">, <map version="0.9.0" fpversion="1.1.0"> or whatever.

    Freeplane is not just a different GUI: it adds its own extensions to the file format of FreeMind 0.9.0; the file format of FreeMind 0.9.0 and the one of Freeplane 1.1.3 are not identical. There is a web page that seems to describe the changes that Freeplane made to FreeMind file format: This page describes such extensions as "<xs:attribute name='SOURCE_LABEL' type='xs:string' use='optional'/>" to " <xs:element name='arrowlink'>". On that page, Freeplane extensions to FreeMind file format seem to be set in boldface. The correctness of that page is guaranteed by Freeplane team.


  • Dimitry Polivaev

    Freeplane adds some new attributes and elements unknown to FreeMind so that FreeMind can still open Freeplane files and display them ignoring the new attributes. All elements already known to FreeMind are interpreted by Freeplane properly.

    Freeplane 1.1.3 adds rather few such elements, the new version under development adds much more. Probably you have right and it should be indicated in the mind map file, I shall think about how to do it.


  • Alejandro Bia

    Alejandro Bia - 2011-11-06

    Apparently, the file formats are not so compatible. When I open the"Tool Map: Problem Solving Tools" mindmap example from Freeplane's MM Gallery using Freemind, some of the nodes appea empty. Oops!!
    If I open the same using Freeplane, it looks right.

    Apparently, it is the lack of SIZE attributes within <font> elements:
    <node TEXT="general tools" FOLDED="true" ID="ID_1681414823">
    <font BOLD="true"/>


    This works: <font SIZE="16" BOLD="true"/>

    I think that maintaining cross-compatibility is a must.

    Anyway, they are both excellent tools !!! … Good work !!!


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