Lots of great news: Beta 16 ready for release, Cooperation with Freeplane team, Docear receives funding, …

Published by Joeran Beel on

There is lots of great news.

Beta 16 is about to be released (Preview for Blog readers available now)

The last Beta was released in March, quite a while ago. We were really busy with preparing the relaunch of SciPlore MindMapping as Docear. However, we also had time to finish Beta 16 with two really nice new features and lots of improvements and bug fixes. This will be the last version of SciPlore MindMapping. The next release will be a Beta version of the all-new Docear. Before releasing Beta 16, we would like to ask you – our Blog readers – to test it. If you should find bugs during the next two days, we will fix them before releasing Beta 16 officially. All bugs discovered after that deadline will be fixed in the first Docear Beta scheduled for September.

Here is the change log:

  • New: Bookmarks and comments in PDFs are renamed when the linking node in a mind map is renamed
  • New: PDF can now be opened on the page where the bookmark is (only Acrobat)
  • Improved: Recommendations are now also based on selection in incoming window
  • Improved: Recommendations can be deactivated
  • Improved: Smart Update is default update mechanism now, instead of Thorough Update
  • Improved: Import Highlighted text is selected by default
  • Improved: Zotero and Mendeley BibTeX file support should work now more reliably, also under Linux
  • Improved: Layout of recommendations changed
  • Fixed: Under some circumstances CPU load of the software was 100% even if nothing was done Fixed: Null pointer exception when last opened mind map was closed
  • Fixed: Some users could not open PDF links out of a mind map
  • Fixed: Mind Maps were destroyed in some cases when the user was using a proxy server
  • Fixed: Exception under MacOS when monitoring folder was updated
  • Fixed: Monitoring did not work for some users

Download Beta 16 Preview here, and report problems as soon as possible in our new forum for bug reports. Also, feel free to tell us your ideas for new features we can integrate in Docear

Cooperation with Freeplane

This weekend, the entire Docear team went to Munich to meet Dimitry Polivaev and Volker Börchers from the Freeplane team. As announced earlier, it was clear that Docear and Freeplane wanted to cooperate but it wasn’t sure in which way. This weekend we met to figure out the details and I have to say that I really enjoyed the meeting. Dimitry and Volker are two amazing software developers who created a really great piece of software that is just perfect for our purposes. In addition, it was a real pleasure to meet with them and discuss our ideas for the future of Freeplane and Docear.

Working together with the Freeplane team

The outcome in short: Docear will be developed as a independent Add-On for Freeplane. That means you will be able to download the complete package (Freeplane+Docear) from our website but you can also install Freeplane updates whenever you like (until now, you had to wait for us, integrating a new version of FreeMind to our own code). Also, the Docear team will closely work together with the Freeplane team to assure that developments of Freeplane will not contradict the interests of our users. And, the Docear team will also engage in the development of basic Freeplane features such as an enhanced search function. We also will use a common repository for our code.

Originally we planned on working together on Saturday and Sunday, but the meeting went so well that we discussed all the points on our agenda on Saturday already. This meant, we had plenty of time left to visit Munich and its pubs 🙂

The Freeplane and Docear teams having a beer in “Löwenbräu”. From left to right: Dimitry (Freeplane), Stefan (Docear), Volker (Freeplane), Christoph (Docear Volunteer), Marcel (Docear), Joeran (Docear)

Docear team receives funding for one year (100,000€)

During the last years only a few hours a month could be spend on the development of SciPlore MindMapping because we had lots of other work to do. This has changed since July 1, 2011. We (that is Stefan Langer, Marcel Genzmehr, and I – Joeran Beel) got a scholarship from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology for one year, worth 100,000€ (~143,000 US$), to work full-time on the development of Docear. Our goal is, to develop Docear into an academic literature suite helping you in all aspects of literature management, i.e. literature search, literature organization and literature creation. I would like to stress, that we are extremely happy to have this scholarship as there are no strings attached. It’s not a loan we would have to pay back, and it’s not an investment from some investors expecting a huge return on investment. It’s almost like winning in a lottery because we can just focus on developing a great product during the next year and we will have enough money to pay our rent and food. After the year, we hope we will be able to continue the development of Docear in a similar way as Zotero is doing it, with research grants and funding from non-commercial organizations.

We plan to release Docear’s first public Beta and new website in September 2011. However, feel free to use already now our new forum for bug reports, general questions and submit your ideas to our idea tracker. More information will come soon :-).

Categories: Beta

12 Comments

knelis tonie · 10th November 2011 at 11:12

Congrats with the grant.

Still wondering why German government is so keen on having a German made idea/research tool.

Could it be that the German user base should be drawn away from USA based webservices for researchers who thus may already being monitored by [fill in] ?

Giorgio Martini · 13th July 2011 at 13:10

Can you provide a preview of Beta 16 for Mac OS X or should I just wait for the official release?

fil · 13th July 2011 at 11:59

Fanastic – thanks also for the way you keep us informed. You deserve the grant you got guys. Cheers. Fil 🙂

rushui999 · 13th July 2011 at 02:50

Wow, amazing!

jr · 13th July 2011 at 01:27

I’ve just tried the ‘idea informer’ but either it or me wasn’t functioning properly and I was unable to leave ideas. So, here’s my wish list:

1. free (floating) nodes – Xmind does them well. Unconnected ideas floating around.
2. copy and paste of attributes with node copy and paste, especially from map to map.
3. easier integration with reference manager and word processor
4. there are two versions of ‘Long Node’. One includes extended word processing functionality (e.g. tables), but does not allow copy and pasting. The other doesn’t have extended functionality but does allow copy and paste.
5. customisable icons – especially naming
6. annotated graphical links (arrows) – nameable arrows
7. arrow links from map to map

Finally, I’m getting old and integrating IT/software etc is not my area of work. Personally, I would have been much happier to pay for someone to guide me through the various install procedures, integration and set-up processes that are necessary to get a fully functioning document and idea management and citation system working. This would have saved me months of frustration and would have allowed me to concentrate on what I wanted to be doing instead – writing my DBA (Business Ph.D) thesis. There are lots of people like me who would really benefit from this system, but are too incompetent (age/time/lazy/dumb) to make it work. In essence, we just want the working tool and would pay to have it set up how we needed – $50 and an hour on Skype would have done it.

    Joeran · 13th July 2011 at 10:09

    hey john,

    thank you for your feedback. the “idea informer” seems to be a little bit buggy. I just created an account at uservoice. If you like submit your ideas here http://docear.uservoice.com/forums/124375-general/ and it would be great to have ideas 2,4,5,6,7 explained in more detail.

    i am very confident that Docear will be much easier to install and use than SciPlore MindMapping. However, I like your idea of some kind of premium live support and will discuss it with our team members. We probably won’t offer this kind of support because we really want to focus on the software development. But maybe we can find some experienced users who are interested in earning a little bit of extra money.

jr · 13th July 2011 at 01:01

Congratulations on the funding.

Many thanks for the excellent software; looking forward to something even better.

rock5 · 12th July 2011 at 22:20

Awesome news! I wish u all the best. Freeplane+docear/sciplore is what I always wanted.

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