New Mind Mapping App Freeplane Promises Great Features, Rapid Release Cycle

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 04, 2009

We've covered mind-mapping software at OStatic before, and here's another open source option to add to the list. Freeplane is a new mind mapping application forked from FreeMind and already sports some features that the project it's based on doesn't.

Freeplane's codebase has been completely overhauled and new features like a spell checker, graphical links, and improved filtering have been added. It also has categorized icons, structured HTML paste, better search options, and the ability to reposition the note editor.

The development team promises Freeplane will have a short release cycle and progress rapidly. In fact, the project's release policy calls for monthly unstable releases and a stable release once every three months.

Developers say rapid release cycles are only possible "if the program has good architecture and design (which FreeMind currently does not have), and if you organize your version management tool in a proper way."

To that end: "all features should be developed on the main branch which allows early integration and testing. Every three months there should be a new release branch where only bug fixes are allowed. Every bug should be fixed on the release branch, and the bug fixes should be immediately merged into the development branch too. After three month delay the release branch should make the release."

If developers continue to add the features that users have been asking for and stick to their plan for rapid release cycles, then there's good potential Freeplane will rise to the top of the mind-mapping application heap in a very short time. If you use this type of software for knowledge management, Freeplane is a definitely a project worth watching.

Flickr image courtesy of Jake Sutton