New: Read Mode for my Tool

For my last post about word roots, I had to significantly enhance my tool: A read mode format is now available that can be viewed without using my tool.

The output file can be shown off to other people. This was not my original intention for the tool because, as a think tool, it just needs to support the process of compacting and converging my notes and thoughts, not to produce a communicable result. “The journey is the reward.”


But several reasons caused me to create a by-product of the process. For one, I have gradually recognized where the place of my tool is in my workflow: It is near the end of a long process of collecting, importing, condensing, rearranging and connecting “the dots”. This also means that I rarely edit a map once it is finished.

Then, I just enjoy the extremely condensed overview that still has immediate and nondisruptive access to the details’ richness. (“At your fingertips”. Immediate: unlike web pages that need loading which causes the brain to switch into a wait mode, and undisruptive: unlike pop-up windows that destroy the visual overview.)

I often wanted to share this great experience and show off the condensed overview. Furthermore, it is worth sharing how this sort of visual navigation can work: Everybody today talks about connections, but web links are almost always arranged in a dull linear fashion.

Technical details:

The mundane problem was that the potential users are first hassled by the operating system that is trying to proscribe Java and scares them by security warnings, even though my program does not require an installation. (Without installation, however, there is no filetype association for doubleclicking, and hence it is cumbersome to open a saved map, unless you create a tiny script whose icon can be used to drop a map on. But this, in turn, does no longer work on the Mac since some recent new patronization.)

Once you are addicted to my tool, however, and edit your own maps, you will put up with the hassle of the full Java version. The reason why I don’t switch fully to the HTML5 canvas is that it does not reasonably support the moving of individual nodes on the map. All my attempts felt like stirring in a dough. Most developers seem to accept this and even show in their demo videos how a dragged object follows the mouse-pointer only very reluctantly.

BTW. I still hope that the functionality of my tool will soon be included in some larger widespread application, therefore I still have not tried to give it a name and pimp its download page.

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