W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > April 2002


From: Thomas B. Passin <tpassin@comcast.net>
Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002 21:46:27 -0500
To: RDF-Interest <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-id: <003901c1d9f0$9656bd90$0bf13044@tbp>
[Graham Klyne]

> This may be slightly off-topic for this thread... there is a (commercial)
> utility called "MindManager" which creates "mind map" diagrams --
> a diagrammatic tree structure, but also supporting different annotations
> and cross-links.  I often find it useful for making notes or capturing
> ideas about a topic.
> It also supports a VB(-like) scripting facility.  It has occurred to me
> that it would be most useful and probably fairly easy to be able to
> generate RDF from MindManager diagrams.

Unfortunately, you can't get the COM-object scripting in Mind Manager unless
you buy one of the more expensive versions

I really like mind maps and use them a lot, made both by hand and with Mind
Manager.  I did shell out for Mind Manager, and it is a wonderful product
(Windows-only, though).  They have a very low-cost version that can do most
of what you usually want (its name has changed from time to time, I forget
what it is now) - it used to be around $20 US.

There are two things to remember here, though.

1) Modeling methods can range from very formal to very informal.  Mind
Manager is at the very informal end of the range.  Its mind maps are
essentially hierarchies with some bells and whistles (very useful bells and
whistles).  RDF needs much more formality.

2) There are virtually no semantics except for what your mind supplies by
noticing connections, labels, and decorations.  Your mind is really good at
this, which makes the mind mapping method very effective (as well as the
program) but it doesn't help much for machine consumption.

So it's not really practical to automatically turn a pre-existing mind map
into a useful set of triples, in my view - you only have the labels of arcs
guide you as to the meaning of things.

This means that you would have to set up some conventions about the use and
naming of arcs in a mind map, and you would have to do extensive work in
scripting data entry and display facilities to handle references to resource
URIs.  And it would be hard to represent graphs as opposed to trees.

But maybe someone can get really clever and make use of Mind Manager for RDF
or Topic Map purposes.  That would be really interesting.


Tom P
Received on Monday, 1 April 2002 21:42:03 UTC

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