Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gregory Zhukov Re: Universal Mind Mapping File Format

Greetings from Gregory Zhukov; founder and CEO of CS Odessa to all the readers of the universal mind mapping file format proposal blog at Visualmapper.


I am indeed very pleased and excited to read the enthusiasm and energy behind this idea.  I personally see this (in the long term) as the ability to interoperate between applications in a fluid manner, and also extending this capability to all desktop and web products.

For many years now, users have been asking mind mapping software developers; when will our applications be a standard among individuals and organizations? The answer is; when we provide the conditions for infusing mind mapping into the mainstream.  I believe this condition is provided in the guise of a Unified Business Graphics Format (ubgf).

For the past 5 years at my developer organization (CS Odessa); we have been studying compatibility issues that often occur between our respective mind mapping products and other graphic applications; especially within our own ConceptDraw office productivity suite.  The end result of our work has been realized with the successful integration of our own three software applications of Mindmap, Pro and Project using our "In Gyre Technology".

Looking at the wider implications of the interoperability success we have experienced with our own products; the issue of file standardization was one of those epiphanies that screamed of importance, for CS Odessa, and more importantly for the wider group of mainstream mapping developers too.  The benefit for the end user community is why I am committed to supporting a Unified Business Graphics Format within my particular software and that of my fellow developers at other notable organizations.

From an approach viewpoint I fully agree with Craig Scott that the file format should "not be over engineered"; but make it a well organized step for delivering to mind mapping users a file format which will provide major benefits, and a seamless data exchange of mind mapping data.

The ubgf format (in my opinion) must first of all be focused on servicing the needs of the customer over that of the vendor. Adopting an existing format may be a consideration, but I challenge our fellow developers to push their thinking further, and think out of the box.

It's simply not about any particular developer at all; it's all about, IMO; a collective work of immense importance for the furtherance of the products we, as developers, produce. 

Let’s agree to work together for the purpose of building a better file framework to help address customer requirements of interoperability and also assist the drive for mainstream adoption.

May I suggest the first order of business is to identify all of us (developers) who have an interest in this project to assemble in a group on Linkedin?  We can rough out our objectives regarding how we may work together on this significant groundbreaking project.

I have taken the bold step of opening a Linkedin forum titled; Mind Map Developers - Unified Business Graphics Format Group.

Best regards

Gregory Zhukov




Blaine Mathieu said...

Hello everyone,

Once again, thanks to Wallace and Gregory for bringing everyone together. As promised, I did review this concept with our Product Strategy group. At this time, Mindjet is focused on building and improving both our web-based and desktop-based APIs to enable 3rd party add-ins and integrations. We understand how important it is to support the strong developer community that Mindjet has enabled over the years and we are now even more determined to do so.

Mindjet feels it must remain laser-focused on this initiative at this time. Perhaps we will be in a better position to engage more directly with the file standard concept in Q4. For now, we will watch further developments on the standards front carefully. If any of you would like to contact me directly to discuss further, my email address is below.

Blaine Mathieu
Chief Products Officer

Wallace Tait said...

Thanks to Blaine Mathieu for being up front, honest and transparent. IMO; this initiative certainly needs the inclusion of the leader of the Visual mapping arena.

The sheer user numbers associated with MindManager makes it a no brainer to make sure Mindjet are offered a place within the developer group at the linkedin forum.

I also have to keep on reminding myself that; this is a round table approach to making a common file format a reality. At this time, it seems to go counter to the reality of the MindManager .mmap file format being the most deployed and exchanged mind map format to date.

If this is to change, it will only happen with the help of Mindjet; I understand Mindjet have other priorities regarding their product range at this time, but I encourage the decision makers at Mindjet to be in at the genesis of this initiative.