MindRaider -- a free mind-mapping software program -- is one of those programs which looks like a nifty idea until you start trying to use it.
- Open source, free
- Poor documentation, slow
MindRaider is free and open source, and is actively supported and developed. Those who want to make use of it (or who are reading this review and thinking we're idiots for not "getting it") should download it and try it out.
MindRaider — a free mind-mapping software program — is one of those programs which looks like a nifty idea until you start trying to use it.
Wrapped in a poorly documented, counter-intuitive, and jargon-filled interface, the MindRaider mindmapping program is hindered by sluggish performance even on a recent, high-end system.
The idea behind MindRaider is to extend the traditional outliner to use the concepts of the "Semantic web", a multi-directional linking of ideas. In theory, you can link notes, documents, and Web links together with meta-information tags and build a model of relationships between ideas and resources which is superior to linear or top-down models.
In practice, at least as far as MindRaider is concerned, we couldn't get much done. The documentation included with MindRaider is not only sparse, it is painfully outdated, referring to version 0.56 of a program that it is currently at 7.6.
A significant amount of what is there is dedicated more to discussing the theory behind it and the standards and protocols it uses than to providing a step-by-step "How do I make use of this? Why is it better than a normal outliner?" guide. Reading the testimonials, the intended, and happy, audience is one already hip-deep in the information theory upon which MindRaider is built; if you're not, figuring out how to get the most out of this program is a struggle.
When a slider control is labeled, without explanation, "Hyperbolic" (and seems to have no visual effect), you know you're deep in "If you don't understand it, it isn't meant for you" land. Which is a pity, because our limited attempts to get it to do something useful tells us that there's more than a few good ideas here, buried under impenetrable jargon. We can very much see the use of something a lot like this, if MindRaider underwent a major interface and documentation overhaul.
Also hampering our use was MindRaider's slow response. Navigating through even a moderately large outline was extremely slow, resulting in our sometimes wondering if a control was non-responsive or disabled. The outline seems to rearrange itself almost at random; we're sure there are fixed and useful rules about how nodes place themselves on the screen, but they are not intuitive and we were constantly losing information we had just previously read or edited.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 4 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft fleshes out seismic change to Windows patching
- Where's the bottom for Microsoft's Internet Explorer?
- ICANN transition moves forward, despite last-minute attempt to block it
- PSA: Windows 10's Anniversary Update reactivates ads you've already disabled
- Analysts laud and lance new Microsoft browser armor
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCData Centre EngineerNSW
- CCAcquisition Marketing Executive - B2BNSW
- CCHead of Digital (Technology Manager - Digital Transformations)NSW
- CCQlikview DeveloperNSW
- CCSAP FunctionalistACT
- FTSenior Consultant Commercial PricingVIC
- FTIncident & Problem AnalystVIC
- CCServiceNow ConsultantNSW
- CCPMO Program CoordinatorNSW
- CCICT Project ManagerNSW
- FTData AnalystNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle/SQL) 161018/AP/812Asia
- CCTechnology TrainerNSW
- FTProject ManagerSA
- CCContract Junior Programmer (PC LAN Support) 161028/JP/203Asia
- CCSenior Siebel AnalystACT
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistVIC
- CCTechnology Training ManagerNSW
- CCDigital Solutions ManagerNSW
- CCNetwork AdministratorVIC
- CCWeb Analytics AnalystNSW
- FTIntegration SpecialistSA
- CCQA Test Lead- Digital, Mobile, UX, AGILE, CloudNSW
- FTHands-on Service Desk Team LeadNSW