The last version of Docear was released three month ago and you might wonder what we were doing. Well, I can tell you we were really busy. Besides working on some research papers for conferences in Indianapolis and on Malta (read here and here), we finally implemented two major milestones for Docear. These two milestones actually were the last ones we had on our road-map for releasing the final 1.0 version of Docear. And here it is, Docear 1.0 (RC 1) with:
1. A new setup dialog
We have completely redesigned the dialog that appears when Docear is first started. We believe it to be much more user friendly and intuitive. We also listened to those users who criticized that our terms of service had to be accepted even when no online services were activated. Now you have the choice. You can either use Docear as a registered user and enjoy the full potential including PDF metadata retrieval, online backup, online mind map viewer, and recommendations. Or you can use Docear as a local user with no data at all being submitted to Docear and no requirement for accepting any terms of service (just use Docear as you would use any other GPL desktop software).
2. A new workspace concept
Several users were not particularly happy with what we called the “workspace” in Docear (the panel to the very left showing your mind maps and files). The new workspace concept of Docear is hopefully more intuitive. In the new workspace you can create several projects (see image to the left). All projects are completely independent from each other and each project has its own literature repository, incoming mind map, references, etc. That also means, when import your workspace from the ‘old’ Docear, the old workspace will be imported as a new project. The new concept has several advantages. First of all, it allows you managing multiple independent projects at the same time. Second, it is the prerequisite for a new feature we will be introducing soon. Soon you will be able to sync all your projects with our server, other computers and work collaboratively on your data with colleagues. That includes a Dropbox-like client syncing your data between different computers and a web-interface allowing to work on mind maps collaboratively in real-time. We made also further small improvements to the workspace. For instance, you can have multiple literature repositories at the same time for one project. We also added a “My Files” folder that shows all folders and files in the root path of your project home directory. Finally, there is a global “download” folder. Whenever you receive recommendations and save them, they will be directly stored in the download folder.
We removed the old-fashioned menu from Docear and replaced it with ribbons. We know, many users hate ribbons but we believe that in particular for beginners, but also for all others, they will make the work with Docear much more pleasant. With ribbons you have the most important functions (creating new nodes, folding, …) directly at your fingertips. And for the keyboard enthusiasts there is good news, too. You can completely hide the ribbons and have even more space than before.
Please note that the current ribbons are only a draft. We are currently thinking about which ribbons should appear in the home ribbon and which ribbons in general we want to have. We also have not added icons for all entries in the ribbons. This will follow in the next version. Feel free to post your comments and ideas, we are keen to hearing them!
Please be aware that the current version is not fully tested and must be considered an experimental version. Feel free to try it, tell us what you think about it, but please make a backup of your data before you try Docear 1.0 RC1. As for the next couple of days we also won’t offer the RC1 as official download on the main page but only here in the Blog. But be assured that it will not take another three month before the next version of Docear will be released. We are working with full power on the RC2 containing further bug fixes and minor improvements and then probably the very final Docear 1.0 will be released including detailed tutorials and a manual that is worth the name ‘manual’ :-). Please note that you cannot use the new and old Docear in parallel because links in the mind maps are set differently.
Windows (Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and all other versions supporting Java 1.6)
Installer (Recommended), 53 MB
ZIP, 53 MB
Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, SuSE, Red Hat and all other distributions supporting Java 1.6)
TAR.GZ, 53 MB
Mac OS (Mac OS Leopard 10.5, Snow Leopard 10.6, Lion 10.7 and all other versions supporting Java 1.6)
DMG (Recommended), 53 MB
ZIP, 53 MB
ZIP, 53 MB