When we started the development of SciPlore MindMapping about a year ago we decided to use FreeMind as code base. That means we used FreeMind`s source code, modified it slightly, and added some new features. It was a straight forward decision: for many years, FreeMind was bascially the standard choice if you wanted a free open source mind mapping software and it was written in Java, our preferred programing language. However, time is changing and FreeMind unfortunately is not. Since a long time, the FreeMind team is releasing new versions very slowly, not to say the development of FreeMind almost pauses.

Therefore we decided to switch to Freeplane as code base in near future (around July 2011). Freeplane was founded by Dimitry Polivaev, one of the core developers of FreeMind. Under his lead  Freeplane became a really, really nice mind mapping software over the last years. We also got many emails from our users who prefer Freeplane over FreeMind and we are sure that this is a huge improvement for all SciPlore MindMapping users.

What does this mean for you as a user? Well, Freeplane is much faster and less buggy. So, hopefully, with switching to Freeplane many bugs (export problems, wired path names, …) will be fixed and due to Freeplane’s very nice development concepts, less bugs should occur in the future and new features will be implemented faster.

What do you think?

Joeran Beel

Please visit https://isg.beel.org/people/joeran-beel/ for more details about me.


Rik Vers · 4th January 2014 at 14:54

Changed mm to freeplane from freemind.
Was desperately searching to publish online with Joomla.
Now I found Wisemapping online where you can only import… freemind-maps..

YG · 19th August 2011 at 14:54

I am a long-time freeplane user and only now have decided to start with Sciplore (soon to be Docear). Starting as soon as possible, I would want to import the PDF references etc. directly into my extensive existing maps (created in Freeplane 1.1.3). Is there a way to do this, or do I need to wait 🙁 until Docear is out?

I suppose I could try workarounds, like trying to open the freeplane maps in sciplore (and its freemind base) somehow, or copy/pasting (partial) aspects of the references from sciplore to freeplane, but since smooth workflow is why I use these tools in the first place, I would rather not. . . .

    Joeran · 19th August 2011 at 16:37

    you can open your existing freeplane mind maps with SciPlore MindMapping and e.g. import PDF bookmarks. So, there should be no problem in using both tools in parallel. if you should experience any problems, please contact our support http://sourceforge.net/apps/phpbb/docear/ and we will try to help you

jpz · 11th July 2011 at 12:04

Thanks for your prompt reply!
I filled a ticket as you requested.
Where can I find an example compatible BibTeX file (or generate one)?
This way I could fix mine and make it compatible.

    Joeran · 11th July 2011 at 12:30

    if you create a BibTeX file with JabRef you get a valid file. the problem with the mdndeley file is that they use a different encoding of special chars and path seperators. but as said, it’s a matter of days until we will release a new Beta that can handle Mendeley BibTeX

      jpz · 11th July 2011 at 12:49

      ok thanks,
      I’ll do that ASAP.

jpz · 11th July 2011 at 10:44

I started using SciPlore on my new job assignment, and found it perfectly suited for managing literature and project drafting – especially the pdf bookmark import.
Unfortunately I have been so far unable to import references from a BibTeX file generated with Mendeley, so I am missing one of the most useful features.
Tried making a new BibTeX file referencing only the PDFs that were actually present on the harddisk, same result – “no new reference keys were added”.
Besides this, I would also like to change the default pdf reader (xdg-open {1}) in the preferences to a bookmark-enabled reader like jpdfbookmarks or foxit (under wine), but neither of them opens the file corresponding to the SciPlore link.
I am running SciPlore Beta 15 build 342 on Biolinux 6, a distro based on Ubuntu 10.04; Biolinux uses zsh instead of bash as default shell, but I haven’t tried SciPlore on standard ubuntu 10.04, so I can’t tell whether this is the issue.
BTW, is the current version of SciPlore still based on Freemind?
I really find Sciplore useful and can’t wait to fully integrate it in my work environment!
Congratulations for making such a useful tool.


    Joeran · 11th July 2011 at 11:10

    Hello, the bug with Mendeley is known and should be fixed in the next Beta (to be released very soon). If you like, send me the BibTeX file and I will doublecheck that it can be read by SciPlore. About your suggestion with the different PDF reader I would like to ask you to fill a ticket here: http://docear.idea.informer.com/

    And yes, SciPlore MindMapping is still based on FreeMind but the next Beta will probably the last version. Then we will switch to Freeplane (we had a meeting with the Freeplane team just this weekend and are currently working implementing SciPlore MindMapping / Docear as Plugin for Freeplane)

deXter · 30th May 2011 at 12:48

I really prefer Xmind over FreeMind or Freeplane. The look and feel of Xmind is quite close to the fully commercial and pretty expensive MindManager. There is even a commercial plug-in available that allows synchronisation with Outlook. A really handy feature when your organisation uses Outlook.

The fact that you have to pay a subscription in order to use all features of Xmind is not an argument against it. The free version has all features you could desire from a mind map program. The features you get in the pro version are just nice to have.
I actually think that the product benefits from the fact that the programmers behind it can live from their work.

As I really enjoy SciPlore I am currently using two programs in parallel, which I find a bit enoying. If you are sticking to using Freeplane I maybe tempted to write a plug-in for Xmind myself.

    Joeran · 16th June 2011 at 14:24

    Hello deXter,

    we know that XMind has some unique features and has a really nice GUI. However, we just do not have the man-power to maintain two versions of SciPlore (one for Freeplane/FreeMind and one for XMind). Therefore we had to make a decision which one (Freeplane or XMind) to support and we picked Freeplane as we think it fits better the needs of most of our users.

    Of course, if you want to write a plug-in for XMind this would greatly benefit the academic community. Or, alternatively, join our (or Freeplane’s) team and add the features you like about XMind to Freeplane/SciPlore 🙂

RA · 28th March 2011 at 11:09

I’m sure many thousands of users have the same wish as I- that Sciplor will be released quickly as a plugin for Freeplane.

Freeplane development is snail-pace slow, and Freeplane seems to be developing very quickly and has an active vibrant team.

The work the Sciplore has done looks fascinating and I will be using it very soon to help me with my PhD thesis. Thanks for creating a great open source tool!

Denis Navas · 10th March 2011 at 18:20

I use freeplane. It is more polished than freemind. I works well with previos mind maps made with freemind. I think is the right decision.

About using SciPlore as an add-in to freeplane, I think its important to preserve the purpose of integrateting diferent applications like mind map, bibliography manager, library of documents in pdf and interacion with OpenOffice.

xmind looks graphicaly better, but its free version its limited. To use its full capcities, you must pay a subscription. And its tied to a server, which in my case, its a limitation.

    Joeran · 11th March 2011 at 18:50

    hi denis, i absolutely agree that is is important to be able to integrate different applications with mind mapping and we definately will keep this in mind when developing SciPlore MindMapping.

marco · 21st February 2011 at 18:47

my only wish is that you start this 6 months ago! I am right now evaluating freemind/freeplane/sciplore and xmind… infact xmind seems to be the nicest of the lot but since sciplore has the main features i need i would go with you whatever you base it on.

Pavel · 14th February 2011 at 15:18

Please ensure that any work completed in the current version can be easily transferred to your new implementation. I think this is absolutely crucial.

    hilahg · 11th March 2011 at 15:13

    I am just getting started and second this comment. Will I be able to easily transfer to freeplane both maps and references? Are you closer to a date for switching to freeplane? thanks.

    Joeran · 11th March 2011 at 18:48

    the data format of freeplane and freemind is the same. therefore, all work you created with SciPlore MindMapping (based on FreeMind) will be fully usable with the new SciPlore MindMapping (based on Freeplane)

yudis · 4th February 2011 at 20:11

Glad to hear that.
But why not deciding to implement Sciplore as a plugin to the Freeplane?
I believe it is possible..

thanks for a great work on Sciplore


    Joeran · 5th February 2011 at 11:58

    we most likely will develop sciplore mindmapping as an add-on for freeplane

filippo dibari · 3rd February 2011 at 12:38

Thanks for looking for alternatives.

I am a big fun of your SciPlore – if ALL the features of SciPlore will be in FreePlane (that I do not know but I am downloading while I am typing this), then I am happy about it.

Once more, thanks for this.



    Joeran · 4th February 2011 at 09:49

    Yes, you can be sure that ALL features from the current SciPlore MindMapping plus many more will be included in the new version 🙂

M@rtin · 2nd February 2011 at 11:32

I think it’s a great choice. I’ve recently (after hearing about your plans) switched from FreeMind to Freeplane (which I did not know before) and it has many good improvements and a very active user and developer community.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *