Quick tips are random posts regarding something I discovered on my way to something bigger. They usually get longer than “quick” would imply, for which I refuse to apologize.
I have this crazy idea for an interactive blog post using an embedded MindMeister mind map. It basically allows me to explore a topic infinitely and in more detail than I would normally consider readable. It also allows me to organize in ways that I can’t in regular prose. The end result would be a post where I could expound on each topic as much (or as little) as I wanted, and you could drill down to topics you were interested in. You’d see my train of thought and the connections I was making. I have a couple of these started, and I think they’ll go over well once I get one finished and posted. There’s a downside, though…
Indexing takes a big hit. My own local search and external search engines will have nothing to work off of. This is bad news when you’re investing as much time as I have been in putting the posts together. I kludged together a solution this morning; it has applications beyond this project so I thought I’d share.
Basically, I wanted to take my mind map and turn it into Markdown/HTML for inclusion after the map. I needed to include all of my notes and keep things nested like the original map. The process I came up with loses hyperlinks, but maintains the text nicely.
The script below is a quick hack designed to work with Mindjet MindManager text output with “Format as outline” checked. I exported my current map from MindMeister in .mmap format and imported it in MindManager, then exported to the formatted text. The output looks like this:
The final output looks like:
## Coding * iTerm2 * TextMate Looking forward to TextMate 2, or barring that, Sublime Text 2 * Custom bundles * MacVim * Xcode * Changes * Kaleidoscope * Tower/GitHub I do most of my git from the command line, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I'd just rather use a GUI for complex operations. The GitHub app makes reverting and rebasing seem so effortless...
Sub-lists are indented to become nested lists, and notes are indented such that they become a paragraph (or series of paragraphs) within the preceding list item. Works like a charm, though I’m sure the script doesn’t account for a lot of possible situations. If you’re looking for a quick way to get clean HTML out of your mind maps, this is one path you can try.
Why not OPML? Because I couldn’t get any mind mapping apps to include my notes in the export. I needed those. In my final MindMeister map, hovering over a node will pop up its note in a floating window, which is really handy for explaining things while keeping the map smaller. If you know a way to get any of the major mind mapping apps to handle notes in OPML, I’m curious.