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I'm looking for a minimalistic mind-mapping tool that

  • uses a very simple, plain-text backend format (preferably markdown, but other comparably simple formats that I could convert easily to and from markdown are also ok),
  • is FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) and
  • is not cloud-based.

Bonus points given for

  • Web-technology based tools that I could install on my own server
  • LaTeX-Support
  • Supporting file links (this is an essential feature for me, but I guess it could be integrated with reasonable effort into any tool, hence only bonus points)

If it’s not a self-hosted Web app (which I’d prefer), Windows support is necessary, Linux support would be nice. I don't need Mac portability.

Some background: I want to use this as a knowledge base tool. This means that I want to maintain my documents for many years to come, which is why I need a really simple backend format. Ideally I'd like to be able to easily write the backend file by hand and then just view it in a mind-mapping tool.

I know of …

  • FreePlane, but it seems too feature-loaden for my application. Might be an option to write a good markdown to FreePlane converter, though.
  • WiseMapping, which looks really nice, but seems to use a database backend.
  • MindMup, which looks okay, but apparently does not support installing it on my own server.
2

Sorry to beat a dead horse here, but you really should look into TiddlyMap. It will do everything you want, and allows nearly infinite customizability, as it's based on TiddlyWiki. Quick searches from the TiddlyWiki home page for LaTeX, markdown, hosting, etc. will answer all the questions you have.

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If your only problem with MindMup is that you can't run it on your server, check out the desktop version. it saves to the same format and has most of the features that you can find on mindmup.com

  • Good hint, thanks! Going to check that out. – jhin Apr 19 '15 at 13:25
  • Have you used the tool yourself; can you recommend it? – jhin Apr 19 '15 at 13:35
  • I use it every day for pretty much all my mind maps, but I'm partial to it because I wrote about 40% of MindMup. – Gojko Adzic Apr 19 '15 at 21:58
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    MindMup no longer has a desktop version from what I can find online. The new MindMup 2.0 is online only and the link in the answer returns a 404. There is a uservoice request for an offline version. – Annan Dec 4 '17 at 10:52
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I would suggest taking a look at Freemind -

  • Free
  • FOSS
  • Java based so will run just about anywhere
  • Maps are stored in XML so can be manipulated by other code
  • Export to HTLM pages

Screenshot

  • 1
    As I said, I know FreePlane, which is a newer fork of FreeMind. I guess I'd prefer that. Still, at the moment, writing a good markdown2mm converter seems to be my best shot. The inverse (mm2markdown) already exists btw, see here. – jhin Apr 19 '15 at 13:28

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