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Compendium 1.3 Release Notes

System requirements: Windows 98/NT/2000/XP; MySQL v4.x (install separately); Java Runtime Environment v1.4.1_02 (included with the Compendium installer). A Pentium III with 256M RAM is recommended for reasonable performance.

Compendium’s new features:


What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

New database: MySQL replaces MS-Access

  • Better performance
  • Allows for Mac and Linux versions (coming soon)
  • Paves way for advanced features
  • Removes need to use “ODBC Control Panel”

Instructions on downloading and installing MySQL will come with the download. After you install it, you never have to think about it again (unless you want to)

Database management features

Allows you to create backup copies, start new databases, restore from backups, and send a whole database to someone else

Choose “Database Management” from the File menu

Conversion tool for your old databases

Allows you to convert your MS-Access databases to the new MySQL format.

Choose “Convert Access Database” from the File menu

Database backup

You can create backup copies of the database you’re using without having to close it

Choose “Backup” from the File menu

Automatic login

Lets you pick a database that will open automatically when you start Compendium, without need to enter username and password each time

Click the “Single User System Options” tab on the User Manager (Tools menu)

Run over a network, with multi-user access

Allows simultaneous users to connect to a Compendium database on another machine

The new Compendium Database Utility (a separate application for expert administrators) allows you to modify the default settings for MySQL should you have an existing or remote database you want to connect to

Platform and Architecture

What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

New Java version: JRE 1.4

Improves many performance aspects and allowed new features

The new JRE (Java Run-time Environment) will install the first time you install this version of Compendium.


(NOTE: All testing has been on JRE1.4.1_02, provided with the installer. Subsequent versions should work without any problem, but are untested.)

New API: database access separated from UI control

Allows developers to write their own front ends to a Compendium database. Paves way for open source release

Available through the new compendiumcore.jar file. Source code/specs available on request

Importing and Exporting

What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

Save maps as JPEG files

Lets you save maps as web-ready graphics. These can be brought into other applications or printed (any size). Allows easy sharing of maps on web or in documents

Choose “Export…Jpeg File” from the File menu

Web outline enhancements:  tabbed interface,  node anchors with “purple numbers” option, many others

HTML Outline export enhancements give you much greater control over the appearance and behaviour of your web exports. You can even include URLs for each node! Too many others to describe here; try it out and see

Choose “Export …HTML - Outline” from the File menu, then try the different options under the Node Selection, Layout, Node Detail Pages, and Node Anchors tabs

Graphical web export now includes images, reference links

HTML Views export will now display the same graphics and clickable links as your Reference nodes. When you click on the images in the export, they will display full size

Choose “Export …HTML - Views” from the File menu

More flexible XML importing to assist the sharing of changed maps

The new XML import features an option to keep imported node IDs, and overwrite data when importing with transclusions (same node in multiple views). So if a colleague has worked on a map you already have, you get the changes.

Choose “Import …Import from XML” from the File menu, then choose the options you want

Drag and Drop

What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

Drag and drop files

Makes creating Reference nodes a snap! Drag a file from anywhere and drop it on a map, and it will create a Reference node pointing back to the location of the file. Also see “Linked Files” below

Drag a file from Windows Explorer or My Computer and drop it right onto a map

Drag and drop folders

Try this one out! Dragging a folder and dropping onto a map will create a map with the folder’s name – inside the map will be Reference nodes pointing back to each file in the folder. Lets you create and populate views of many external files (such as images) extremely quickly and easily. Also see “Linked Files” below

Drag a folder from Windows Explorer or My Computer and drop it right onto a map.

You can also choose “Import… Import Image Folder into Current Map” from the File menu

Drag and drop graphics

Fill your maps with images in seconds! You can drag an image off a web page or other source and it will automatically create a Reference node with Image and Filename fields filled out for you.

Drag an image from a web page, Windows Explorer or My Computer and drop it right onto a map.

You can also choose “Import… Import Image Folder into Current Map” from the File menu

Drag and drop tables from Excel

You can create a whole table of information on a spreadsheet (or use an existing one) and drag it in to Compendium. A whole map of linked nodes will be created for you. Especially good for “template” work.

See Help

Drag and drop XML files

You can drag an XML file into Compendium and select to import as Compendium XML

Drag the file from Windows Explorer or My Computer and drop it right onto a map

Linked Files

Makes it easy to put all your Reference node images and other files – whatever the type – on one place, so you can share your Compendium data and files with your co-workers and friends

The folder

\Compendium\Linked Files


becomes the default location for these resources when sharing maps


What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

Maps can zoom in and out

See the ‘big picture’ for large maps.

F2 - zoom in stages (loops round) :F3 - zoom to fit: F4 - focus on selected node


Zoom toolbar controls

Convenient controls are found right on the toolbar. The Zoom toolbar, like the other toolbar components, can be closed or opened as desired

Click to collapse/expand a toolbar.


Right click on a toolbar’s handle to ‘float’ it, or specify which screen border you want to dock it to.

Zoomed-out maps are fully active

You can select and open nodes, edit labels, copy and paste – any action that works on the “normal” view also works on zoom at any level. Move/select nodes, and make links across large distances spanning multiple screens

As in 100% view.


What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

Flexible toolbars for rapid access to tools: Tags, Zoom, Nodes, and other common functions

Most of the common functions you’ll need are now available right on the toolbar, no more need to root around in menus. You can close and open those toolbars you most frequently use to customize your interface.

To close and open individual toolbar segments, click on the small vertical dotted “handles”. Roll your mouse over each toolbar button to see a text description of their function.

Keyboard Shortcuts and Accelerators

What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

Alt-drag to clear some space

It’s easy to “make room” on a map now – no more tediously dragging nodes and links around when you want to put more in the middle of an existing set.

Hold down the Alt key and drag a rectangle in the area you want to make room in. To close up space, use Shift-Alt- drag.

One-click selection of a node’s lineage back up to the root node, or down to all its children

Rapid selection of meaningful sbuunits in a map

Alt+click node to select all children.


Alt+shift+click to select parents back to root node

CTRL + T opens tags window and CTRL + R to do an arrange on maps

Rapid access to common operations


Labels, Details, and Images

What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

Labels are now fully editable

In the past, you could only add or delete text at the end of a node label (unless you opened the contents window). Now you can edit label text right on the map, including … EDITABLE LABELS – paste into node labels etc.


Click anywhere in a node label and you’ll see the cursor at that location. Start editing!


Normal keyboard shortcuts for cursor movement and text selection work, e.g. Cntrl+right arrow jumps a word t a time

Labels can be any length



Convert a node’s Details to a map

“Incremental formalization”: Often you want to type informal notes inside a node, but later it is more desirable to ‘foreground’ them as visible nodes in the map.

Click the convert nodes button in the detail toolbar.

‘Label To Detail’ option on node right-click menu

You want to hide a long label title inside the detail of the node, and give it a new title.

Right click on node and select from menu

Option to display an image as fullsize on rollover

Image rollover mode to enlarge images to full side when rolling over node with image. Handy when using Compendium for presentations, or when thumbnail images need to be easily viewed fullsize


Toggle the button on the main toolbar

Roll over node “indicators” to see tags, views, details, and map/list weights

See at a glance metadata on the node, and how ‘heavy’ a Map or List is

Set these to be active on the Maps menu

Paging system for node details

Details can now have individual dated “pages”. You can maintain dated records associated with particular items or concepts, and selectively export details to the web only within a specified date-range (e.g. only the latest entries to the nodes). Handy when you use detail text heavily.

Navigate pages and modify dates if desired via the Details toolbar. Web outline export options for selective detail exporting.

Search Improvements

What it is

Why it’s good

How to use

You can double click search result nodes in the list to open their details window.

Immediate access to search hits, without having to first paste them into a view


Other Changes and Enhancements

  • Log files now dates and kept in a separate directory
  • Double-click on view background brings up Contents, not Properties
  • HTML export date now shows the month in words (Al)
  • Preferences has become ‘Options’ and moved to the Tools menu.
  • Tags toolbar Icon changed to a ‘T’
  • Clicking in Node contents label does not put click to end.
  • Redesign of HTML export dialog.
  • You can now export to HTML to full map depth.
  • You can now change the length at which the details box automatically pop’s up when typing into a label. You can also switch the feature off altogether.
  • These options are found on the Format menu, on the ‘Node Label Preferences’ dialog.
  • You can double-click to add remove items from a Tag Group.
  • Mode Reference node shortcuts keep original reference information for image, and this is editable as on Reference Icon
  • I/i is now a shortcut for Idea/Answer, not Issue/Question
  • Windows menu has moved over by the Help menu and it should now always show the correct open views
  • The back and forward buttons on the toolbar have been re-written to behave like IE, and they also have the drop-down back and forward history menus
  • New Map menu for all the Map specific options
  • The "../.." browse buttons on reference node defaults to the directory/path of any currently set references/images
  • New reference nodes have the file path as the default label of no label entered
  • Search results box closes automatically when results window displayed
  • You can now resize the node contents/properties/views window
  • View right-click menu has changed. ‘Views’ opens the parent views of that view same as on nodes. ‘Contents’ option added to open view details
  • Changing the label font options is now also applied to the list labels not just node labels

Bug Fixes

  • Questmap file imports are no longer case-sensitive
  • Fixed bug with Seaching on deleted nodes
  • Fixed bug with SearchResults, insert into, when restoring deleted node
  • Fixed bug with quotation marks in search keywords
  • Fixed search bug on searching for tags
  • Fixed bug with reference nodes not updating transclusion copies when images added/changed

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