Inheritance of topic properties

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First, kudos on adding the ability to create properties for a topic and then to use those properties in formulas.  Unfortunately, the cake is only half baked - making this feature all but worthless for anything but the simplest maps.  

What is required before this is TRULY useful is some type of inheritance of properties (similar to the "topic style").   For example, if I have 50 identical topics (WBS tasks, for instance) - and then realize that I need to add a new property (.ie, "budget") to each topic, I currently need to manually edit all 50 topics.   I should be able to set up a "master" topic style including properties - adding the master to my map to create dependent topics.  If I change the "master" topic then all topics based on the master will change automatically (.ie, automatically inherit the master's properties).  

With this feature, MM goes to a new level of modeling and manipulation of nodes.  One can start work defining topics (objects)  without worrying about the details of each topics.  This fits more into the standard MM theme of brainstorm first, refine and organize later.   Think of the possibilities!?  

Come on Mindjet, please finish the cake.     

Bob

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Bob M

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Posted 5 years ago

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Alex Gooding, Champion

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I think this would be a great idea, especially as I have always felt topic properties are underutilised. The introduction of formulas is only just scratching the surface of their potential.

However a few issues would need to be thought through in implementing your proposal. For example, would the properties of all topics based on the master topic be "locked" to that topic, much as the properties of topics linked to Outlook items are? If not and you then edited the properties of a specific topic, for example removing the budget property from those topics that didn't need this field, would the link to the master topic set of properties be removed?

If so, how would you know which topics had been adjusted and which hadn't? Perhaps as with Outlook-linked properties there could be a specific icon to show that the topic properties are linked to the master topic and an explicit (probably one-way) command to unlink them which would also replace the linked icon with a standard property icon. .

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Bob M

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Hi, thanks for the feedback and I'm glad that you understand the idea.   I think the best way for this to work is to replicate object-oriented programming (oop) concepts (which are probably already being used in MM) in which the properties are inherited from the master object for each instance topic created from the master.  However additional properties can also be added to each individual instance  also (and if MM really want to be fancy, can then allow that topic to be used as a master topic for other copies ("instances"), etc.).   If the master "class" object is modified, the modifications are propagated to all instances that are based on that master object.

Your idea of providing an icon or something to provide visual reference that the topic is based on a master copy is a good one.   Of course it could be complicated if a topic is both based on another topic - but is also a master to others....  but some great mind at MM (and there are many) can surely find a good solution!
 
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Alex Gooding, Champion

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It just occurred to me that a lot of what you want to do could be handled by a MM add-in from Olympic Limited called Topic Tracker: http://www.olympic-limited.co.uk/product/topic-tracker/

According to their material, Topic Tracker lets users store individual main topics, with/without sub-topics. These can then accessed and used by the initial user and other Topic Tracker users in MM maps. You can track topic text and font attributes, hyperlinks, attachments and a whole range of other attributes - including custom properties.

The significant feature is that as "Topic Owner" you can update these attributes and determine which you want to track. You can use it a team environment but as a single user you can create libraries of topics which can be reused on multiple maps while being kept up to date from one source topic.

I've only briefly dabbled with the trial version - it looked good but was overkill for me, and I wasn't that interested in exploring its abilities to manage custom properties. However for your purposes it might be worth getting a trial version to explore.





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jon rios

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why does basic functionality always involve buying a add-in.  I think this is a great idea which should be a basic feature of MM, its not industry or application specific, having ability to customize topics based on TAGS, or labels should be standard..
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Ron

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I am having the same issue and it is a big issue. I have 116 topics that I need to add 3 properties to. I was really hoping I would find an easy solution to this instead of needing to edit 116 topics individually! I can easilly select all 116 topics but when I paste the properties it only goes to one at a time. Can this be done somehow with a macro?