There are few people communicating in this forum

There are fewer people communicating in this forum, is it because there are fewer people using DMX, or there are fewer problems in the process of using DMX?
I have been using DMX for a while, and I feel that it has many advantages and disadvantages, and I encounter some confusion:

  1. I think DMX is a very good software. Why is it not widely used? And why does theBrain look less like DMX software, which is widely spread?
  2. Is DMX only suitable for personal small projects and commercial applications?
  3. After a topic map become very large, it is difficult to display them completely. It takes a long time to render and open them.If you hide some content during the construction, the newly built content will cover the previously built content, and the next time you open them all, the overlap will occur, the previous layout will be messy and can’t maintain a stable state. If a lot of content related to a topic, check "related”button, related content list will be long and long in the details panel;
  4. In the process of creating a topic map, if one topic is very far away from another topic, it will be very laborious and inconvenient to associate one topic with another. Is there any good way?
  5. The current version can’t upload the attachment. I feel that there is a big discount on the function. I don’t know what the official plan is to solve the problem of uploading attachments?
  6. Is DMX only suitable for small applications, not for creating large topic map? How to use DMX correctly?I hope that friends who have used it will introduce more experience and discuss progress together.
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Dear Liangbing Zhu (@zhlbb),

Thank you very much for writing this forum post. When I started reading this forum, mainly you and Jörg (@jri ) were active. Since I have been writing posts as well, I’d say more people are active now. And I prefer quality over quantity.

Regarding your first question, I noticed that I personally don’t feel it is very relevant to me at the moment whether DMX is widely used or not. First of all it is important to me that I have found the best tool for my daily work that I know of in the field of knowledge management: DMX.

I am not in the position to compare DMX with TheBrain. But I would rather see it as an advantage on the side of DMX not to be directly comparable with other software. I see the situation-centered UI paradigm as a unique selling point of DMX. In this respect DMX is incomparable.

Regarding your second question, due to the outstanding software architecture, I don’t see any limitations regarding the application, but I think DMX scales well from personal, small projects up to big commercial applications on corporate and global level.

Regarding your third question, I have not yet had any problems with too large topicmaps. On the contrary, I find the deliberate limitation to the situation-centered UI to be an advantage. In my topicmaps I only see what is important in the current situation. I don’t need to visualize the entire topic memory to be able to work with it.

I’m not sure if I understand you correctly, but I have the impression that you expect an automatic layout of extensive topimaps. In contrast to that, I think it’s an advantage that there is no such automatic layout, but that I take care of the arrangement of the topics myself, so that I can find my way around the topic maps the next day, because they still look exactly as I left them, without the interference of any confusing automatism. I’m the one, who maintains that stable state.

I don’t see the problem with the ever-lengthening row (chain) of topics, because I arrange the topics myself and don’t work with the automatically generated chain.

Regarding your fourth question: the distance between two topics is changeable. I don’t have to live with the “very far away from another topic” situation, which you desribed, but can place the topics so that I can just connect them.

Regarding your fifth question, I don’t find it a flaw that you can’t upload attachments, but I do know that customers often feel the need to implement such requirements. I find it a strength of DMX trying to get away from file-based approaches. This does not mean that at the end of the day, you should not be able to produce documents from DMX. But I do not see any advantage in connecting unstructured containers (attachments) with each other.

I hope you find my post somehow useful and continue our conversation here in the forum. Thank you very much for your time and effort to improve the DMX experience.

Best regards,

Dear Liangbing,

Thank you very much for your important questions and comments. In addition to @RalfBarkow I want to add a few more points to the discussion:

  1. Regarding the number of people using DMX and the forum I cannot exactly tell you why there are still so few people engaged. But I am happy to see that with @RalfBarkow there is at least a second person. :slight_smile: As DMX is still in the BETA stage, more people should join when we will continuously foster our marketing activities within the next months. Also you and other people can of course help us spread the word about DMX and invite more people to use it and join the forum.

    As @RalfBarkow already stated the interface of the DMX webclient is different from TheBrain, as it is our belief that all arrangements on the topicmap should be intentionally made by the user in opposite to automated by the machine. @jri already gave a more in detail reply regarding this topic in . Nevertheless the DMX plugin architecture allows you to develop a different type of visualization that might fit better to your own expectations and needs.

  2. DMX is fully suitable for large scale organizations. Depending on the scenario however it might be necessary to make certain adjustments and more usecase specific optimizations.

  3. Also in reference to point 1. a topicmap should not be used to show everything. To our understanding very large topicmaps become mostly useless, as no one will be able to decode all that information with reasonable effort. Instead of creating very large maps we recommend to split the information into several more specific topicmaps with a certain focus, or as we say: situation based, which means reflecting a certain work situation, detail or question. This is also more adequate to our cognitive abilities meaning the limits of our human brains.

    Note that in DMX topics and associations exist independent from topicmaps. The same topic/association can be visible in several topicmaps at the same time. In DMX a topicmap acts as a representation of a specific (individual or workgroup) work situation. And, in contrast to e.g. TheBrain, in DMX you can keep (and share) several topicmaps – one for each work situation.

  4. The issue is raised in In addition to what @RalfBarkow already suggested, another work around might be to zoom out a little.

  5. In DMX 5.0-beta-2 released @jri already gave a reply to this issue. At the moment our focus is on publishing a stable release within the next couple of months and we need to prioritize. File upload is not part of the release plan for now. We might work on it after the stable release or earlier, if it becomes an urgent requirement within a client project.

  6. Please see points 2. and 3.

I hope this is of any help!

Dear RalfBarkow and jpn:

Thank you for your patience and detailed answers. I have a further understanding of DMX’s design ideas and use methods,especially the method of decomposing a large topic map into several small ones, which gives me a good working idea.

Best regards,


For DMX there is no marketing effort so far. I guess that’s why it is an under-the-radar project at the moment. Marketing effort will possibly increase as soon as DMX 5.0 final is released. (See “Roadmap” below.)

There was a time when e.g. TheBrain was an under-the-radar project as well. At that time it was useful and usable already.

Ready for Production

DMX can be utilized in every field: personal, workgroups, small/medium/large enterprises/organizations.

We have various customers who use DM4/DMX for several years in production.

DMX is ready for production since Beta-4. Since that version we provide data guarantee, that is user data is guaranteed to be transferred to later DMX releases automatically.

UI Paradigm

DMX follows another UI paradigm, thus in DMX things are designed different and work different than e.g. TheBrain. I’ve written about that in thread “I have some Suggestions”.

Large Topicmaps

One essential feature of DMX is the separation of database content (= “knowledge base”) and topicmaps.

The database contains the entire knowledge: a semantic network of topics and associations. It can consist of millions of topics and associations. The knowledge base will never appear on screen in its entirety. Such a visualization would be of no value for the user.

A topicmap displays a portion of the knowledge base. Namely that portion that is relevant to the user in a particular work situation. What is relevant/visualized is decided by the user. The machine can’t know.

Topicmaps are highly dynamic. Things no longer relevant are hidden by the user. So a topicmap will not grow monotonously. Hidden things still exist in the database.

Illustration of DMX topicmaps each with a set of data revealed from the same underlying database.
Illustration taken from DMX user guide.

Think of a topicmap not as book content, but as a particular situation in the process of researching and writing a book.

Assume you’re in the process of writing a book. This will include researching other books. Lets say you have 1000 books on your shelf. On your desk you’ll have only 3 or 10 or 20, not the entire 1000. What books are on your desk will vary over time. You will take new ones out of the shelf, and will put back others. You will never have the entire 1000 on your desk. Think of a topicmap not as a book, but as your desk.

In DMX you have several workspaces. Think of workspaces as separate rooms for e.g. different (book) projects. Each workspace contains several desks (= topicmaps), each one for working e.g. on a particular section/topic of your book. As DMX is a digital medium the same (source) book can be located on several desks at the same time! And you can go to another desk instantly. And you’ll find that desk in the condition it was in when you left. Furthermore you can create new desks instantly (e.g. when another one got too cluttered). These are the features why we regard DMX the superior work environment for knowledge workers.


The database can contain many millions of topics and associations. This is not a problem.

A topicmap can contain several hundreds or even thousand topics. Rendering performance is increased by a factor of 10 since Beta-4 release.


DM4 allows the user to represent files as topics. File topics can be associated with any other topic. Several users can work with a shared file repository. Files can be uploaded and downloaded. Some file types are rendered directly in the DM4 Webclient’s detail panel, e.g. PDF.

DM5 (= “DMX”) does not have these features yet, and they will not be realized in the final DMX 5.0 version. But they will be realized later on. At the moment there is no planning for that.

DMX development priorities might change when you offer DMX a development contract.


2020 Q1: Beta-7 release. Focus is on API consolidation for DMX plugin developers.
2020 Q2: DMX 5.0 final release. Focus is on writing the developer guide for DMX plugin developers. Compared to current Beta-6 the final 5.0 will not contain new major features.

Dear jri:

Thank you for your detailed answer. Although I have read the user manual before, I may not really understand the advantages of DMX software architecture. After your introduction, I have broken down a large topic map into several small ones according to your method these days. This method is really good and solves my problems. I will keep an eye on the development of DMX and introduce it to people around me.
Thank you again for your answers!