Please note: In August 2015, offline mode for MindMeister was discontinued. However, offline mode is still available to users of the MindMeister mobile app. To find out more, please visit mindmeister.com/apps
Offline and non-connected MindMeisters rejoice, offline mode has returned! Our new and improved offline mode uses HTML5 standard functionality and no longer relies on Google Gears to keep your mind mapping going whether you’re connected or not. As it’s based on HTML5, our offline mode is currently available in Google Chrome and Apple Safari only. Firefox 4 is slated to include IndexedDB, and once released, will be compatible with our offline mode.
Our offline mode allows you to work just as if you were connected to MindMeister via the Internet, but comes with a few small restrictions. Any images that you’ve added to the online mode will not be available in offline mode. We plan on building this feature out at a later date. Likewise, it is not possible to add images while in offline mode. With that said, it is, however, possible to add attachments to nodes, up to 5MB, while in offline mode. These attachments will then be uploaded and appear in your online version once connectivity has been restored.
For the technically minded out there, we’re currently using WebSQL to support offline mode but will moving to an IndexedDB system in the near future. This move to an HTML5 based offline mechanism ensures that this feature will not need a significant revamp for the foreseeable future, and conforms to today’s web standards.
Conflicts, and how to avoid them
One of the most common support requests we see with our offline mode that users run into is conflicting map data. While it’s not something that’s going to happen every day, if you’re using multiple machines while working on your mind maps, you might run into conflicting data on a map. This happens when a map is taken offline, changes are then made to an Online version, and upon reconnecting the offline machine, or in this case map, to the MindMeister system, you now have two different sets of data. Likewise, if a map is taken offline from two different machines, the one that reconnects first will become the new Online version. Once the second machine is reconnected, you now have a conflict.
Currently, we have two solutions to this conflict: Either create a new map from the conflicting one (in this case, the offline map) or ignore changes. In order to ensure that no data is lost, we force a new map to be created, which, if you’d like to compare and contrast different versions of the map, can be quite handy. Conversely, if you’re 100% sure that your offline mode version of the map is not what you want to keep as your main source of data, you can choose to ignore any changes to the map.
We apologize for having to temporarily remove the offline mode functionality, and realize that a great number of you depend on this service. As stated above, we’re quite happy with this new solution, and barring any unforeseeable events, expect the HTML5 based version of our offline mode feature to remain rock solid for years to come.