Freeform application


I’ve quite taken a liking to the freeform application available on IpadOS.

Unfortunately there is no format to which it can expose data, and the only form of sharing boards is with apples proprietary cloud server.

Does anyone know of an application available for Haiku providing similar functionality?

Or alternatively is there interest to develop a native application for this usecase? I’d be interested but I asume this is a bit big to tackle alone : )

I have to admit that I didn’t know this app, just briefly looked at the description and screenshots. I’ll check it out on my girlfriend’s iPad tomorrow.
The biggest issue that I see with such an app on current Haiku is the lack of touchscreen and pencil support, from the OS and supposedly also from the hardware it is mostly used on. I assume that these input devices contribute quite a bit to the appeal of this app. Is that true?
Of course it can be done with the mouse as drawing device.

I am using a pencil with Haiku regularily, so atleast that part isn’t correct.

The appeal for me is that it is an easy to use infinite canvas vector editing software.

Similar in wonderbrush but much more like inkscape in functionality. It is very friendly and easy to use however, and is not ment directly as a drawing software.

edit: it also runs on macos which also has mo touchscreen support

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Great, I stand corrected. :+1:

Do you thing the most important point of that software is the infinite canvas, easy of drawing, or the “sharing the drawings” part ?

Some kind of encapsulation could be done for saving the file in GoogleDrive then sharing it with others.

But if the most nice part is the drawing, then it would be an interesting task to develop one specific to Haiku

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Personally I don’t know if collaborative drawing is that neccesary, it would certainly be possible. But primarily I’d like to share such files in an accesible manner.

Not beeing forced into apples cloud service to move the file between my own devices.

So my focus for a Haiku application would be the infinite canvas and drawing part.

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The closest thing I know of is this program called Drawpile:

It has the collaborative canvas part to draw and write on and type some text, and also has a chat, but it lacks the ability to insert files or documents.
Also no infinite canvas.
Installed it time ago to try the drawing part, but it was nothing special in that regard and havn’t done anything with it.


I like drawpile, it’s great, but not suited for this usecase. It fails both in beeing a vector editor and at beeing an infinite canvas.

Wonderbrush and Wonderbrush v3 already have the required object tracking you would need in a vector editor as such, but it is aimed mostly at drawing. There is no infinite canvas either or premade objects.

That beeing said the text input UI in wonderbrush is awesome, much better than anything else I know, just changing text later on gets confusing (in the sence of selecting the object properly)


Maybe one of these could be ported?:

[Edit] I see Heimer is ported “A Qt Mind map application”

freemind java can be use too…just use .jar version and run with java -jar yourjavaapp.jar

Is mind mapping the same as what Freeform does? If not how similar is that?

Apple Freeform is a digital whiteboard, which is an infinite canvas and is often designed with collaborative editing in mind. Some digital whiteboard software do have mindmapping features, but others don’t. Many kinds of objects can be put on a digital whiteboard such as videos, images, text, graphs, etc.

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Not exactly a fan of “place text object here but type the text somewhere else”, I prefer in-place editing.
And yes, the selection of the different text objects can be challenging when you have more than just a few, either you have to find it doubleclicking on each of, dozens?, hundreds? of elements in the Object list, all called “Text” (it will be great if you can assign a name to each, besides the “Text” descriptor, the first few words of the text will be fine by default), or you have to use the Pick Objects (hand icon) tool, wich is challenging in itself because of the need to click exactly inside the shape of the lines that form a letter, you could be clicking in the hole inside an “O” and nothing happens.

By the way, what is the actual state of WonderBrush V3, is there somewhere a binary to try?
Premade objects can be as easy as putting a bunch of objects in a folder and some menu or toolbox as a convenience to access them easily.
The infinite canvas, I guess that’s more complicated, though I hope not infinitely complicated :thinking:

I always liked the concept of a universal canvas/document format that remains open and you switch to different tools (from little utilities to whole programs) depending on what part you need to work on. It was already tried with OpenDoc in the nineties, but I guess it was too much against vendor lock-in and beautiful closed gardens for Steve Jobs taste.
But I digress, althoug nice, this is not necessary and will complicate things a lot.

Yes, certainly improveable.

I was mostly refering to the guideline instead of a selection box, it makes much more sense to me and workd nicely : )

Yes, it’s really nice indeed :slightly_smiling_face:
Simple and logical, you just have to define the width, and the text itself grows a column as big as needed.

The only need for boxes is when you need to define a layout ahead of time.
That could be achieved by adding the ability to embed or link a text object to a transparent shape, so that the text flows inside it.
Adding that and the ability to link more than one shape for the text to overflow from one to another, and you have 90% of the page layouting capabilities most people will ever need.

Very interesting project. Unfortunately, haiku does not have touch screen support. But some pen tablets are supported, might be an option for this project?

Touchscreen isn’t required honestly (and it has a worse usability than a pointer input). So we do 't need much on that front really.

I guess the only question is if somebody wants to work with me on this : )


It is not very hard to compile from source. The current state is that it crashes quite a lot, including when simply trying to import existing Wonderbrush 2 files. And that’s where my testing stopped and I didn’t have time to look deeper into it and fix that problem (I had to fix a couple build errors before getting to that state)


From time to time, I am working on some sort of pen writing tool. The app allows you to take hand written notes, using geometries instead of bitmaps, and an “infinite” layout.

It works as a proof of concept, but I need to put some hours of work in order to achieve some minimal functionality: Save, Export, Undo/Redo,…


Neat, is that with a native gui?