I really think the editing experience of whiteboard needs to be strengthened

Hello, Fibery is a very surprising software. It can do almost anything, but some functions have always become shortcomings that limit it, such as whiteboard.
First, it does not support expanding the internal information of an entity, such as a document.This makes the whole whiteboard become a place to organize the relationship between entities, instead of going deep into the interior of individual entities.
Second, in addition to the need to expand individual entities, I want to be able to drag the blocks within the entities to the whiteboard to generate new editable cards.Similarly, I can even drag cards back into another card to make him a block of the entities.
Third, the support for views like mindmap is still not strong, and it is very troublesome to keep pulling wires to build them.

All the effects I described above can be demonstrated in heptabase.

Indeed, Whiteboard in Fibery is not top-notch. We don’t have near future plans to improve it significantly, since we are focusing on another use cases more. However, some gradual improvements here and there will come eventually. Heptabase is a cool tool and whiteboard is its major feature, Fibery is more focused on databases and docs.

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I agree with you that different software has different focus points. But I want to clarify that I am not trying to disrupt your pace or direction of development, In fact, I have great respect for your idea that everything is connections. And my idea of improving the whiteboard is just helpful to your idea.
At present, the map combs the upstream and downstream relationship between various databases, which is a top-down link, while the whiteboard is more helpful to collect our bottom-up fragmented ideas and establish the connection between bottom-up fragments. They link from different overlooking heights and angles, which both are beneficial and necessary.
Of course, respecting your original iteration plan, I just provided a different perspective. Fibery is a perfect software, and highly compatible with my methodology and workflow, so I will continue to pay for it!

Oh, please don’t get me wrong, the feedback is very useful and we do collect and link it to Whiteboard product area. I just wanted to set expectations that we will not get to it in near future.

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It is my honor to have a successful connectiobn with you.

This interaction is adorable and a delight to read. What a great community! What a great dev team!

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thanks!Your image looks handsome.

While I understand this, it also really saddens me deeply (yeah, nothing new here), @mdubakov.

To me, the ability to have entities on a whiteboard is THE killer feature that makes Fibery stand out beyond all the alternatives as they require to combine Notion, Airtable, Confluence, etc. with Whimsical or Miro and Figma.

While I LOVE how smooth Whimsical works as a tool, and they have added transclusions/deeper references in their own way, all these whiteboard tools are SHALLOW. They are digital paper. And so I can make great Whimsical document and embed them into my knowledge base tool, but it is just that, a shallow embed of a digital canvas.

In Fibery, I can place my entities. I can discuss, brainstorm, plan, architect, with the actual entities. I can build flow diagrams that contain the actual Views, Features, User Roles, API Calls, and Logging Events, not boxes. I can draw navigation maps and and funnels that contain the actual Views and Metrics between them. I can make a super-flexible Kanban board using the Whiteboard and the actual User Stories and Epics!

Well, I could do all that, if the whiteboards would be less “not top-notch”. And yes, I understand that making whiteboards work as well as they do on Whimsical is a huge task, but right now they have a lot of friction, which makes it hard for us to argue for their use and not use Whimsical/Miro.

We’ve noticed and are grateful for the improvements, but here are some of my main killers:

  1. Half-baked grid. The grid and snapping works basically, but is hidden away as a setting and when I zoom, the grid changes?!?!
  2. Buggy text fields. Pasting text does not always work. The formatting gets messed up, sometimes content disappears, etc.
  3. Half-baked text fields. The text fields allow for no rich text formatting (bullets, bold, etc.) and they don’t even allow me to resize the width of it
  4. Buggy arrows. While they have improved and now the lines can be dragged, they are still buggy and we try to avoid them as much as we can.
  5. Single style entity display. The way entities are displayed takes a lot of space. I would love to have the same card sizing options as with the Board view
  6. Slow adding of entities. I want to be able to bulk import (e.g. search and multi-select) entities so that I can make site-maps, feature maps, etc. quickly and with certainty not to forget anything.
  7. Framing and grouping. Grouping and moving things is still far from smooth as arrows are not included. Selecting multiple objects in a frame is a pain and deleting the frame behind deletes all the content…

And the two big ones, which we can live with for now, but would be good to have resolved:

  1. Commenting. I want to be able to add comments to the whiteboard (yeah, big feature), for now we make do with the post-its
  2. Versioning. Create named versions that we can link to

I think in terms of UI and how it works, Whimsical is the gold standard. Yes, they are dedicated to boards, but if you are looking for inspiration on how to solve certain things, they are a great example.

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Thank you for your feedback and ideas. Unfortunately, we have a lot of problems with our Whiteboard due to our focus on other priorities. However, we have many ideas on how to improve our whiteboard view, particularly for your cases. By the way, Figjam and Whimsical are my favorite tools :slight_smile:

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Yeah, I totally understand that the whiteboard is a can of worms.
If I could deep-link entities into Whimsical I would argue for ditching it and just integrate deeply with Whimsical.

But as that is not possible, I really really really hope that the team can find the resources to make the whiteboards as nice as all the other areas that get that much-needed TLC these days.

I cannot wait for the day where the Whiteboards work well enough for my team to use them happily as they are truly IMHO the biggest selling point of Fibery. :crossed_fingers:

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I agree with a lot of what you’re saying @njyo and I too really want to see Whiteboard improved a lot. Obsidian’s Canvas is a superb model of what I hope to see, at least at a base level. And they kind of “came out nowhere” with this remarkably smooth, low-bug implementation. Hmm, I wonder how… Anyway, I do think that for Fibery’s long term goal of “insight generation”, etc., a really good, well-integrated, smooth, and highly functional Whiteboard/Mindmap/Canvas type experience is going to be critical. In fact I would argue that aside from the new Reference functionality being worked on, it might be the single most important new/unique innovation to allow precisely this “insight generation”. However…

Unfortunately I do not think that as a feature Whiteboard is very marketable or easy to use to differentiate Fibery. I guess I am saying I think it’s extremely hard to communicate the actual potential impact of those capabilities (e.g. Entity embed and linking, not just visual but “relational” in a data sense), and ironically I think this is especially true in the business world where Fibery is trying to make an impact. I think the biggest momentum behind these kinds of ways of working is actually in PKM/personal use right now (e.g. Obsidian), and it will take a while for business to catch up.

So with this perspective in mind (that I have, others may disagree), I don’t blame Fibery for not prioritizing Whiteboard more. They have a hard enough time marketing the already superior features that they have vs. other entrenched solutions like Notion, Jira, Airtable, etc. Fibery is arguably superior to all of those (simultaneously) in various respects, and yet its market share is a tiny, tiny fraction of any one of them. So I do hope that their current work and focuses will lead to greater adoption which then allows them to push forward more with the unique vision and long-term value proposition of the full Fibery integrated system…

All that said, a short-term and potentially quite effective way of addressing many of the needs of this feature/desire would be to get this built because, as I said, Obsidian’s Canvas is already pretty great!:

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Good points @Oshyan and I’m glad I’m not the only one seeing these things that way.

That said, I do believe that a deep whiteboard is absolutely marketable when looking at the product company use-case:

Build live…

  1. Data Models where your business and data objects remain up-to date in terms of properties and connections
  2. Process Flows where your swim lane diagrams of processes remain up-to-date and allow you to combine your User Roles, Views, API Calls, External Integrations and Events.

I think, a neat little video showing how Fibery allows me to keep all live, rather than working with ones on paper should make a great demo. Maybe, if I find some time in the next weeks, I’ll put something together.

From that perspective, I eye Whimsical, as I think they found the right use-case for product companies:

  1. Process flows (see above)
  2. Data Models (see above)
  3. Object Lifecycle diagrams
  4. Flow Charts
  5. Mind Maps
  6. Digital Canvas

A lot of the other parts (text editing, notifications, commenting, automation, etc.) are becoming polished enough that they can hold their own against or beat JIRA/Confluence and Notion, who should be the biggest competitors. So Kano’s Base and Performance features would be covered.
A similar push to bring the Whiteboard up to speed would IMHO bring in the Exitement features.

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Saw an interesting demo of a whiteboard/canvas experience today. It’s ostensibly demonstrating AI functions, but the select+create new “card” function is more what I wanted to point to, among other things. Not something to necessarily implement 1:1 in Fibery, but hopefully inspiring for future work on the “Insight Creation” meta-goals.

Related ideas:

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Wow that looks awesome. Would be a really nice feature for the content hub that we’ve build :smile:

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Yeah, I honestly think that with the right capability (and the work put into it to bring it there) Whiteboard/Canvas could become one of the most powerful and critical parts of certain workflows. I remember when I was doing some consulting at a fairly large company (that developed a PKM tool :laughing:) they used Miro extensively, which had its benefits, allowed great brainstorming, important visualization of ideas and problem spaces and much more, etc. But it didn’t connect in any direct, meaningful way to the real data. So it was hard to make it actionable, laborious to keep it up to date, and ultimately a drag on translating ideas and insight into action, projects, tasks, etc. A sufficiently functional Whiteboard in Fibery should solve much of that.

I hope any future efforts around Whiteboard will be thought of much more in a dynamic, data creation+linking, idea-to-action and “sensemaking” way, and much less as yet another whiteboard/drawing/whatever feature with little actionable connection to the rest of the workspace and overall functionality. A place to do work, to break down ideas and recombine them, to even maintain connections in the rest of the workspace/databases, etc. and have it all reflect back to the rest of the system. Not just a place to sketch out ideas or visualize existing connections. That, I think, would really lead to something special.

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Wow, it’s like you looked into my brain before writing that :rofl: I fully agree and have the same vision/see the same possibilities. And if you combine it with the new reference set up, you’ll have a pretty sick solution :drooling_face:

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