BMPR - Export all files to BMML (not zipped)


#1

Getting back to BMML files from BMPR.


#2

How do I extract files from BMPR as BMML? We run some current scripts against the BMML (as they’re only XML) to help with our project documentation processes. (this is something I am looking at sharing with the community once it’s a bit more robust).
I have downloaded and tried B3 and I love the way that it works. However, once I import the files to the BMPR then there seems to be no direct way to get back to BMML files.
Do I have to export as the zipped BMML option and then manually extract?
What if I only want to export a couple of files, is there an easy way to do this?
Many thanks, in advance,

Matt


#3

Hey Matt, thanks for the question. We are not supporting this currently. Our goal would be to move forward more. Keeping the BMML zip export is a way to provide backwards compatibility so that you can share your project if absolutely necessary.

We would have to discuss more as a team, but I think we’d rather go down the route of making the documentation process easier. If you could share some details or additional information there, that would be great. Thanks!


#4

Hey Ben, it seems like the team there is choosing proprietary solutions over open solutions to force customers to sign up for myBalsamiq.

There are several forum questions regarding the change to this new locked in binary format and every response is basically saying the same thing: “Sorry you invested so much time into our product but it’s ours and we’ll do what we want with it and what we want is to make more money by controlling access to your content.”

I was a really big fan of Balsamiq. The tool and format were so flexible and extensible that it was the total package - easy to use GUI AND powerful workflow resource. Now it’s no different that any of the other prototyping/mockup cloud hosted tools out there.

Do you have a response to my statements here that isn’t just an excuse? I would love to see a reason that adds value to the community rather than taking it away.

Apologies for my tone but I just found out about this change and was writing an article about how awesome Mockups for working collaboratively with a team but had to scrap it as you’ve basically take away what allowed for that to happen (and no myBalsamiq is not an adequate replacement).


#5

Hello @emenoh, I think there’s been a big misunderstanding here.

First of all, BMPR is good old SQLlite. It’s a documented format and is used by many applications: https://www.sqlite.org/famous.html

You can open BMPR files with any tool that uses SQLlite. The reason we chose it is because we needed a format that would allow us to hold mockups, assets and symbol libraries, as well as other things like snapshots, comments and project history (all planned), in a single, easy-to-share file. We tried using .zip (like .jar files for instance) but the performance was terrible.

The reason we haven’t documented our database format (i.e. what we save in SQLlite, our tables etc) is that it’s still too much in flux (we’re adding features really fast now), but we plan on documenting it so that 3rd party tools can integrate with us (we love that).

SQLlite does have some drawbacks, of course. It’s a binary format (but so was zip), which makes it harder to collaborate on the files level. It’s a step back for us, especially if you work on Dropbox, but now we’re on parity with MS Office, the iWork applications and the many many applications that use a binary format to save their data.

Regarding collaboration, we have lots of plans. First of all, try opening two windows at http://webdemo.balsamiq.com/ and editing a mockup in one of them. You’ll see that RTC is already built-in the application. This also works in Mockups for Google Drive for instance. A yet-to-be-documented trick is to add a ?pid=foobar (or whatever you want) to the URL, like this: http://webdemo.balsamiq.com/?pid=peldisroom - this will allow you to share an URL with someone and collaborate with them in real time.

We plan on bringing this same level of collaboration to Mockups for Desktop one day. We haven’t worked out the business model yet (will it go through myBalsamiq? Or do you pay for a session? Or it’s built-in in the price of the desktop app? we’ll see), but that’s where we’re going. It will be a much better experience than what we allowed with v.2 and dropbox, but it will take us some time to implement.

We’re not trying to force anyone to go to any of our products, we just have a small team (which we like) so we cannot do everything at once.

Let me know if you have any questions.


#6

My frustration and that of many other customers is that you’re taking away our ability to use existing tools and workflows so that you can maybe, one day, if you feel like it, replace them with your own solution.

No, no misunderstanding. You used to be a solution for my business. Now you’re a liability and an unknown experiment. I do wish you luck in finding your way and hopefully the customers you gain from the improvements this change enables will offset the customers you are losing due to the value you’ve removed from your product.

Here is a comparison. The older version is a) human readable b) able to be read and edited directly or programmatically without a proprietary GUI application and c) able to be managed via existing free and mature tools such as GitHub or BitBucket (and a host of other tools).

New format

Old format


#7

Quick FYI, I wrote up my thoughts here https://medium.com/@emenoh/balsamiq-mockups-3-you-re-dead-to-me-baf2f68d67fc if you feel the need to respond you can there. If not, “it’s been nice knowing you and thanks for all the fish.”


#8

@emenoh I’m going to reply on your blog post instead of here, that way it’s all in one place.