CDS Tools

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Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination

CDS Tools is a single application that bundles three CDS tools: Hypertext Knowledge Workbench, IMapping, and QuiKey. These tools allow you to work on the same personal knowledge model at the same time.

Update: The Hypertext Knowledge Workbench is currently discontinued and no longer included. It might get reactivated in future versions, depending on demand. For using CDS tools we recommend IMapping, which also bundles QuiKey.


Welcome cdstools.png

System requirements

  • Java 1.5 or higher is required
  • HKW looks best in FireFox. It runs in other browsers, but much more ugly.


  • Try all cds tools with a single mouse click (click to install) via java web start
  • The browser opens the file with Java Webstart and downloads ca. 15 MB
    • Internet Explorer sometimes gives weird warnings like "missing '('" - but that is a problem in IE itself. These warning can safely be ignored, you just have to press "Next", "Ok" for 5-10 times. Seems to be Microsofts way to make sure people don't like Java ;-)
  • You have to accept the FZI security certificate
  • CDS Tools are installed and ready to use
  • A desktop icon is created - you can now launch CDS Tools again, no further download required.


  • New versions of CDS Tools are installed automatically, but...
  • Sometimes the update does not work. Check the server version string display in HKW in the blue footer bar.
  • Caveat: Sometimes the browser does not load the updated JavaScript. Force a full reload of the page.
    • In Firefox: [Shift] + a click on the reload-Icon.

Evaluation Version - Privacy Warning

  • Attention: For evaluation purposes, currently a snapshot of your current CDS knowledge model is sent to our central evaluation server at FZI every 10 minutes.
    • If you want to disable this, ask Max.

Tested under ...[edit]

Add yourself to the list...

  • Debian/Lenny + java 1.5, runs fine
  • Windows XP, Java 1.5 + 1.6, runs fine
  • Mac OSX, Java 1.5, runs fine

Introduction to CDS[edit]

Building Blocks: The Item Types[edit]

The main concepts in CDS are

  • NameItem - An item that represents a name, like a filename or name of a person or city. NameItems are used for auto-completion functions. They denote concepts. A NameItem is unique, there cannot be another NameItem (or Relation) with the same name.
  • ContentItem - A ContentItem is like the content of a file or any snippet of text. ContentItems can contain wiki syntax to give the content more structure. CDS tools allow to convert from ContentItems to NameItems and vice versa. Several ContentItems are allowed to have the same content.
  • Relation - A relation is a name for the connection between two other items. Relations have also unique names. NameItems and Relations may not have the same name.
  • Statement - A statement is a link from one item (its source) to another on (its target), typed via a Relation.

Relation Types - all CDS tools[edit]

CDS comes with a set of built-in relations that make it easier for you to organize items and other relations.

  • Relations are organised in a hierarchy.
  • Relations lower in the tree imply the more general relations.
    • E.g: If A [links to] B, then automatically A [is related to] B.

To use the relations, ask yourself questions:

Are two items related in any way?

  • No: Don't put any statement/link between them.
  • Yes: These items are at least [is related to].
    • Are the items describing more or less the same thing?
      • Yes: These items are [is similar to] each other or create a custom sub-relation of it.
      • No: Is the link between the items a directed link or not?
        • Undirected: The items are [is related to] but not more or create a custom sub-relation of it.
        • Directed: The items are at least [links to/is linked from].
          • Is the directed link somewhat hierarchical, nested, containment-like? Use [has detail/has context] or create a custom sub-relation of it.
          • Is the link somehow adding order, sequence, sorted, priority? Use [comes before/comes after] or create a custom sub-relation of it.
          • Is the link between an item and it's tag, type or annotation? Use [has annotation], [has tag] or [has type] or create a custom sub-relation of it. [has type] has the most effect: If you have an item (A, has type, T) and you also have (T, is subtype of, P), then CDS infers that (A, has type, P) as well.
          • Otherwise use [links to] or create a custom sub-relation of it.


Imagine you want to record the fact that the Great White Shark has a maximum weight of 10 tons. In CDS, this would be done as a statement

  • NameItem: "Great White Shark"
  • Relation: "has maximum weight"
  • ContentItem: "10 tons"

and a second statement

  • Relation: "has maximum weight"
  • Relation "is subtype of"
  • Relation "has detail"

Using CDS Tools[edit]

There are three tools in CDS Tools which are described here briefly.

Loading and Saving files:

  • Is done via iMapping for all three tools
  • Does not happen automatically!


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In iMapping you can browse around and lay out your items. The main metaphor is an infinite, zoomable desk.


To see items created in QuiKey and HKW, select "Show hidden items". Then you can drag them into your map.

More information:


QuiKey is a tool for rapid statement construction as well as for search. Type in anything and profit from smart auto-completion. At first, the usage might seem complicated, but then it is really fast to use.


More information:

Hypertext Knowledge Workbench (HKW)[edit]

Hypertext Knowledge Workbench

The Hypertext Knowledge Workbench (HKW) is a web-based tool. CDS Tools contains a built-in web server, so you can browse your current knowledge model by just hitting Ctrl-B.

  • In HKW, you can use all aspects of the CDS model, even annotating statements etc.


  • HKW first ask you for your name, because it was initially built as a collaborative application.
  • Just mouse-over anything ot get a tooltip

More information:

Getting Started[edit]

You start in iMapping.

Managing existing relations

  • Only possible in HKW
  • You can browse the hierarchy in HKW by clicking on a relation and following the special [is subtype of] and [has subtype] links.
  • You change the relation hierarchy by changing CDS statements

How to ...[edit]

See a ... in ...
Tool \ Item NameItem ContentItem Relation Statement
iMapping Bold item Normal item Arrow label Arrow between item
HKW Bold item, wit "N" icon Normal item, with "blank" icon Purple bold item, with "purple arrows" icon Black arrow icon
QuiKey [N] item [C] item [R] item [S] item

Create a ... in ...
Tool \ Item NameItem ContentItem Relation Statement
iMapping Click somewhere and type a short string Click somewhere and use at least one line-break (via [SHIFT]+[ENTER]) [ALT]+Drag from item to another one, enter the relation name in the pop-up [ALT]+Drag from item to another one
HKW Type a short string into the address bar in HKW, and [ENTER] -OR- click on a (+)-icon and submit with [CTRL]+[ENTER] Type a long string into the address bar in HKW, and [ENTER] -OR- click on a (+)-icon and submit with [CTRL]+[ENTER] Click a (+)-icon and change the displayed relation - you just created a new sub-relation of the existing relation Click a (+)-icon and type a new target or select from existing targets
QuiKey Just type it in. If you created a new one, but the auto-completion suggested a different one, go [UP]. Confirm with [ENTER]. QuiKey works only on NameItems, Relations and Statements tbd type, [TAB], type, [TAB], type, [RETURN]

Troubleshooting for Power-Users[edit]


Nothing happens when you click the link?

Running and Updates[edit]

If you installed this app already and have problems with the way Java Web Start handles updates, try this:

  • call "javaws -viewer"
  • delete the app from the cache
  • click the link on this page again


Enable logging console for Windows

  • Start > System Config (Systemsteuerung) > Java > Java Control Panel
  • Advanced (Erweitert) > Java COnsole > show
  • The next time you start CDS Tools you should get a second window with logging information

Known Issues[edit]

java.lang.IllegalStateException: STREAM
 at org.mortbay.jetty.Response.getWriter( 
 at org.mortbay.jetty.HttpGenerator.flush(

Explanation: HKW-server was in the middle of sending data, when you closed the browser. Never mind.


Download-count of current version