We had a couple of slightly glitchy releases of OpenLabyrinth in the last wee while. I am pleased to tell you that v3.3.1, just released on Github at https://github.com/olab/Open-Labyrinth is good and stable.
If you want maximum stability but don’t care about the latest features, v3.11, released a while ago is probably the most stable.
Thanks to all of you who continue to give us feedback and help us with testing new features and bug fixes.
Over the past month, we have been migrating our two University of Calgary OpenLabyrinth servers from elderly Dell rack servers to brand new virtual servers on the UofC server farm.
http://demo.openlabyrinth.ca is our test and demonstration server and is used by many around the world as a test bed, prior to setting up their own server. It always has the latest version of the software on it.
http://vp.openlabyrinth.ca is our own UofC production server. It runs a more stable maintenance environment.
I’m pleased to say that the transition to the virtual server farm went well with minimal glitches. However, today, there seems to be a wee glitch on the vm server farm at UofC so the demo server (and a couple of other unrelated servers) are down for the moment. They should be up again in a few hours.
We have a number of OLab servers hosted by the University of Calgary. UofC are making some major network changes over the holidays so these servers may be down briefly during these two days.
We hope that this does not throw off any major projects for anyone. The servers involved are
We have improved our integration of our linked wiki system, based on TiddlyWiki. Now it is even easier to create your own integrated help system for your case.
Check out this example case here: http://demo.openlabyrinth.ca/renderLabyrinth/index/541
Authors can now easily create their own help system for a case, or they can grab a copy of the help file from this case and integrate it into their own cases.
Users can now annotate these help files, making their own notes about the case and download these to their own machines. (And these personal annotations remain private – the original file on the server remains intact.)
Some of the sharp eyed amongst you may have noticed that we have changed the slugline for this web site. OpenLabyrinth has grown significantly more powerful over the past year and can now do much more than just virtual patients.
It has morphed into a research platform with quite broad scope. Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting some of these new features and incorporating better guidance on how to use them into our support materials and User Guide.
Development will continue apace over the next 4-5 months so if there are features that you would like improved, clarified or strengthened, now is the time to tell us. In particular, we will be exploring how to improve the reporting and analytics structures. If there are any groups out there who are keen to investigate this with us, please get in touch.
Alarming news going out on the web over the past 24 hrs about a web server vulnerability via the bash shell. (This will make sense to Linux geeks – to the rest of us, it just sounds worrying).
Good news for the OpenLabyrinth servers that we run (our demo, production servers) is that we have patched the operating system to close this security hole. We encourage other server admins who look after OpenLabyrinth servers to do the same – the patch is quite easy to install.
Just as a heads-up, some of our OpenLabyrinth servers will go down briefly over the next 24 hrs, when they are rebooted for optimum security. Let us know if you run into problems via info AT openlabyrinth DOT ca
Aaah, it’s always the last thing to get done. At last, we have managed to make a significant update to the OpenLabyrinth User Guide, for the version 3.2 release.
You will find it at the same place on this site as before: http://openlabyrinth.ca/help/
For a while, we tried to use Atlassian Confluence as a means to provide a collaborative editing and linkable platform but this did not work out too well. So we have gone back to using Microsoft Word and then converting to a linked, indexed, searchable PDF file.
Also along these lines, OpenLabyrinth v3.2 now does a better job of incorporating the master User Guide off the Help menu, and it is now much easier for sysadmins to keep the guide version current.
We just kicked out a new minor version release. For those of you who are running your own OpenLabyrinth servers, you can download this new version from https://github.com/olab/Open-Labyrinth/releases/tag/v3.2
For most of us who don’t have to deal with that level of geekiness, you can simply check out the new features at http://demo.openlabyrinth.ca/ - you may need a login to see many of the features that are oriented towards case authors.
In OpenLabyrinth v2, there was a useful little feature where you could place a bookmark anywhere in a lengthy case and then return to that same point earlier. This feature had lain dormant in OpenLabyrinth v3 for some time but now, good news…
Bookmarks are back. If you click the [bookmark] button on the right side of a case node, you can leave a bookmark in the case, to which you can return later. And, as an enhancement over the old version, now any scores that you had accumulated to that point are now restored. If you take a look at the Session Report at the end of the case, your data and pathways from the two parts of the case are merged into a single session.
This will be particularly useful for our longer cases. Try it out and let us know what you think.
A few small things to note when using Bookmarks:
1. This only works for registered Users (the system has to know who you are to maintain continuity between such sessions).
2. When you click on the [bookmark] button, don’t expect any fancy bells & whistles to go off. OLab just quietly notes your current place.
3. To resume a bookmarked case, click on the menu Labyrinths | My Labyrinths and then scroll or search through that list. Any case where you left a Bookmark will have an orange [Resume] button, as well as the usual green [Play] button.
4. A User can only leave one bookmark per case but can leave bookmarks in as many cases as they like.
5. When you Resume a case from a bookmark, the bookmark is immediately cleared.
As a case author, if you want to prevent use of Bookmarks, simply remove the [bookmark] button from the Skin for that case.
We have a few changes coming over the next 2-3 weeks in our server setups and apologize for any inconvenience caused.
The development box at http://demo.openlabyrinth.ca/ is running on a Dell server that is now getting a bit elderly. We will be moving it to a virtual server farm for better reliability and capacity. And speaking of capacity, the disk is rather full as well so we will be adjusting this as well.
[Update on disk space: I found a whole pile of old unneeded files and deleted them. Much more disk space now. I hope we also see a small improvement in OLab3 performance.]
So those who are doing dev work at demo.olab3 might find that server down intermittently during this changeover.
For our production servers, we will take a more formal and smooth migration approach with proper announcements.