OLab4 redesign – items to be deprecated

As we transition from OLab3 to OLab4, a number of components and functions in OLab3 are likely to become obsolete or significantly changed. We note this now as a heads up to advanced designers and to those who might be modifying their current OLab installations as workarounds.

We emphasize that for the majority of functions and features, we intend to retain full compatibility. Nobody wants to spend a bunch of time converting existing content.

Here are the things that are not likely to make the cut. Many of them will have a better alternative. If you have concerns, please contact us.


One of the big changes about how objects are laid out in a page is that we are moving from map-based layouts (in Skins) to node-based layouts. OLab’s Skins have been a bit of a kludge, using some CSS elements but not consistently. To some degree, all OLab cases tend to have a certain style or look, which is pretty old fashioned and boring. The layout follows Responsive Design principles but only to a degree. And unless you manually craft your page layout using lots of divs, it is hard to place things where you want on the page. The new node-based layout approach will make this much more possible. We will have some node templates so that groups can encourage a certain design style, but these can be easily modified from node to node. Skins will be dropped.

Link names:

Currently, there are 3 different ways to modify the title of a Link button. This will be made simpler and more consistent.

InfoButton panels:

These are useful but are tied to Nodes and can be difficult to reuse. They will still exist but will not be linked to Nodes.


These will become a type of QUestion.


These were never properly implemented and will be dropped. They were oddly named in the underlying SQL tables, which cause confusion. We are pretty sure that no organizations used them.

Map level feedback:

Very little use seems to be made of this. It may be retained if there is enough demand.


These are like statics or constants that can be pre-assigned and then used to display reusable content in a Node. We will retain the simple text type of Element, and intend to make them easier to reuse and refer to across maps. But we will be dropping the various sub-types of Elements


These are supersets of Elements. Nobody uses them that we are aware of.


These are very powerful and useful, but very hard to use and write. We are exploring some different approaches to conditional navigations and manipulation of Counters.

There are other changes under way and we will update this page as needed. We do plan to retain very good backwards compatibility for the vast majority of case content so you do not need to modify most existing material.