Monthly Archives: March 2013

New production server for OLab3

We now have a full service production box running OpenLabyrinth virtual patient cases.

Lots of example cases to try. Stable code version on a fast server.

We will be releasing the URL for this server shortly before our version 3 launch on April 21st.

So, what’s the fuss about this production server?

Well, for anyone who is keen to set up their own OpenLabyrinth server, the code is open-source and posted on Github as it is developed. But for most people who want to try out some cases, they are not interested in setting up their own server first. 

So we established a development machine, running the latest code, at 

But the problem with that is… it is running the latest code – which is great to see where new developments are headed but not so good for groups who want to have cases that are not affected by the latest tweak by the development team. 

We ran into this in January when we placed some student cases on our development box. These cases were being judged in a competition (more on this shortly) but a new tweak to the OpenLabyrinth code made the cases look weird. We had to roll back the new code to get the cases back to a presentable condition. 

As those in the development field well know, you don’t host important cases or production level cases on a development box. At the time we had no choice because the production box installation had been delayed. Well, now our production box is up and running, with all those cases moved over seamlessly. 

The production server is primarily for our projects here at the University of Calgary. We can also host small series of cases for other groups. Note that this is done as a “favor between friends.” There is no fee, and reciprocally no guarantee of service. The server has been very stable, is backed up, running in a properly maintained server room etc. But we don’t want to set up false expectations that we are running a full hosting service here. 

There is consideration of running a full hosting service. If you are interested in something like this, do contact us via info AT openlabyrinth DOT ca

OLab 3 public launch at CCME

Coming soon! Public launch of OpenLabyrinth v3 – we will be showing off what it can do at CCME in Quebec on April 21st.

Watch this space over the coming days for more news.

CCME is the Canadian Conference on Medical Education, hosted by AFMC, this year in Quebec City. 

Visual Editor vastly improved for OLab3

We are happy, happy, happy with the new Visual Editor interface for OpenLabyrinth v3. If you have author access, check it out at

Building on the style of concept mapping provided by Tuft’s VUE editor, we have rebuilt the Visual Editor from the ground up. Some of you may have tried it in OLab v2 and found it lacking. Rachel did a great job of coding that but ran into the many limitations of Flash. 

The new Visual Editor in OLab3 is flash-free. It is also more reliable, autosaves your changes, works quickly even with very large maps (how about 550 nodes, 700 links!). 

We are still tweaking and refining the interface but it is now pretty stable. It also provides some simple templates for pre-defined segments, including customizable dandelions. What the heck’s a dandelion? These are multiple node question structures – the term makes much more sense when you are in the Visual Editor. 

Previously, we used Tuft’s VUE concept mapper to create our cases. This is a nice easy tool but the process of converting a concept map to an OLab case was quirky to put it mildly. Now, the transition is seamless. Text formatting is a breeze. You can now create very complex, highly branched cases. 

If you are interested in giving OLab v3 a whirl, contact us via info AT openlabyrinth DOT ca