20/06/2016 at 8:59 PM #871
Generally, for most projects, authoring of OpenLabyrinth cases has been a solitary exercise. But we are finding that, now with larger groups and projects using OpenLabyrinth, some teams are finding it useful to be able to have multiple case authors.
Based on the work in our DynIA project, we have modified some aspects of OpenLabyrinth authoring. On the demo server, there are now some basic record-locking mechanisms in place to prevent more than one person working on key parts of a case. This particularly applies to the Visual Editor, Node Grid, and Counter Grids, because these open up the whole case at once. So if one author is working in one of these areas, others are locked out from the case.
When working in the Node Editor, multiple authors can be working in the same case. Now if they are unlucky and both work on the same node at the same time, then last to commit is the one that is saved. i.e. no record-locking in there. (We had to draw the line on costs somewhere and we reckoned that losing a few edits in a single node was a reasonable price to pay.)
Now this record-locking mechanism is fairly crude and sometimes does not clear properly when you log out of a case. In that event, it helps to clear your browser cache (at least for data for that OpenLabyrinth server). If you still have problems, let us know
If your cases are becoming complex with a lot of effort already built into them, we do recommend that you regularly make an Export zip file and save it locally. Then if the case gets pooched, you can import an archived version of it. The Advanced Export is usually a better option for this.
For communicating between members of the case authoring team, there are a few other wee tips that we have found helpful. Firstly, we use an unusual text string (“**”) to indicate nodes or points in the text where some attention is needed. You can then use the Search in the Node Grid to find such instances quite easily. Remember to clear these markers as each issue is dealt with.
There is also an Annotation field for each Node. The contents of this are only visible when the case is played by an Author or Reviewer. You can also use this field to leave wee reminders or to-do notes for others working on the case.
For the DynIA project, we also incorporated Forums into OpenLabyrinth. These can also be linked to cases and even Nodes within a case. So this is another way that you can communicate within the authoring team. This is a bit more fiddly to set up – give us a ping if you are interested in this last aspect.
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