New tool for OLab authors – Node Grid upgraded

If you don’t already use OpenLabyrinth’s modules for authoring VP cases, this post will not make much sense to you.

We have some new functionality in the Node Grid in the OpenLabyrinth VP authoring tools.

Previously, the list of nodes and their content could only be viewed in ascending order by NodeID number. For a simple case, created in one step, this is fairly natural. But this all breaks down when you have added other new sections to your case, or if you have two authors working on different sections of a case concurrently. Then having nodes in order by NodeID is not helpful at all. It can sometimes be quite hard to find the node you want if you did not grab the NodeID.

The new Node Grid uses a traditional table format. Now you can sort the table by any of the columns. This means that you can put the nodes into alpha sorted order by Title, which is sometimes easier when you are having trouble with finding nodes.

We also have two new features in the sort order that allow you to see nodes that are logically grouped together. Firstly, on the assumption that nodes that are closely collocated on the Visual Editor map, and that a map will generally work from top to bottom and left to right, you can now sort the table on the x or y coordinates of the Visual Editor map.

You can also toggle on/off at the top of the table as to whether to have logical sorting turned on or off. This logical sort works well on linear cases. I suspect it might have trouble interpreting the logical order on a highly branched or complicated map. If logical sort is turned on then the other sort options are not effective.

There is also a global Find and Replace now built into Node Grid. The Find function works well. We still have a glitch or two in the Replace but that should be fixed soon.

Try it out. Let us know what you think.