OLEFA: predecessor of Oli.lu in Luxembourg

Oli.lu is the official successor of OLEFA, a software we invented and developed a long time ago, and that attracted some attention on Luxembourg's school websites during the 2000s.
On this page you can find out how the development of OLEFA came about and how Oli takes the original concepts of the OLEFA educational platform to a completely new level.

Invention & development

Oli.lu inventor Jos Kirps started developing the OLEFA project in Berchem (Luxembourg) as a private project in mid-2000, initially a pure content management system (CMS) dealt with database, file management (Resources Manager), user management and tag language (script) in order to be able to manage your own websites more easily.

OLEFA official Logo
The offical OLEFA logo, as of today.
(© 2000-2021 Jos Kirps / WobbleWolf / Joopita Research)

On January 9, 2001, Jos first released the project under the WobbleWolf label (www.wobblewolf.com) at www.olefa.com, At the same time, the first website using the software went online, including the former website of Mensa Luxemburg (www.mensa.lu).

At the beginning of 2001, Ka Communications (www.kacom.lu), a marketing agancy from Luxembourg, received the first license to sell the program, and the first websites in Germany went online.

OLEFA for school websites / educational concept

In early 2001 Oli.lu creator Jos Kirps developed the OLEFA education concept (Education Manifesto), so that the software could also be used in Luxembourg's schools and on school websites. The CMS has been expanded to include a publication platform for schoolchildren (the first wiki created in Luxembourg) and a database with an online library.

The educational concept was presented at the end of 2001 (September or October) by Jos Kirps in the cinema hall of the school in Crauthem (Roeser municipality in Luxembourg):

  • Thanks to the publishing platform (OLEFA CMS & amp; Wiki) all teachers and students should be able to actively participate in the construction and maintenance of the school website, not just a single person in charge or a group of 'experts'. The school website will therefore become a dynamic work platform.
  • The library is becoming a knowledge center to which all teachers and students should have constant (online) access.
  • Media (images, photos, files, ...) should be managed centrally online (today this would be called the 'cloud').

In September 2001 the first school website (www.roeserschool.lu) with CMS, library and wiki went online, soon afterwards, other schools also showed great interest in the project.

EducDesign and school websites in Luxembourg

After OLEFA had successfully proven itself as a platform and CMS and after several schools had already decided to use the software in the future, luxembourgish company EducDesign was founded in mid-2002.

At the end of 2002 EducDesign received the license from Jos Kirps to sell the already proven software and the finished OLEFA education concept.

Jos became head of development at EducDesign, where he created additional tools, including the WebBook, the Storyboard with bots, the School Manager and the file server. Jos was the sole developer of the software until 2005.

From 2005 onwards, more software developers were added, Jos came up with further modules and managed their development, including AFELO, Sound Recorder and Painter. He also led the development of the Tiparlo module, the concept of which, however, was based on an earlier project (TEO) at the University of Luxembourg.

In May 2008 Jos quit his job at EducDesign after he had been developing a much improved version of the software could not enforce within the company on the basis of an expanded educational concept.

From simple websites to the Oli.lu e-learning platform

In November 2009, Jos Kirps began developing a new, expanded educational concept, and one year later the development of the Oli e-learning project began. Oli.lu was activated as a public BETA for the education market in Luxembourg on November 15, 2011, the project was officially launched at the end of 2013.

In contrast to OLEFA, Oli was developed from the start as a full-fledged e-learning platform that can be used free of charge without restrictions and on which anyone can create an account without municipalities and schools constantly having to pay high license costs.

Oli was developed with the idea that every user can use all functions without expensive and time-consuming training, and that you don't have to rely on paid help when creating new content.

OLEFA and Oli.lu in Education

Oli.lu takes over the positive aspects of the software, drops outdated, unnecessary or cumbersome concepts, and offers numerous new functions at the same time.

In mid-2010 Jos co-founded Joopita Research (www.joopita.com), the current operator of the Oli website. Joopita Research is developing a software successor to the project under the name ONO.

Oli.education.lu

Since September 2016, the Ministry of Education in Luxembourg has been running its own version of the Oli e-learning website under the name Oli.education.lu, so that now more than 50,000 teachers and students have automatic access to the software.

Morzino

Currently there is also an international version of the Oli platform with Morzino.com, so that the technologies are now also available worldwide.

Insider knowledge

The name OLEFA came into being in 1995 when Jos Kirps was working on a GUI for an OS project, which however never came to fruition. Jos was looking for a friendly name, similar to the Commodore AMIGA, when he noticed an OLFA cutter that he was using for model construction. The name was then recycled 5 years later for the project.

The OLEFA logo was designed by Jos at the end of 2000. Originally there were 2 versions, with the second version being mirrored. Only the current orientation was used only from mid-2001.

The first version was developed on an Apple iBook (first model from 1999, Tangerine), a PowerMac with LinuxPPC initially served as the test server. The first websites were hosted in Germany by the company PageDesign GmbH.

The oldest still existing backup has the version number 1.0r2 (January 22, 2001), some files are from the end of 2000. The oldest still existing backup of the official website is from October 2001.

There was an Easter egg in the original program. If the database module was given a specific, non-documented mode, a photo of Jos appeared on the website. The Easter Egg remained in the code until at least 2006.

The bots originally used in the storyboard and Tiparlo come from the 3D animation film 'Stag Wards' (www.stagwards.com), which was created by Jos in 1998/1999.

OLEFA 1.4 (2004), 1.5 (2005) and 6 (2006) were published on June 21, the birthday of Jos. From version 7 onwards the simple numbering by year and month followed in order to avoid the release pressure.

Up until the end of 2008, all versions contained the note 'Concept & design: Jos Kirps' in the system information. EducDesign subsequently deleted this note.

Links

https://oli.lu//olefa/history/ - OLEFA History

https://lb.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLEFA - OLEFA Info on Wikipedia

https://joopita.com/legacy/olefa/ - Information from Joopita Research

https://www.olefa.com - OLEFA Infos from EducDesign

http://oli.education.lu

https://morzino.com

Facts

Even 20 years after the platform was originally created, (sometimes insane) stories and rumors are still circulating about the software, and we hope to be able to provide some clarity with this:
Wrong: OLEFA was invented and created by EducDesign.
Correct: The project was already in use successfully long before this company existed.
Wrong: OLEFA was originally a project of the ISERP or the University of Luxembourg, or is based on ideas of the ISERP or the University.
Correct: It was a private project, at no time was the inventor and developer of the software and the educational concept involved in an ISERP or university project. The exception is the Tiparlo module, which is actually a clone of the TEO software, but which was only added at a later time (2006).
Wrong: OLEFA was brought onto the market by EducDesign.
Correct: It was first used under the label WobbleWolf on private and non-commercial websites, then on websites in Germany (mainly artists and companies). The educational modules were only added later, and EducDesign was granted a license even later.
Wrong: It was created for schools and education.
Correct: It was originally developed for private websites, clubs and companies and was also first used in this area. Schools, school websites and education were only added in a second phase, and this development was not originally planned.
Wrong: The OLEFA education concept was developed by education experts.
Correct: Right: The education concept was developed by Jos Kirps, who, although trained as a teacher, would never call himself an 'education expert'. No education experts were ever involved in the conceptual development of OLEFA (or Oli).
Wrong: It was developed to compete with mySchool!
Correct: It was originally not intended for the educational sector at all. When Jos Kirps then developed the educational concept and the corresponding modules, he was not aware that mySchool! was in development. The mySchool! developers probably knew nothing from Jos' project either at this point of time.
Wrong: Oli.lu was developed to compete with OLEFA.
Correct: Oli.lu was developed by the original inventor as a conceptual successor. More precisely: the successor software is actually called ONO, on which Oli is based. ONO is also used by other projects.

Inventor Jos Kirps

In Luxembourg Jos first achieved a certain fame in the music underground in the 1990s as the guitarist of the band Pagan Lorn, at the same time he worked as a freelance graphic artist.
1998-1999 he developed one of the first amateur 3D films in Luxembourg with Stag Wards.
From 2000-2001 Jos developed OLEFA and the education concept, from 2002-2008 he was responsible for further development at EducDesign.
2007-2008 followed a first international success (especially in the USA) with the Galaxiki platform, which received several awards.
In 2009-2011 Jos developed the Oli.lu platform as the successor to his first educational platform, since 2016 the version of the Ministry of Education has been online, with Morzino there is an internationally available version.
In 2010 Jos was a co-founder of Joopita Research, all projects are currently operated under this label.
He is currently also responsible for the Jamplifier Music Project (www.jamplifier.com).

Original website (2001)

OLEFA official original website
The official, original OLEFA website from early 2001. The software had been licensed to Ka communications, and there are no school websites or EducDesign company yet. You may also note that that website text contains a few typos.

Images & Photos

First OLEFA Software
First trace of the project.
OLEFA on Apple iBook
The original iBook that was used for development, along with a newer MacBook running the Oli.lu BETA.
First OLEFA Software Code
Original BETA code can still be found on the iBook's hard drive, the domain www.wobblewolf.com is visible.
OLEFA inspired by OLFA Cutter
The original cutter that inspired the name "OLEFA" is still owned by Jos Kirps.
OLEFA Name Origin
The "OLFA" name that inspired the name.
OLEFA User Manual
The original User Manual, by Jos F. Kirps.
OLEFA powering WobbleWolf
The original WobbleWolf website from 2001, you can see the red OLEFA banner at the bottom.
OLEFA Software Banner
The original red OLEFA banner used on websites from 2001 until the mid 2000s.
Jos F. Kirps OLEFA Photo
The easter egg photo, showing creator Jos Kirps shortly before the invention of the OLEFA software and the education manifesto.