This page describes the beginning of the OLEFA project. I started working on OLEFA a long time before the creation of EducDesign - in fact I released first versions of OLEFA in 2000 already, while EducDesign was only founded in mid 2002.
I started OLEFA as a simple Content Management System (CMS) in 2000. The original focus of OLEFA was NOT the education market, it powered various other sites before it was first used on a school website. The original OLEFA software already included the following:
Content Management System (including OLEFAscript)
Database Management (news, forums, etc)
Resources Manager (a file manager)
In 2001 I worked out a philosophy that described new ways to use technology in schools, using the school website as a work and publishing platform and using wiki technology to allow group work. The Ministry of Education in Luxembourg was not intestested in my work, so I finally decided to do everything on my own and to integrate the required features into OLEFA.
In mid 2001 I added various features such as the wiki and the web based library management software to the OLEFA software, OLEFA was then finally installed on the www.roeserschool.lu website in late 2001.
Here's the original OLEFA description from www.olefa.com in 2001 (when OLEFA was still called the "Olefa Server System):
OLEFA is an application that adds many new features to your UNIX/Apache webserver, it allows to easily create complex interactive websites without needing further CGI scripts or other programs. OLEFA offers it's own database infrastructure, enhanced security features, commands that can be implemented in standard HTML pages (OlefaScript) as well as many visual enhancements. Visit the sites listed below to see what Olefa can do. OLEFA is being developped by Jos F. Kirps (www.kirps.com), it is exclusively available from Ka communications (www.kacom.lu). Feel free to send an email to Ka communications if you wish to get more information about licensing OLEFA.
When I was about 15 or 16 years old (must have been around 1990 or so) I started an operating system project called CIOS. I developed a complete set of ideas around the basic OS concept, including a GUI I called "OLEFA". When I started working on a Content Management System in 2000 I needed a cool name for it, and as I always liked OLEFA I simply reused this one (originally I wanted to call it CIOS, but the cios.com domain was already taken so I opted for OLEFA, my second choice).
But what does OLEFA mean? Well, it means nothing at all. As a teenager I developed my software ideas on my desk in my bedroom, the same place I also used for train model building. For the model stuff I had some cutters (of course), and the one I most used was an "OLFA" cutter. I was looking for a nice name for the CIOS GUI, I had an OLFA cutter on my desk, and that's how the name "OLEFA" came up.
Btw: I'm now also reusing CIOS as product name, CIOS is the CorneliOS I/O System which allows to use CorneliOS features in standalone projects. In 2009/2010 CIOS has become the core technology behind most of my recent software projects.
Instead of using the original OLEFA logo I decided to create a new one in 2000, that's the one you can see on the left.
The very first version was horizontally flipped (diagonal line going down instead of going up), I changed this in early 2001 after discussing it with Susanne from Ka communications. In early 2002 the logo was again slightly modified when I made the outer frame a bit thicker. This final version has been the official OLEFA logo since mid 2002.
When working at EducDesign I created a 3D version of the logo, it was used from 2005-2007. In late 2007 or early 2008 I decided to drop the 3D version, although EducDesign decided to keep using it. EducDesign still uses the logo (as of 2012), although there is no license agreement.
In September 2012 I decided to create a new version of the OLEFA logo (completed on September 22) that shall be published in late 2012 or 2013.
In 2001 OLEFA already offered a complete set of administration tools, although some things still had to be done using command line tools. The original OLEFA administration toolbar dates from May 10th 2001, I can't remember how long the toolbar was used although it was definitely replaced with OLEFA 1.4 in 2004.