Courses lists upgrade to 2.5

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There are significant changes in course-related functions and UI in 2.5. This document is aimed to assist migration from 2.4 to 2.5. This is NOT a complete documentation on 2.5 features.

Contents

Site administrators

Course management pages

Pages that display lists of courses and course categories do not have editing mode any more: /course/index.php, /course/category.php, /course/search.php. Courses and categories can be managed on /course/manage.php. Switching editing mode on and off will not make changes. Although we tried to keep button to jump to manage page at the same place. Site Administration -> Courses -> Add/edit courses links to new management page as well.

If you have any blocks that are specific to any of the listed above pages, please check blocks configuration after upgrade. You can now configure block to appear on categories lists pages only or on any page inside category (including courses pages)

Course summary files

Course managers can now add summary files to the course. By default it is configured as up to one image but you can change the settings (see below). The images and/or links to the files will be displayed in the courses lists. To edit the files user needs the same capabilities as for changing the course summary (moodle/course:update AND moodle/course:changesummary)

Administrative settings

Some settings that changed their behaviour in Moodle 2.5:

Site Administration -> Appearence -> Courses

  • Course contacts ($CFG->coursecontacts): Please note that only users enrolled in the course are shown as course contacts in Moodle 2.5
  • Courses per page ($CFG->coursesperpage): This number now affects pagination for both subcategories and courses on course category page, limits the number of subcategories and/or courses in categories list or combo list on frontpage and pagination of course search results.
  • Course summary files limit ($CFG->courseoverviewfileslimit): new setting - enjoy or set to 0 to disable
  • Course summary files extensions ($CFG->courseoverviewfilesext): new setting

Site Administration -> Appearence -> Navigation

  • Sort my courses ($CFG->navsortmycoursessort): Defines sorting criterion for enrolled courses both in navigation menu and 'My courses' list on frontpage. Hidden courses are shown in the end of the list (if user can see them).

Site Administration -> Front page -> Front page settings

(The following settings make no effect if your site has custom front page or front page is redirected to /my/)

  • Front page ($CFG->frontpage): Note that there is a new option to display course search box. It is no longer displayed as part of any course or category listing
  • Front page items when logged in ($CFG->frontpageloggedin): 'List of courses' shows available courses. If you want to show list of courses where user is enrolled to, use 'Enrolled courses'. But we recommend to use /my/ page instead. List of courses shows courses summary and is usually intededed to advertise a course. When student is already enrolled he/she is more interested in their progress in the course which is shown on /my/ page. $CFG->disablemycourses that could be set in config.php is ignored from now.
  • Maximum category depth ($CFG->maxcategorydepth): this number affects both categories list and combo list. Do not set it high because now users are able to expand subcategories with Javascript sending AJAX requests to the server

Site Administration -> Server -> Performance

  • $CFG->numcoursesincombo is removed from settings because it does not reflect the size of combo list. Site may have thousands of courses but only several top-level course categories. At the same time it may have 300 courses but combo list is configured to display them all. We trust site admins that they add combo list to the frontpage only when it is not huge and also configure $CFG->maxcategorydepth and $CFG->coursesperpage properly.


Plugin developers

The following functions are deprecated in Moodle 2.5. Their code is moved to /lib/deprecatedlib.php . The most of them are unlikely to be used outside of moodle core but if your plugin uses them please use new functions from coursecat class or functions from core_course_renderer.

* Functions responsible for output in course/lib.php are deprecated, the code is moved to
  appropriate renderers: print_section(), print_section_add_menus(), get_print_section_cm_text(),
  make_editing_buttons()
  See functions' phpdocs in lib/deprecatedlib.php
* Function get_print_section_cm_text() is deprecated, replaced with methods in cm_info
* Functions responsible for managing and accessing course categories are moved to class coursecat
  in lib/coursecatlib.php, functions responsible for rendering courses and categories lists are
  moved to course/renderer.php. The following global functions are deprecated: make_categories_list(),
  category_delete_move(), category_delete_full(), move_category(), course_category_hide(),
  course_category_show(), get_course_category(), create_course_category(), get_all_subcategories(),
  get_child_categories(), get_categories(), print_my_moodle(), print_remote_course(),
  print_remote_host(), print_whole_category_list(), print_category_info(), get_course_category_tree(),
  print_courses(), print_course(), get_category_courses_array(), get_category_courses_array_recursively(),
  get_courses_wmanagers()

To quickly check your code if it uses any of those functions you may run (this command will only check files in git repository):

git grep -n -e '\bprint_section(' --or -e '\bprint_section_add_menus(' --or \( -e '[^:]\bmake_categories_list(' --and --not -e 'function make_categories_list\b' \) --or \( -e '[^:>]\bget_categories([^)]' --and --not -e 'function get_categories\b' \) --or -e '\bget_print_section_cm_text(' --or -e '\bmake_editing_buttons(' --or -e '\bcategory_delete_move(' --or -e '\bcategory_delete_full(' --or -e '\bmove_category(' --or -e '\bcourse_category_hide(' --or -e '\bcourse_category_show(' --or -e '\bget_course_category(' --or -e '\bcreate_course_category(' --or -e '\bget_all_subcategories(' --or -e '\bget_child_categories([^)]' --or -e '\bprint_my_moodle(' --or -e '\bprint_remote_course(' --or -e '\bprint_remote_host(' --or -e '\bprint_whole_category_list(' --or \( -e '[^>]\bprint_category_info(' --and --not -e 'function print_category_info\b' \) --or -e '\bget_course_category_tree(' --or -e '\bprint_courses(' --or -e '\bprint_course(' --or -e '\bget_category_courses_array(' --or -e '\bget_category_courses_array_recursively(' --or -e '\bget_courses_wmanagers(' -- '*.php' | grep -v '^lib/deprecatedlib.php'

To check all files run from moodle root (very slow):

grep -r --include=*.php -n -e '\bprint_section(' -e '\bprint_section_add_menus(' -e '[^:]\bmake_categories_list(' -e '[^:>]\bget_categories([^)]' -e '\bget_print_section_cm_text(' -e '\bmake_editing_buttons(' -e '\bcategory_delete_move(' -e '\bcategory_delete_full(' -e '\bmove_category(' -e '\bcourse_category_hide(' -e '\bcourse_category_show(' -e '\bget_course_category(' -e '\bcreate_course_category(' -e '\bget_all_subcategories(' -e '\bget_child_categories([^)]' -e '\bprint_my_moodle(' -e '\bprint_remote_course(' -e '\bprint_remote_host(' -e '\bprint_whole_category_list(' -e '[^>]\bprint_category_info(' -e '\bget_course_category_tree(' -e '\bprint_courses(' -e '\bprint_course(' -e '\bget_category_courses_array(' -e '\bget_category_courses_array_recursively(' -e '\bget_courses_wmanagers(' * | grep -v 'function make_categories_list(' | grep -v 'function print_category_info(' | grep -v 'function get_categories(' | grep -v 'lib/deprecatedlib.php'

Theme developers

All course listings are now performed through the same renderer functions.

There are significant changes to CSS classes used.

Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
Go through your .css files in the themes and look for the following styles:
.coursebox
.courseboxes /* not used any more, see .courses */
.course_category_tree
.categorylist /* not used any more */
table.category_subcategories /* may be used on course management pages */
.categorybox /* not used any more */
.categoryboxcontent /* not used any more */
#page-course-info
#page-course-enrol /* this is now #page-enrol-index */
#page-course-index
#page-course-category /* this is now #page-course-index-category */
#page-admin-course-category /* this is now #page-admin-course-manage */
#page-admin-course-index /* this is now #page-admin-course-manage */

If you found any of those unfortunately you will need to do changes to your theme. Note that base and canvas themes provide all necessary classes and if the theme has one of them as parent it may not need overriding at all.

If you look for examples in Moodle 2.5 core themes search for styles containing:
.coursebox
.course_category_tree
.courses
#page-course-info
#page-enrol-index
#page-course-index
#page-course-index-category
#page-admin-course-manage

Also if your theme overrides core_course_renderer::course_category_tree() or core_course_renderer::course_category_tree_category() you will also need to make changes.

Pages that are affected by the new renderer functions

To test your theme make sure that your site has several course categories with courses. Also some courses have summaries. Some courses should have enrollment methods other than manual (i.e. self enrollment). Some courses should have enrolled users with roles listed in $CFG->coursecontact. Add course summary files, both images and not images (you will need to change default settings to attach more than one file and/or non-image files). See screenshots attached to MDL-37009 and MDL-38708

You can test all screens in your theme using Behat tests: https://github.com/marinaglancy/moodle-tool_behatui It requires some effort on installation but the result worths it.

Pages and responsible renderer functions:

  • Courses lists on frontpage (see $CFG->frontpage, $CFG->frontpageloggedin)
    • List of courses where user is enrolled (please note, this is no longer recommended setting, use 'my' page instead!) - core_course_renderer::frontpage_my_courses()
    • List of all available courses - core_course_renderer::frontpage_available_courses()
    • Categories list ($CFG->maxcategorydepth will affect how many subcategories levels to display) - core_course_renderer::frontpage_categories_list()
    • Combo list ($CFG->maxcategorydepth will affect how many subcategories levels to display) - core_course_renderer::frontpage_combo_list()
  • View courses (/course/index.php, /course/category.php) - core_course_renderer::course_category()
    • Category is empty
    • Category has only subcategories
    • Category has only subcategories and there are more than $CFG->coursesperpage of them
    • Category has only courses and there are less courses than $CFG->courseswithsummarieslimit
    • Category has only courses and there are more than $CFG->courseswithsummarieslimit but less than $CFG->coursesperpage
    • Category has only courses and there are more than $CFG->coursesperpage
    • Category has both courses and categories and at least one of the lists is bigger than $CFG->coursesperpage (make sure to click "more" link for both courses and categories list).
  • Search courses - core_course_renderer::search_courses()
    • No courses found
    • Less than $CFG->coursesperpage courses found
    • More than $CFG->coursesperpage courses found
  • Courses with tag - core_course_renderer::tagged_courses()
    • Enable tag functionality, tag some courses with the same tag, add Tags block, click on tag name, the list of tagged courses is displayed (this is very similar to search results)
  • Single course information box - core_course_renderer::course_info_box()
    • If course has self enrollment, when student clicks on course name he is redirected to /enrol/index.php
    • In collapsed courses listing there is an "i" icon next to the course name, click on it, /course/info.php is opened

Hint. To change $CFG->xxx type xxx in the search box in Administration block.

New renderer functions

One course: core_course_renderer::coursecat_coursebox()

How to use What you get (HTML/CSS)
This function is used to render courses lists, print course information and/or display courses and categories trees in many places.

To print information about one course on php page:

$renderer = $PAGE->get_renderer('core', 'course');
echo $renderer->course_info_box($course);

Function course_info_box() also existed in Moodle 2.4.

Remember that function print_course() is deprecated in 2.5.

div.coursebox
div.info
h3.name
a[.dimmed]
div.enrolmenticons
div.moreinfo /* empty, may be populated with JS */
div.content
div.summary
div.courseimage
img
div.coursefile
a
ul.teachers
li
div.coursecat
a[.dimmed]

or

div.coursebox.collapsed
div.info
div.name /* Note that it is not <h3> any more */
a
div.enrolmenticons
div.moreinfo /* contains link to /course/info.php or empty */
div.content

Also note that JS may be attached to switch between modes by hiding content or loading it via AJAX request. In this case the tag with class .name is not changing so the name does not change font size.

List of courses: core_course_renderer::coursecat_courses()

How to use What you get (HTML/CSS)
Also is already used in many course listings.

To print custom list of courses on php page:

$renderer = $PAGE->get_renderer('core', 'course');
echo $renderer->courses_list($courses);

Remember that function print_courses() is deprecated.

CSS classes
div.courses
div.paging /* pagination for courses */
div.coursebox[.collapsed].odd.first
div.coursebox[.collapsed].even
...
div.coursebox[.collapsed](.odd|.even).last
div.paging /* pagination for courses or 'more' link */

List of subcategories: core_course_renderer::coursecat_subcategories()

How to use What you get (HTML/CSS)
Can be used only as part of tree CSS classes
div.subcategories
div.paging /* pagination for categories */
div.category[.with_children[.collapsed]][.loaded|.notloaded][.dimmed_category]
div.info
[h3|h4].name /* <h4> for nested categories */
a
div.content /* always present even if empty */
div.subcategories
.... /* recursive */
div.courses
... /* see above */
div.category
div.category
...
div.paging /* pagination for categories or 'more' link */

Courses and categories tree: core_course_renderer::coursecat_tree()

How to use What you get (HTML/CSS)
Can be called as $renderer->render($coursecat) but since the class coursecat_renderable is defined inside /course/renderer.php it is not recommended to use it from outside of the class.

Used in functions:

$renderer = $PAGE->get_renderer('core', 'course');
echo $renderer->courses_list_frontpage($displaymode);
echo $renderer->search_courses($searchcriteria);
echo $renderer->tagged_courses($tagid);
echo $renderer->course_category($id);
div.course_category_tree /* plus extra class for each particular listing */
div.subcategories
... /* see above */
div.courses
... /* see above */
div.controls
div.addtoall.expandall
div.removefromall.collapseall

Changes in CSS

Pages, displaying information about one course only

  • /course/info.php
  • /enrol/index.php (in Moodle 2.4 had url /course/enrol.php)
Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
h2.main /* course/info.php only */
a /* link to course */
br /* plus short course name in parenthesis */
div.box.generalbox.info
div.no-overflow /* missing if there is no summary */
ul.teachers
li
div.box.generalbox.info
div.coursebox
div.info
h3.name
a[.dimmed]
div.enrolmenticons
div.moreinfo /* empty */
div.content
div.summary
ul.teachers
li

Courses lists

  • search results
  • tagged courses
  • list of enrolled or available courses on the front page
  • category page where number of courses is less than $CFG->courseswithsummarieslimit
Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
div.box.courseboxes /* category view only */
ul.unlist /* category view and frontpage */
li /* category view and frontpage */
div.coursebox
div.info
h3.name
a
ul.teachers
li
div.summary
div.no-overflow
...
p.category /* search results only */
div.enrolmenticons
img
div.courses
div.paging /* pagination for courses */
div.coursebox.odd.first
div.info
h3.name
a[.dimmed]
div.enrolmenticons
div.moreinfo /* empty, maybe populated with JS */
div.content
div.summary
div.courseimage
div.coursefile
ul.teachers
li
div.coursecat
a[.dimmed]
div.coursebox.even
...
div.coursebox(.odd|.even).last
div.paging /* pagination for courses or 'more' link */
CSS directives replacements
Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
.coursebox > .info > ul.teachers > li .coursebox > .content > ul.teachers > li
.coursebox > .summary .coursebox > .content > .summary
.coursebox > .summary > p.category .coursebox > .content > div.coursecat (could not use word 'category' any more because it might cause CSS confusions)
.coursebox > .summary > .enrolmenticons .coursebox > .info > .enrolmenticons

Combo list on frontpage

Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
div.course_category_tree
div.category[.with_children] /* in some themes has background image with gradient */
div.category_label /* has background image 'collapsed'/'expanded' */
a.category_link
div.subcategories
div.category
... /* recursive */
... /* more div.category */
div.courses
div.course
a.course_link
div.course_info
img, a img /* enrolment icons and link to /course/info.php */
... /* more div.course */
div.course_category_tree.frontpage-category-combo
div.subcategories
div.category[.with_children[.collapsed]][.loaded|.notloaded][.dimmed_category]
div.info
[h3|h4].name /* <h4> for nested categories */
a
div.content
div.subcategories
.... /* recursive */
div.courses
... /* see in the same example below */
... /* more div.category */
div.paging.paging-viewmore /* 'more' link for categories */
div.courses
div.coursebox.collapsed(.odd|.even)[.first][.last]
div.info
div.name /* Note that it is not <h3> any more */
a[.dimmed]
div.enrolmenticons
div.moreinfo /* contains link to /course/info.php or empty */
div.content /* empty, placeholder for JS */
... /* more div.coursebox */
div.paging.paging-viewmore /* 'more' link for courses */
div.controls
div.addtoall.expandall
div.removefromall.collapseall
CSS directives replacements
Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
.course_category_tree .courses. > .course .course_category_tree .courses. > .coursebox (or .coursebox.collapsed)
.course_category_tree .courses. > .course > .course-info .course_category_tree .courses. > .coursebox > .info > .enrolmenticons,

.course_category_tree .courses. > .coursebox > .moreinfo

.course_category_tree .courses. > .course > .course_link .course_category_tree .courses. > .coursebox > .info > .name > a
.course_category_tree .category > .category_label > .category_link .course_category_tree .category > .info > .name > a
.course_category_tree .category > .subcategories .course_category_tree .category > .content > .subcategories
.course_category_tree .category > .courses .course_category_tree .category > .content > .courses

Categories lists

Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
Categories list on the frontpage
div.box.generalbox.categorybox
div.categorylist
div.category
a
span.numberofcourse
div.category
div.indentation /* maybe several nested */
a
span.numberofcourse
div.course_category_tree.frontpage-category-names
div.subcategories
div.category[.with_children[.collapsed]][.loaded|.notloaded][.dimmed_category]
div.info
[h3|h4].name /* <h4> for nested categories */
a
span.numberofcourse
div.content
div.subcategories
.... /* recursive */
... /* more div.category */
div.paging.paging-viewmore /* 'more' link */
div.controls
div.addtoall.expandall
div.removefromall.collapseall
Categories list on /course/index.php
div.box.categorybox
div.categorylist
div.category
div.image
img /* 'i/course' */
div.name
a
div.clearfloat /* empty */
div.course /* note that it is not nested in .category */
div.indentation
div.name
img /* enrolment icon */
a /* link to course */
div.info
a /* link to /course/info.php */
img
div.course
... /* other courses */
div.categorylist
div.category
div.indentation /* indicates that this category is nested */
div.image
div.name
div.course
div.indentation
div.indentation
div.name
div.info
... /* other courses */
... /* other categories */
div.course_category_tree.category-browse.category-browse-0
div.subcategories
div.category[.with_children[.collapsed]][.loaded|.notloaded][.dimmed_category]
div.info
[h3|h4].name /* <h4> for nested categories */
a
div.content
div.subcategories
.... /* recursive */
div.courses
div.coursebox.collapsed(.odd|.even)[.first][.last]
div.info
div.name
a[.dimmed]
div.enrolmenticons
div.moreinfo /* contains link to /course/info.php or empty */
div.content /* empty */
... /* more div.coursebox */
div.paging.paging-viewmore /* 'more' link for courses */
... /* more div.category */
div.paging.paging-viewmore /* 'more' link for categories */
div.controls
div.addtoall.expandall
div.removefromall.collapseall

Note that by default categories content is not loaded, it may be loaded by AJAX request

CSS directives replacements
Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
.categorylist > .category div.name > a .course_category_tree .subcategories > .category > div.info > .name > a (Note that now courses are nested inside category and if directive just say .category .name it will also be applied to names of the courses inside category!)
.categorylist > .category .image does not exist anymore, if you want to add an icon for category add it as background for .category > .info > .name > a
.categorylist .indentation does not exist anymore, all subcategories and courses are nested div's now
.categorylist .course .course_category_tree .courses. > .coursebox

Browsing category

Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
Category view with subcategories
table.generalbox.boxaligncenter.category_subcategories
thead
tr
th /* 'Sub-categories' */
tbody
tr
td
a
tr
...
div.box.courseboxes
ul.unlist
li
div.coursebox
div.info
h3.name
a
ul.teachers
li
div.summary
div.no-overflow
...
p.category /* search results only */
div.enrolmenticons
img
div.coursebox
...
div.course_category_tree.category-browse
div.subcategories
div.paging /* pagination for categories */
div.category[.with_children[.collapsed]][.loaded|.notloaded][.dimmed_category]
div.info
[h3|h4].name /* <h4> for nested categories */
a
div.content
div.subcategories
.... /* recursive */
div.courses
... /* see in the same example below */
... /* more div.category */
div.paging /* pagination for categories or 'more' link */
div.courses
div.paging /* pagination for courses */
div.coursebox[.collapsed](.odd|.even)[.first][.last]
div.info
(h3|div).name
a[.dimmed]
div.enrolmenticons
div.moreinfo /* contains link to /course/info.php or empty */
div.content
div.summary
div.courseimage
div.coursefile
ul.teachers
li
... /* more div.coursebox */
div.paging /* pagination for courses or 'more' link */
div.controls
div.addtoall.expandall
div.removefromall.collapseall

Note that by default subcategory content is not loaded, it may be loaded by AJAX request

If there are more than $CFG->courseswithsummarieslimit courses in category they will be displayed as div.coursebox.collapsed (with empty .content)

Category view with paginated courses

or category with more than $CFG->courseswithsummarieslimit courses

table.generalbox.boxaligncenter.category_subcategories
... /* see above */
div.paging /* applies to courses only! */
table.generalbox.boxaligncenter
tbody
tr
th /* 'Courses' */
th /* empty */
tr
td
a /* link to course */
td
img, a img /* enrolment icons and link to /course/info.php */
tr
...
CSS directives replacements
Moodle 2.4 Moodle 2.5
.courseboxes .course_category_tree.category-browse
table.category_subcategories .course_category_tree .subcategories (no more tables!)
also see styles for Listings of courses
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