Moodle 2.7 release notes

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Releases > Moodle 2.7 release notes

Release date: 12th May 2014

Here is the complete list of fixed issues in 2.7. See New features for a user-friendly highlights tour with screenshots.

Server requirements

These are just the minimum supported versions. We recommend keeping all of your software up-to-date.

  • Moodle upgrade: Moodle 2.2 or later (if upgrading from earlier versions, you must upgrade to 2.2.11 as a first step)
  • Minimum PHP version: PHP 5.4.4 (always use latest PHP 5.4.x or 5.5.x on Windows - http://windows.php.net/download/)
  • Ghostscript should be installed for pdf annotation.

Database requirements

Moodle supports the following database servers. Again, version numbers are just the minimum supported version. We recommend running the latest stable version of any software.

Database Minimum version Recommended
PostgreSQL 9.1 Latest
MySQL 5.5.31 Latest
MariaDB 5.5.31 Latest
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Latest
Oracle Database 10.2 Latest

Client requirements

Browser support

Browser Minimum version Recommended version Notes
Google Chrome 30.0 Latest
Mozilla Firefox 25.0 Latest
Apple Safari 6 Latest
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Latest Version 10 is required for drag-and-drop upload of content from outside the browser into Moodle

Screen reader support

We now support and test on two screen reader configurations (MDL-44002).

Browser Screen reader Minimum version Recommended version
Microsoft Internet Explorer Jaws 15 Latest
Mozilla Firefox NVDA 2014.1 Latest

Before you upgrade

Questions engine upgrade

When upgrading to Moodle 2.1 or 2.2 it was possible to delay part of the Question engine upgrade. You must complete this upgrade before upgrading to Moodle 2.7. You can check if this was completed at the bottom of the Environment page.

For further information, see the upgrading notes to complete the Question engine upgrade before Moodle 2.7.

Themes

All standard themes present in earlier versions, except Clean, have been removed from Moodle 2.7. If you wish to continue using one of these themes then you will need to reinstall it explicitly before running the upgrade.

See the upgrading notes for theme upgrades in Moodle 2.7 for further information.

Headline features

Interface

  • MDL-42964 - Themes clean-up - Moodle is focussed on Bootstrap and improved responsive design. Clean is now the default theme and most other old themes have been removed from core (still available from Plugins directory). Many small improvements have been made all through the interface.
  • MDL-43786 - More theme - A completely new theme called More that provides easy configuration though the UI, while retaining the efficiency of LESS and the responsiveness of Bootstrap.
  • MDL-43841 - New text editor, Atto - Tightly integrated in Moodle and focussing on usability and accessibility (TinyMCE still available as an option).
  • MDL-44070 - Improved conditional activities - Complex boolean combinations are now supported, with a conditions plugin API and a better interface...and it's faster!
  • MDL-43855 - New mathematical equation editor for Atto, producing TeX using a GUI without needing Java. Works everywhere, even tablets and phones.
  • MDL-43856 - New MathJax filter for displaying mathematical equations without needing binaries on the server.
  • MDL-44637 - New report listing all events possible on a site.

Platform

  • MDL-37658 - Logging - a new logging subsystem with plugins allowing Moodle logs to be very detailed and external. Log reports have been updated too. Many new events have been added which developers can take advantage of. These advancements will support better analytics in future as well as reporting standards like TinCan.
  • MDL-25499 - Scheduled Tasks - an improved scheduling system (like Unix cron) that allows precise scheduling of tasks even on complex clustered servers.
  • Performance - With improvements to logging and scheduled tasks, as well as many other small improvements, overall performance will be improved, particularly on large sites.

Long-term support (LTS) until May 2017

This release will have an extra-long period of support from Moodle HQ for 3 years (instead of the usual 1.5 years).

If you have been stuck on an old version like Moodle 1.9 then this might be the perfect time to join us in the future!

Much much more

Administration

Quiz & Question bank

  • MDL-41727 - Quiz reports improved.
    • Responses from all tries are available for analysis when using or "Adaptive", "Interactive with multiple tries" or similar behaviours.
    • Break-down by question variant, for question types like Calculated, STACK and Variable-numeric, which one question can have different random variants.
    • Progress bar during long calculations to prevent time-outs.
    • Low-level calculation code moved into the question component, where it could potentially be reused by other activities.
    • Much more automated testing of this complex area of code.
  • Some minor improvements to the usability of the question bank - Some of MDL-40987
    • MDL-33653 - To duplicate a question, you now start by clicking the x2 icon, like for activities.
    • MDL-33839 - The various different ways to move questions in the question bank have been rationalised.
    • MDL-33653 - There is now a 'Save changes and continue editing' button when editing questions. Useful when you are working on a complex question with the preview open in another window.
    • MDL-32729 - The interface of the question type selector has been updated
  • MDL-40313 & MDL-40457 - New plugin point, so that plugins can add columns to the question bank, or new search conditions.
  • MDL-39756 - Essay questions can now require an attachment, with the text optional, rather than the other way around.
  • MDL-27414 - Random short-answer matching question type brought back from the dead. (This was in stable branches, but worth mentioning again.)
  • MDL-43478 - Option to show all tries in responses report.

Assignment

  • MDL-33952 - The old Assignment (2.2) module has been removed from core. It has been replaced by a stub to support transparently remapping urls and restoring course backups from the old module to the new one. If you are still using the old assignment module - all instances of the old assignment module will be hidden after upgrading to Moodle 2.7. Once the upgrade tool is run on those assignments they will become visible again. It is recommended to upgrade, and then convert any remaining assignments because logic has been added to the assignment upgrade code for Moodle 2.7 to transparently map urls from the old assignment module to the new one. If you really, really need to keep using the old module, you should update the code to Moodle 2.7, and then replace the "mod/assignment" folder with the one from https://github.com/moodlehq/moodle-mod_assignment/releases before completing the upgrade.
  • MDL-28448 - A new capability mod/assign:editothersubmission can be given to teachers to allow them to edit or delete student submissions.
  • MDL-33600 - 'Notify students' is available to control when to send feedback during the grading process.
  • MDL-34432 - Teachers can comment directly on students' work on online text assignments
  • MDL-42585 - New capability mod/assign:viewgrades to allow grades to be viewed but not changed
  • MDL-44268 - Assignment grading table filters
  • MDL-35373 - Word limit feature added to online assignments.
  • MDL-44629 - Assignment plugins can display an introduction.

Database

Forum

  • MDL-44505 - Subject line of forum notifications can now be configured through language string customisation

SCORM

  • MDL-43011 - SCORM new window now opens without headers/footers as expected.

Cron

  • MDL-25499 - Cron has received a major update and now has support for both scheduled and adhoc tasks.

The benefits of these changes are:

  • The schedule for every task can be configured by the admin
  • Tasks can run in parallel
  • Cron processes use locking to prevent the same task running at the same time by different processes

A result of this is that cron can be run much more often, which means (for example) forum posts can be sent out sooner. It is now strongly recommended that administrators increase the frequency that cron is run to at least once per minute, however it can be kept at it's previous schedule if desired if you do not wish to benefit from these changes.

Badges

Authentication

Gradebook

Course and pages

  • MDL-38923 - Blocks can be docked while using the Clean theme.
  • MDL-44269 - Breadcrumbs moved below the logo image in Clean.

Mobile

  • MDL-44342 - Airnotifier allows notifications to be sent to MoodleMobile app.
  • MDL-30085, MDL-30106 Web services added for grades and forums.

Security issues


Developer Notes

  • Logging and events: All plugins should convert their logging and triggering of events to the new API. See Migrating logging calls in plugins.
  • Reports: Reports that use log table should be updated to use the new logging framework. Old reports will continue to work as before as long as legacy logging is enabled in the site. See Migrating log access in reports for details.
  • Developers can now use the Lock_API to lock critical tasks (even across cluster nodes).
  • Plugins can now use the Task_API to schedule background tasks and developers are encouraged to convert to this API from legacy cron.
  • New plugin type for conditional availability. See Availability_conditions.
  • New plugin type for Atto editor. See Atto
  • New plugin type for Logging store.


API changes

  • MDL-39952 - Core events: All core events have been converted to the new Events API. The list of all events is available for admin in report "Events list". Writing observers to the new events is easier but old-style observers will continue to work. Moodle plans to add missing validation to core events before release of 2.7.1 (it will not affect plugins unless they directly trigger core events).
  • MDL-43040 - Activity modules should use $plugin instead of $module in mod/*/version.php.
  • MDL-45250 - add_to_log() has been deprecated and now generates debugging warnings\
  • MDL-44510 - PHPUnit 4.x is now supported.
  • New API for raising php time limit core_php_time_limit::raise()
  • MDL-39337 - New html_writer::image() api

Upgrade notes for developers

Authentication plugins 
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=auth/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Badges
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=badges/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Blog
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=blog/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Cache
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=cache/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Core
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=lib/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Filters
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=filter/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Modules
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=mod/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Question system
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=question/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Reports
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=report/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Tags
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=tag/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Themes
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=theme/upgrade.txt;hb=master
Webservices
http://git.moodle.org/gw?p=moodle.git;a=blob;f=webservice/upgrade.txt;hb=master

Development numbers

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See also