Moodle 2.7 release notes

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Releases > Moodle 2.7 release notes

Release date: Expected in May 2014

Contents

Server requirements

These are just minimums. We recommend keeping all your software updated.

  • Moodle upgrade: Moodle 2.2 or later (if upgrading from earlier versions, you must upgrade to 2.2.11 as a first step)
  • Minimum Database versions:
    • PostgreSQL 9.1
    • MySQL 5.5.31
    • MariaDB 5.5.31
    • MSSQL 2008, or
    • Oracle 10.2
  • 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.

Browser requirements

  • Recent Google Chrome, recent Mozilla Firefox, Safari 6 or later, Internet Explorer 9 or later (IE 10 required for drag and drop of files from outside the browser into Moodle)

Before you upgrade

Questions: In Moodle 2.1 there was a major upgrade to questions. As explained in the upgrade documentation for that version, it was possible to delay parts of the database upgrade to be run later. Before you upgrade to Moodle 2.7, this upgrade must be completed. You can check for this by looking at the bottom of the the en:Environment check page in your site.

Themes: Several core themes have been removed from Moodle 2.7 (see MDL-43784). If you wish to continue using one of these themes then it's best to reinstall it explicitly *BEFORE* running the upgrade.

Headline core features

Interface

  • Atto - our new Moodle editor, tightly integrated in Moodle and focussing on usability and accessibility (TinyMCE still available as an option)
  • 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 database). Many small improvements have been made all through the interface.
  • More - a completely new theme called More that provides easy configuration though the UI while retaining the power of LESS and Bootstrap.
  • Improved conditional activities - complex boolean combinations now supported, plus plugin conditions and a better interface. And faster!

Platform

  • Logging - a new logging subsystem with plugins allowing Moodle logs to be very detailed and external. Many new events have been added which developers can take advantage of. MDL-37658 These advancements will support better analytics as well as things like TinCan.
  • Performance - many improvements that improve overall performance in most cases
  • Tasks - an improved scheduling system (like Unix cron) that allows precise scheduling of tasks even on complex clustered servers

Long-term support (LTS) until June 2017

Most of our releases receive 1 year of backported general bug fixes and 1.5 years of security and dataloss fixes from Moodle HQ. Due to popular demand, we are committing to giving Moodle 2.7 extended support of '3 years security and data loss fixes' (that's an extra 1.5 years support).

If you are stuck on an old version then this might be the perfect time to upgrade!

Details

Quiz & Question bank

  • Quiz reports improved. MDL-41727
    • 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
    • To duplicate a question, you now start by clicking the x2 icon, like for activities. MDL-33653
    • The various different ways to move questions in the question bank have been rationalised. MDL-33839
    • 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-33653
  • New plugin point, so that plugins can add columns to the question bank, or new search conditions. MDL-40313 & MDL-40457
  • Essay questions can now require an attachment, with the text optional, rather than the other way around. MDL-39756
  • Random short-answer matching question type brought back from the dead. (This was in stable branches, but worth mentioning again.) MDL-27414

Assignment

The old Assignment (2.2) module has been removed from core (MDL-33952). 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 the plugins database before completing the upgrade.

A new capability mod/assign:editothersubmission can be given to teachers to allow them to edit or delete student submissions.

A checkbox 'Notify students' is available to control when to send feedback during the grading process.

Cron

Cron has received a major update and now has support for both scheduled and adhoc tasks - MDL-25499. 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. Admins can keep cron running at the same schedule as before, but it is strongly recommended that they increase the frequency of running cron to at least once per minute.

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