This page is set up to centralise some of the discussion, information and help around ForumNG. In a sense at this stage this is an unofficial page, just an aggregation of information from the tracker, the forums and the plug in directory. Derek Chirnside 00:02, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
What is ForumNG
ForumNG is an alternative to the built in Moodle forum, and is installed as a plugin.
It was developed by the OU. The original discussion is here: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=110546
There has been some talk of this code replacing the Moodle forums in 2.1. See Comment in the Bug Tracker This is referred to in the original specifications.
The announcement post in the developer forum
Sam Marshall's blog posts on ForumNG
"ForumNG is an alternative forum for Moodle 1.9, developed by the Open University. It sits alongside the existing Moodle forum and is completely independent; you can set up new forums using either system. The forum has some additional features (and just a few that are still missing, such as most of the forum types). Here are some of the new features:
- Advanced DHTML/AJAX (dynamic web page) support in the discussion page, which allows you to reply to, edit, rate, and delete posts without leaving the page.
- Unique (single) discussion view which combines the benefits of 'nested' and date-related views; it is a nested view, so you can see the discussion structure, but except for unread posts (and their immediate parents), posts are 'collapsed' to a short summary, so you don't have to scroll through mounds of junk to get to the unread posts. Expanding a post is one click away.
- Administrative improvements such as the ability to merge discussions.
- The rating system has friendly star graphics and can be used for grading or without a grade."
ForumNG features (Partial List)
- Subscription at the discussion level
- Forum Post
- Export of forum postings into a document.
- "Save as draft" option for posts.
- this may do away with the need for an editing time?
- Ability to set up a discussion private to individual students and the teacher.
- This answers a lot of needs, such as journals, private conversations with teachers etc.
- Flagging posts.
- Sticky posts.
- Ability to lock a discussion.
- Ability to look at readers of a thread.
Yes, we do realise 'reading has a different meaning on the web'
- Simplified view of a thread, eg repeated or blank subject lines are ignored.
- Hybrid discussion view
- A combination of nested and threaded. Brought to you through the magic of AJAX. This description from the doc: (to come)
- Three attached files possible
Pre-release "stable version"
From Sam's forum post on 11 Aug 2010: A new stable release version of ForumNG for Moodle 1.9.x is now available.
About the stable version
This is actually older the current CVS version that was previously available. However, it is a tested version that has (so far) been through about half of our typical release testing schedule.
This will not be updated immediately with developer changes, only with bugfixes.
As of September, this (well the latest version available by the link) will be the same code that's live on the OU system, which means it will be undergoing heavy daily usage and is likely not to be totally broken, but will contain any necessary critical bugfixes that we do.
Warning: Although I'm calling it stable, we still don't guarantee anything about the release! You must test it and satisfy yourself that it works on your servers before updating a live system. Although this version should be more reliable, there are certain differences between standard Moodle 1.9.x and the OU version, and it's possible that we might accidentally introduce dependencies on these (thus breaking it for everyone else), so please do test.
ForumNG version: Stable R1.0
New Version numbering
In addition to this new stable version, there is a new numbering scheme. With new versions of the CVS build, if you look on the ForumNG settings page, you'll see:
ForumNG version: Unstable development version (use at own risk)
Please continue to report bugs via Moodle Tracker (under 'Contributed code', 'Module: ForumNG'). In the text of your bug, please make sure to include the ForumNG version as above, and please upgrade to latest stable version (or at least latest with the same first number, i.e. 1.latest) in case the bug was already fixed.
If you are currently running the latest version from CVS you won't be able to upgrade to this stable version because its Moodle version number is lower. You'll need to uninstall (which will delete all forums) and reinstall - or wait until the stable release catches up, which should be in December.
Not sure? Check your version (you can see this on the manage activities page) - the stable version is 2010 05 13 00. If your version number is lower than this, or the same, then you can upgrade to the stable version. Otherwise you can't. (The current CVS version, for instance, is 2010 07 21 00.)
Download via the link on the standard Modules and Plugins page (you want the link that goes to a Google Docs folder with the file forumng.1.0.zip in it).
What is not there in NG (At the moment)
- Integration with 'core moodle functions' like grading, notifications in Recent Activity block Forum comment on this
- Different forum types available in Standard Moodle
Will ForumNG work in 2.0?
Yes, but not yet. The OU uses ForumNG on all courses, and the OU is moving to Moodle 2.0. Therefore, a version of ForumNG for Moodle 2.0 will be made at some point, but we don't currently have a date for that. Probably some months after the main Moodle 2.0 release.
What new features may be added in the future?
Check Sam's Blog and the original specs document.
At the moment, the OU is doing all the development, and so naturally we are prioritising the things we need for our courses.
However, one of the things we would like to happen is to have ForumNG become the standard forum in Moodle, and that is only possible if ForumNG can do everything the old forum can do, so we are also aiming to re-implement all the existing features. (Except for course news forums, where Moodle HQ developers have been talking about developing a purpose-build solution for course news, separate from the forum module.)
What does NG mean?
It stands for Next Generation, like Star Trek NG.
This may not be the best name ever, but we had to find something different from 'forum' that was not already used, and you are not allowed numbers in Moodle module names, so forum2 was out.
Is there a Standard forum to NG convertor?
Yes. See Forum Post
Go to add activity and choose forumng. Instead of actually adding one, scroll down to the bottom of the page - you should see a link to convert old forums. (Will only appear if there are old forums on the course that it can convert.) You can then select which ones to convert and it will hopefully work. (Converting doesn't delete the old forums, only hides them, so no worries if something goes wrong.)
It can't convert old forums with a forum type other than 'general' (ie you can't convert news forum or Q&A type forum).
- ForumNG is used on the OpenLearn site. For example, the Help and Support forum. (Please do not use these forums just to experiment with the functionality.)
- OpenLearn also has some brief user documentation.