Developer meeting January 2009

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Developer meetings > January 2009 meeting


The meeting was at 13:00 UTC on Tuesday, 27 January 2009. We had 28 participants and we covered everything in around two hours 45 minutes.

Moodle 2.0

Martin D gave a project management overview of Moodle 2.0, covering current project status and goals for the next few months. Moodle 2.0 is not going to be a time-driven release, but rather a quality release, taking as long as it takes. Martin explained that he was trying to get a handle on timing and trying to get more people in to help finish. The Moodle 2.0 Planning document is for the Moodle community to view our progress. All projects have links to documentation and/or and tracker meta issues for full details.
  • Database API
Petr explained that we're looking for funding to implement native oracle and mssql support.
  • File API
Martin said that repository file browsing is now working well, every forum post etc has file area. The resource module needs rethink e.g. text page versus web page needs to be redone, also form elements need to be finished. It's now trivial to add multiple files e.g. to forum post with a new file manager element allowing lots of files. The repository file browser now knows about mime types.
Martin explained that community hub interface had no code yet at all, just the start of a spec, breaking down ideas into pieces. Feedback would be good!
Martin described Sam's conditional activities as looking beautiful and working beautifully! More testing would be good and maybe an overview settings page.
Martin explained that a GSOC student had written a spec but as yet there is no code.
Martin explained that course completion is necessary for progress tracking.
Petr went to Spain for a week to talk with Ludo and the guys. Lots of wiki functionality should be part of core libraries, existing text formats should be improved, comments should be like comments elsewhere. The best bits of ouwiki and nwiki will be pulled out and put in new framework.
Martin said that the feedback module just needs polishing.
The HTML editor is more or less done. It could be a lot of work to support multiple editors, tinymce is really able to support everyone who wants a GUI editor.
Blog 2.0 was developed by Joey Morwick, a GSOC student. According to Matt, it should merge easily. It includes commenting and external blog support.
Martin described messaging 2.0 as nearly finished. It works through events. It's not fully tested / checked yet.
Secure RSS feeds was developed by Askar Salimbaev, a GSOC student. The idea is to have secure tokens on urls which noone can guess.
Martin talked about backup, which Eloy is going to do, though we'll need to help him a lot. Backup currently doesn't work with very big courses or large sites. See the wiki page for more info. Any ideas are welcome!
Eloy is following IMS discussions. IMS CC won't cover anywhere near as much as backup.
Site-wide groups number one voted item in the tracker. Implementation depends on enrolment improvements. Feedback on the site-wide groups spec would be appreciated - make sure you add what's important to you!
Tim said that almost everything is done, just waiting for feedback. Unfortunately it's not easy to backport to 1.9, but Penny is trying.
Martin explained after months of trying things and thinking, we've finally come to clean system.
Tim talked about a draft page in the wiki listing use cases. It needs to be sorted eventually but may have to wait till 2.1. Petr said that we need to do something with roles and course enrolment as we currently have many hacks trying to find who is a member of the course. It needs to be done properly to allow moodle to scale to more students. Worst performance is in course enrolment. Jonathan Moore talked about enrolments plugins lagging behind 1.7 roles, still very course-centric - it would be nice for external database plugin to specify context.
  • pagelib 2.0
Martin explained that pagelib 2.0 is wrapped up in navigation stuff. We need to get feedback and ideas. Looking at a revamp including blocks and tabs.
  • Privacy enhancements
Petr explained that he's been working on 1.9 branch but has a lot more ideas for 2.0 including being able to flag teachers as trusted.
  • Upgrade and install improvements
Petr has been working on upgrade and install improvements in his weekends. There's no longer lots of pages. It's Petr's elephant - too complex to explain ;-)
Tim is currently working on this. Trying to implement full text search, implemented question tags.
  • New quiz editing interface
Olli has nearly finished this. There are just a few loose ends that Tim will tidy up.
Martin mentioned that he's not sure at the moment whether this is going ahead.
Helen outlined the gradebook improvements planned and thanked everyone for their input (tracker issues and voting, gradebook forum posts, testing). Nicolas demonstrated the new "Edit categories and items" page with simple and full views. He explained that grade item attached to category can now be edited on the same page as the grade category. Nicolas also demonstrated the horizontal scroll bar in the LSU simple grader report and the animated grade statistics report.
Jerome Mouneyrac talked about the overall structure of web services.
  • Navigation 2.0 - Blocks / Pages / Tabs / Navigation: how should they all work ideally?
Martin, Tim, Urs Hunkler and others contributed to a discussion about the possible use of templates in Moodle. The discussion continued as a forum discussion: Re: The Future of Moodle Templates?

Other news

Tim outlined his thoughts on changing the Moodle question engine.
Sam Marshall described his forum rewrite for the Open University which will be implemented in 1.9 as a separate module It includes various AJAX features - reply on the same page, forum rating, new forum view. Input is welcome, though it's already scheduled to be developed.
Helen talked about Leslie Hawthorn's confirmation that GSOC and Google Highly Open Participation (GHOP) will both run this year. GHOP will begin in November. Regarding GSOC, assuming Moodle is accepted, students will be able to apply at the end of March. Thus we need to check the list of suggestions from our GSOC mentor debriefing last year and start coming up with student project ideas soon!
Jeff Forssell asked for comments about his 'feedback link for all elements' proposal. Suggestions included a feedback link in the page footer or using a portfolio plugin.

See also