Developer meeting September 2008

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Developer meetings > September 2008 meeting


The meeting was at 7am GMT on Friday, 19 September 2008. We had 31 participants and we covered everything in around two and a half hours.

Moodle 2.0

Martin demonstrated the new files and repository interfaces. All files inside Moodle are referenced in a table, content of file stored in file pool, only one copy of file kept in file pool, files all associated with file areas, for example the assignment module defines the assignment submissions file area. Various plugins configured - box.net, flickr, flickr public, "upload a file". Additional plugins - Alfresco (added by Dongsheng), Dan P working on Google Docs, also Facebook, Myspace, Hive. Admin chooses which repositories are allowed, and can allow users to configure their own repository. The file picker will be added everywhere in Moodle where files are added (eg. forum post attachments). The file picker looks like open dialogue, with repositories listed on the left. Files can be previewed and renamed.
Martin demonstrated the new portfolio interface, which Penny has developed over the past three months. Various plugins - box.net, flickr, also a Google Picasa plugin written by Dan P. A forum discussion can be saved as an html page. See the Portfolio API meta issue in the tracker: MDL-14591
Martin demonstrated activity completion, developed by Sam Marshall (OU). Teachers can define completion for each activity - users manually mark completion, users must receive a certain grade, activity is complete on a certain date etc. Activities are shown as complete by checked boxes (ticks) on the course home page. In course reports there is a completion progress report.
Martin talked about improvements to messaging in Moodle 2.0, Luis' GSOC project. There is a messaging tab in each user's profile for users to specify the destination of messages when logged on or off e.g. email, jabber, instant message, popup. All places in Moodle which used email now post messaging event. The interface needs some improvement - offers of help are welcome!
  • External Activities module
Gordon demonstrated the new External Activities module, the successor to the Hotpot module, which allows for pre and post conditions to be set e.g. students must have done previous quiz, defining path through materials. Square bracket notation can be used for specifying sound files. There are settings for individual quizzes and settings for every quiz, such as maths formula filter, glossary filter. Teachers find the settings page initially overwhelming but pick it up quickly. Quizzes can be rearranged by changing the sort order (the same as ordering questions in the quiz module). Quizzes can be moved to different a activity in the course, when moved, results are also moved. Hopefully next week the version for 1.9 will be released.
Martin commented that Gordon's development was very cool, with lots of innovations we can use elsewhere :-)
  • IMS LTI 2.0 consumer module
Ludo talked about Pigui's GSoC project developing an IMS (Simple) LTI 2.0 consumer implementation for Moodle.
  • Usability testing of new features
Gary Anderson talked about the need for usability testing of new features, with different audiences, to give feedback to developers in critical stages of development.
Martin replied that Moodle 2.0 is to have long testing / polishing period, and that teachers need something i.e. a basic version to comment on. There will be testing sites on dev.moodle.org, but we really need someone to organise feedback and give it to developers in a structured way.
Gary said he'd put a proposal in the documentation wiki and ask for feedback. (See also Talk:Developer meeting September 2008 for Gary's comments.)
  • Google Docs and Picasa plugins
Dan P gave a quick demonstration of Google Docs and Picasa repository/porfolio plugins which he has been developing.

Other news

Helen reported that eight GSOC projects were successful, and lots of code is due to be added to Moodle 2.0. Lots of interesting ideas for encouraging new developers into Moodle came out of our GSOC mentor debrief meetings, such as a tracker field for identifying easy-to-fix bugs (MDLSITE-512), creating a site dev.moodle.org for new developers (MDLSITE-510) and setting up a Planet Moodle for aggregating developer blogs (MDLSITE-511).
  • OLPC School Server integrating Moodle
Martin L said that OLPC doing well (despite bad publicity). It's using Moodle 1.9 + patches, custom auth and enrol, with most of admin hidden and some course settings hidde to make it v simple, configure what we show to users, mainly 1.9 until 2.0 is close enough, short release cycles 1 month, merge into 2.0 asap.
Martin demonstrated the animated grade statistics report, Daniel's GSOC project, and commented that the code was well-written and can be put in head.
  • New theme for moodle.org
Martin mentioned that moodle.org is to have a new theme. To preview it, select the theme moodle2 in your profile. There will only be one column of blocks. If you have any feedback about the new theme, please use MDLSITE-496.
  • Banner/Luminis Message Broker enrolment plugin
Eric Merrill informed everyone that a new version of the Banner/Luminis Message Broker enrolment plugin would be available soon.

See also