Developer meeting September 2009

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Developer meetings > September 2009 meeting


The meeting was at 07:00 UTC on Friday, 18 September 2009. We had 28 participants and we covered everything in around three hours.


Meeting participants, if anything we discussed has been been missed out, please edit the page and add it!

Moodle 2.0

  • Project management overview
Martin talked about the Moodle 2.0 Planning document, saying that the Database API and File API are pretty much done; the resource modules have been added to HEAD and seem to be working quite well (thanks to Petr for a much more secure system); the repository API is working but breaking occasionally (usability improvements are still to be done); the portfolio API still needs polishing, Penny is adding LEAP2A support; the community hub is coming together nicely (Martin working with Jerome); a course completion patch is in the tracker (thanks to Jonathan Newman at Catalyst); IMS CC is also done (to go into HEAD and be ported back to 1.9); Feedback hasn't changed much; messaging 2.0 needs cleaning up; Workshop 2.0 is looking good (thanks to David Mudrak); Roles usability improvements are done (thanks to Tim); SCORM 1.2 Certification was sent in months ago, hopefully will be finished soon, we just need the stamp; Nicolas, Helen and Petr are working on prioritizing gradebook improvements; web services is going to be very good (thanks to Jerome and Petr); re. page layout, new blocks and themes are all working quite well, Petr is proposing to modernize themes further; re. upgrade and install improvements, Petr worked on these a while ago; all places we currently have comments will have the same consistent commenting interface (thanks to Dongsheng); site-wide groups is essential - the number one requested feature; Eloy still to do most of backup 2.0; wiki 2.0 need to be revisited.
The following things may not make it into 2.0: secure RSS feeds (a GSOC project), progress tracking, lesson 2.0 (needs a refactor, looking for funding, might need to do emergency work to get it working), My Moodle (Mike C promised he would do it).
Anything not 90% done by Dec won't make it into 2.0, so Dec will hopefully just be polishing. We have a hackfest in Prague (16 people) mostly polishing and fixing bugs. We will then give 1-2 months of solid testing and fixing more bugs till release end Jan or Feb. If quality not there then there won't be a release - no rush release. Martin would like 5 months on 2.0 beta, 2 months most optimistic. The good thing is lots of fixing is already going on. There will be no 1.10.
  • Quiz clean-up
Tim mentioned a possible extra thing for roadmap, a quiz clean-up, which he will be working on at the OU in the next few months. In Dec it will either be done and added to 2.0 or not done and will wait till 2.1. It will fix reliability problems. It's separate from question bank stuff and involves changing the moodle question engine.
  • Overview of Blocks/Themes/Layout/Navigation 2.0
Tim described the process of developing Blocks/Themes/Layout/Navigation 2.0, starting from a detailed spec then forum discussions. 1.9 was limited to blocks on left or right and sticky blocks to course page or my moodle but nothing else. In 2.0 the navigation is very flexible so you can put blocks anywhere and sticky blocks can appear on any page. Themes have more control over blocks. Previously themes had a header and footer.html, in 2.0 there's just layout.php, more like a template. In the past blocks code was duplicated on every page, now code just in layout.php. Things are very nearly backwards compatible. In the past there was a moodle page class, now single class is used everywhere. Petr is planning changes which will break backward compatibility more. Tim has handed over his work to Sam. Fully templated themes will be possible.
Petr spoke about his proposed theme changes, firstly a big change - all css is served from one file, all images are served through another file, you can cache the images of each theme, since they're updated on-the-fly. Good feedback received in themes forum. If you're interested please join the discussion Yet more theme changes proposal.
Sam Hemelryk demonstrated two new blocks for navigation and settings in Moodle 2.0, which can be docked and undocked. Docking stored as a user preference. Thanks for everyone's feedback.
Nicolas described how the blog has been rewritten to make it more useful, the blog menu set to appear everywhere applicable, blog become context dependent, commenting is implemented (thanks to Dongsheng), can now associate blog entries with a course or with particular activities and can view all blog entries associated with a particular assignment, can search entries, can be filtered by group, can import entries from an external blog into moodle- external blog periodically checked and entries copied into moodle, still need to sort out file attachments but should be ready within a few days.
Dongsheng talked about it being possible to have comments everywhere in Moodle 2.0, and that the comment api could be used to add comments to every module.
  • File Manager element
Dongsheng mentioned that you can now select a picture from flikr, move it to a folder and can also rename it.
Jerome demonstrated the community hub, currently an alpha prototype, including a my community block. Teachers can publish courses to the hub. You can set up your own hub, there will be lots of hubs around the world of various sizes, some hubs will specialize in different areas, the details on how new hubs will be registered are not worked out yet. Dublin Core metadata will be stored in the database to describe the course. When you a course is published, a course backup is added to the hub. User accounts are not included in the course backup.
Gordon Bateson described the QuizPort module, for administering potentially any externally authored quiz format; it's designed for Moodle 2.0 as it was in Feb 2009; it's been publicly available since early 2008 (i.e. over 18 months ago), is compatible with Moodle 1.0 - 1.9 and is in beta status. The TaskChain module is the QuizPort module with a meaningful, Moodle-friendly name; it also imports HotPots from Moodle 1.x. Gordon will add the TaskChain module to Moodle contrib with a view to replacing HotPot in Moodle 2.0. In the meantime he will continue to maintain HotPot for Moodle 2.0. Gordon also gave a demonstration of the TaskChain module (see the meeting recording).
David gave a demonstration of the Workshop module (see the meeting recording).

Other news

Helen encouraged everyone to check GSOC/2009 for all tracker issue, discussion, blog and test site links for our Google Summer of Code 2009 projects. Jerome and Dongsheng are attending the GSOC Mentor Summit at Google HQ, CA, USA in October.
Helen also mentioned the GHOP contest for 13-18 year olds, which will hopefully be starting in December. Helen will create a page in Moodle Docs for task ideas.

See also