Moodle 2.0 Preview 3 release notes

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How to get it

  1. Download it from the Moodle download server (built nightly) or
  2. Get the latest HEAD version from CVS, or
  3. Try it out on qa.moodle.net (updated daily and reset hourly)


Upgrade notes

If you are upgrading from an earlier preview of 2.0, then please note that the upgrade this week slightly differs from a clean install.

  • If you can, then drop the tables and REINSTALL YOUR TEST SITE FROM SCRATCH.
  • If you want to adjust your upgraded site to make it like a new site, then edit the Authenticated User role and change all the repository/xxxx:view capabilities to ALLOW.

What this Preview is

The current version of Moodle 2.0 is getting to the point where we are feeling comfortable inviting experienced Moodle users to try it out and start giving us more detailed feedback.

This is the third Preview release in a series of about eight before the final release.

What this Preview is not

This is not finished code. This is not for production servers. Do not use it for production. DO NOT USE IT FOR PRODUCTION!  :-)

Software is complex stuff. A quick line count of the whole of 2.0 (including libraries but not HTML, JS, CSS or 3rd party modules) comes to over a million lines of PHP scripts.

We are on the home stretch for this thing now but it's going to be a VERY busy next few months for us at Moodle HQ and all the others helping with Moodle development in various capacities.

Moodle 2.0 features

For more details about what is actually in Moodle 2.0, see the Moodle 2.0 release notes.


Improvements since Preview 2

  1. More navigation improvements, including faster-looking easier-implementing dock
  2. Hub-related interface improvements for publishing and searching
  3. New repository "private files" just shows user files (same as the private files block)
  4. Security improvements in ratings
  5. Assignment quick grading now works again
  6. Single-discussion forums work again
  7. New theme Serenity
  8. Many other small fixes for bugs and regressions

Development/Testing Focus for this week!

Community hub

Try out the new community hub features! Full docs are still being written, but here are some thing you might like to try.

  1. Try the (still very plain) interface at http://hub.moodle.org/
  2. Use the Admin registration page to register your own site with http://hub.moodle.org.
  3. Add the "Community" block to your site, and use it to search moodle.org for courses, either to enrol in or to download. Note that you can't yet restore downloaded courses in Moodle 2.0.
  4. If you are interested in playing with the hub software, get the plugin from [1] and unzip it into the "local" directory of an up-to-date Moodle 2.0 site, then visit admin page to install it.

Come and discuss what you see in the Hub servers forum on moodle.org.


Usability

A lot of the new features have early-quality development interfaces that still need to be improved a lot for general use. This is mostly a mix of new core renderers and styling in themes.

Particular areas include:

  • Community hub publishing and downloading
  • User profiles
  • Enrolment interfaces
  • Navigation and blocks in all pages
  • Messaging
  • Backup/restore user interfaces

How you can help

  1. Use current versions of 2.0 on your own server or qa.moodle.net, and if you notice particular pages that need improving, then
  2. Search the Tracker for an existing issue, and make a new one if required
  3. Post a description of the issues, and using the mockup tool there to describe solutions
  4. Start a discussion about the bug in the Usability forum, linking to your issue by mentioning the bug ID, and make some noise :)


Themes

Our plan is to get 20 themes in Moodle 2.0. This is accelerating now the new Themes system has stabilised and Moodle is starting to look very nice indeed.

Patrick Malley is our Themes manager and is working hard right now on developing more core themes that you can use to base your themes on.

How you can help

  1. Read the Themes 2.0 docs and improve them if you notice issues.
  2. Join in with the discussion on the Themes forum
  3. Start some cool 2.0 themes!


Performance and upgrade

We plan to do all kinds of testing on different types of sites, to help ensure that everyone's upgrade from 1.9 goes smoothly, and then Moodle runs faster after the upgrade.

How you can help

We would really love those of you with big sites to help us with this. Try upgrading a COPY of your production sites from Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2.0, and give us data about:

  • What environment was Moodle running in? (DB etc)
  • How long did the upgrade take?
  • Were there any serious errors? (and what did you do to fix them :) )
  • Can you compare the performance of your 1.9 site to 2.0?

Please post your results in the Testing and QA forum and join in!

If you find bugs, please make sure they are in the tracker against 2.0.

Remaining new features

There are also still a couple of biggish patches that will be ready in the coming weeks, such as:

  • Restore for 2.0 and 1.9 backups MDL-21432 (Only 2.0 backups currently working)
  • Enrolments rewrite MDL-21782 Mostly done, just needs UI work
  • Plagiarism API MDL-13680 ready to drop in after another review
  • Text formats as plugins


However the July deadline is important, so some of these may not make it into 2.0 if time is too tight.

Look out for Moodle 2.0 Preview 4 in a week or so!