Moodle 2.0 Preview 4 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)


What this Preview is

The current version of Moodle 2.0 is improving rapidly and we welcome your feedback and help in polishing up the code for a full release as soon as possible.


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 now but are still VERY busy working on a long list of known issues.


Upgrading from a previous Moodle 2.0 preview

If you are upgrading from a version of 2.0 in the past few months then we highly recommend dropping the tables and REINSTALL YOUR TEST SITE FROM SCRATCH (by upgrading again from 1.9, or starting fresh with a new database). If you don't do this your configuration will vary in a few small ways (and this may depend on the last version you had).


Moodle 2.0 features

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


Notable improvements since Preview 3

  1. All-new enrolments plugin system MDL-21782 (slick new AJAX interfaces coming very soon)
  2. New interface for messaging MDL-22320 (no popup windows, YUI notifications)
  3. New interface for assignment grading MDL-22549 (standard forms, no popup windows)
  4. Improved interfaces for community hub interactions MDL-19309
  5. The Moodle.org Open Community Hub is now branded as MOOCH.
  6. The Folder module now has a separate editing page and forces download (you can safely let students edit a shared folder via capabilities) MDL-22764
  7. New themes from Patrick: Leatherbound and Nonzero
  8. Many layout issues fixed
  9. Over 100 other bugs fixed

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 MOOCH at http://hub.moodle.org/
  2. Use the Admin registration page to register your own site with MOOCH.
  3. Add the "Community" block to your site, and use it to search MOOCH 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

Many of the interfaces still need polishing. This is mostly a mix of new core renderers and styling in themes.

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

We'd like to see at least 20 high-quality themes included in the Moodle 2 core download.

Patrick Malley is our Themes manager and is running a Moodle 2 Theme Contest - check it out!

How you can help

  1. Join in with the discussion on the Themes forum and report/fix other problems you are finding.
  2. One major bug we could use help with is the "IE jumping problem" that users experience in Internet Explorer (only).
  3. Read the Themes 2.0 docs and improve them if you notice issues.
  4. 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 coming into 2.0:

  • Restore for 2.0 backups MDL-21432
  • Plagiarism API MDL-13680 ready to drop in after another review
  • Text formats as plugins, File API improvements


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