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Testers group iconOur Using Moodle course on moodle.org has a new group – Testers! Testers are active in the Moodle Tracker and help with quality assurance (QA).

So far I’ve been in contact with members of the testers group in the Tracker (created long ago) to check whether they wish to help with Moodle 2.0 testing, and if the answer is yes then I’ve added them to the testers group in Using Moodle.

If you’d like to help with Moodle 2.0 testing and be included in the testers group, please keep an eye on the Testing and QA forum (either by subscribing or via the RSS feed) for details to be posted soon of what needs doing.

Everyone is welcome to help with testing and QA to ensure Moodle 2.0 is the best release ever!

PS Thanks to developer Hubert Chathi for creating such a cool testers group icon :-)

Assorted links

Apologies for neglecting my blog recently, though glad to note I’m in good company (see sam marshall’s OU/Moodle blog).

You’ve most likely heard that we’re aiming to release Moodle 2.0 beta very soon, so we’re all trying our best to get everything done! I’ve been helping David Mudrak with the big language pack clean-up in Moodle 2.0 (MDL-15252) and am currently busy creating help strings from HTML files (see Development:Help strings).

For the non-twitter followers amongst you, here are a few links to interesting discussions on moodle.org in the past couple of weeks: a pedagogical discussion about testing, Moodle Philosophy (dating back to 2002), Ability to post anonymously, Office Add-in for Moodle (with replies from Microsoft Education Labs), Best way to share many links and Teaching moodle to teachers.

Finally, thanks to particularly helpful Moodler Mary Evans for her lovely poem Ode to Moodle Docs.

If you’re thinking of adding extra features to your Moodle site, you’ll most likely have taken a look in the Moodle modules and plugins database.

The modules and plugins database, “a comprehensive reference of all known Moodle modules, hacks and plugins”, was created four years ago and now contains 630 entries! The very first entry was added on 3 February 2006 and was the Database activity module itself.

Before going ahead and installing a contributed module or plugin, it’s important to take note of the following:

WARNING: Please be aware that some of these items have not been reviewed, and the quality and/or suitability for your Moodle site has not been checked. The modules here may have security problems, data-loss problems, interface problems or just plain not work. Please think carefully about maintenance before relying on contributed code in your production site, as some of this code may not work with future versions of Moodle.

(Source: modules and plugins database introduction)

Whilst the modules and plugins database allows comments and ratings, it’s clearly lacking a number of features for helping people make sensible choices about which module or plugin to install. Major improvements to the database are planned for the future (see Development:Modules and plugins improvements, MDLSITE-571 and MDLSITE-406), however the work will have to wait until after the release of Moodle 2.0.

For those of you who are twitter fans, twitter.com/moodleplugins tweets new entries to the modules and plugins database.

If you’ve visited moodle.org today, you’re sure to have noticed something odd about the site. As someone (whose identity I won’t reveal!) messaged me:

Hi Helen, sorry to bother you, but I just logged in, via the Moodle.org front page and the panel on the right of the log in was, mostly, upside down. Weird! I know, I do not drink, nor do I smoke funny green cigarettes (I actually lead a singularly boring existence, apart from when I am Moodling :) ) but I am not imagining it. The blurb between the heading and the “this is not your school web site” was really upside down…

There were several reports of the problem in the Moodle Tracker (MDLSITE-895, MDLSITE-896 and MDLSITE-897), the forums (Everything upside down!! and Is the backwards text an April Fool’s day prank?) and even in Moodle Docs (Forum module revision).

As I posted on this day last year (Moodle 2.0 surprise), Moodle has a history of celebrating April Fools’ day. I hope you all had a laugh at Martin’s little trick!

A belated big thank you to everyone who took part in our first ever Moodle 2.0 sprint last weekend:

(Apologies if I’ve missed anyone out. If so, please let me know.)

Judging by how much got done, the sprint was a great success, so you can expect more sprints in future! Once Moodle 2.0 beta is released, testers and documentation writers will also be welcome to participate in our Moodle 2.0 sprints.

(Edited to add Penny – original submission 26 March, 2010)

As Martin posted today in Heads-up for 1.9.8 – code freeze starting today, Moodle 1.9.8 is coming soon. Moodle 1.8.12 will be released at the same time.

In addition to some security fixes, Moodle 1.9.8 will also include a new capability moodle/restore:createuser for controlling whether a user can create other users when restoring a course (source: Moodle 1.9.8 release notes).

Hopefully all bugs will have been squashed during our weekly code reviews. However if you do encounter any problems, please report them in the Moodle Tracker (You’ll need a tracker account in order to create an issue.) If you’re not sure whether a problem is a bug or not, feel free to post about it in one of the forums in Using Moodle.

Elsewhere in Using Moodle, interesting discussions I’ve come across recently have included Poor Moodle support, Creative uses of the choice module and Why git is better than subversion or CVS (no need to look unless you’re a developer!).

Are you a Moodle developer with some time to spare this weekend? If so, please join our first ever Moodle 2.0 sprint and help us get 2.0 beta out in four weeks!

To take part in the sprint, simply choose a feature in Moodle 2.0 which needs finishing, or some 2.0 bugs which need fixing, then when you have time at the weekend, get coding! Remember to drop by our Jabber developer chat room at some point and let others know what you’re working on.

According to developer Penny Leach, who came up with the idea of a sprint,

Nigel and I used to do this with Mahara and it was really encouraging for both of us to keep each other company. I’m always so much more motivated when there are other people working alongside me.

Hope to see lots of you at the sprint!

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