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Archive for May, 2009

Amsterdam MoodleMoot

Yesterday I had an enjoyable and interesting time at MoodleMoot NL 2009 in Amsterdam. This is the fifth Dutch-language MoodleMoot, with the location alternating each year between Holland and Belgium.

In my presentation ‘Moodle community op weg naar 2.0’ I talked about some of the new features in Moodle 2.0 and about how the Moodle community can help 2.0 come sooner. Martin Langhoff gave an entertaining presentation about OLPC and Moodle, mentioning ideas for simplifying Moodle by removing lots of options. Another highlight for me was the presentation ‘Mahara + Moodle = Mahoodle?’ by Koen Roggemans and Richard van Iwaarden. Copies of many of the presentations are now available from MoodleMoot NL 2009 handouts.

A big thank you to everyone for making the Moot such a success, especially Ned-Moove, the Dutch language Moodle organisation, for organising everything (in just two months!) and to Pieter Nieuwland College for hosting the event. Meeting other Moodlers in person is always special.

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Commenting in Moodle 2.0

The weekly Moodle HQ meeting this morning included discussion about a new item in our Moodle 2.0 Planning document – Comments 2.0 (MDL-19118). Dongsheng has been working on the Comments 2.0 specification. The plan is to be able to add comments almost everywhere in Moodle, for example to assignments, blog posts (MDL-8776), wiki pages, quiz questions, even to forum posts!

Creating a specification in Moodle Docs is an important part of the development process. Well done to David Mudr├ík on his recent Workshop 2.0 specification. According to Martin D, it’s an example of an excellent spec.

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I’ve finally got around to checking out the new repositories feature in Moodle 2.0, which allows users to browse external repositories such as Box.net, Flickr or Wikimedia, and select files to bring into Moodle. It’s fabulous! Kudos to Dongsheng Cai, Jerome Mouneyrac, Martin D and everyone else who helped with development (MDL-13766).

There are currently 15 possible repository plugins to choose from, though lots more are planned (see MDL-16543). As a Google Docs user, I was pleased to see Google Docs in the list, thanks to Dan Poltawski and Dongsheng (MDL-16383).

If you’re a developer thinking about writing your own repository plugin, please see the guide Development:Repository plugins.

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This week we welcome a new developer to the Moodle HQ team in Perth – Sam Hemelryk.

One of Sam’s first jobs is to make sure that every file in Moodle contains the GPL copyright statement at the top, plus a separate docblock, as described in Development:Coding style (MDL-19235).

It’s official: Moodle 1.9.5 and 1.8.9 are now available! A big thank you to everyone who has helped with development, testing, feedback, bug reporting, QA, documentation etc.

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Eloy reminded me the other day of the importance of linking between Moodle Tracker issues and forum discussions to ensure that developers and testers have the full picture.

It’s easy to add a tracker issue link to a forum post – simply type the issue number and the tracker issue auto-linking filter will do the rest. Adding a tracker issue link to a forum post encourages others to watch, vote for and/or comment on the issue.

If you’re looking for a challenge, you may like to check out a particularly difficult issue which Eloy reported a while ago – MDL-15169.

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People often post in the Using Moodle forums with ideas for new features or improvements they’d like included in Moodle. Assuming others agree with the idea, it’s important that it’s recorded in the Moodle Tracker, together with a link to the discussion thread, so that it can be reviewed by core developers.

Development:New feature ideas provides details of the process of getting a new feature or improvement included in Moodle core.

Ideas for new features or improvements are always welcome. For example, see the discussion What would Angel users really like to see in Moodle?

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With just over a week left of our GSOC community bonding period, I’ve been checking how each of our six students are getting on. Everyone now has a blog for keeping the Moodle community informed of their progress etc – see GSOC/2009 for links. Nearly everyone has a project specification in Moodle Docs, and has posted in one of the Using Moodle forums asking for feedback.

I’ve also been checking any new/updated entries in our front page databases. Fortunately I have lots of help with approving database entries (thanks to all our volunteers assigned the role of non-editing teacher), though sometimes Moodle Jobs database entries need amending to ensure they comply with the Trademark License for Moodle. The Moodle Jobs database currently contains around a hundred adverts for Moodle-related jobs offered and wanted.

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