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Edited by Sam Marshall, Friday, 21 Jan 2011, 18:11

Here's a blog entry to let you (=anyone who cares) know what I've been doing so far this year. Apart from thinking 'wtf how is it another year already'.

This is another very technical post, because I don't really have anything non-technical to say this time, so apologies to anyone who isn't a programmer, it may be time to make a swift exit...

I've made several small changes to core Moodle 2. The new process for external developers to get changes included in the core system is a bit cumbersome but it really seems to be working quite well, at least when the tracker hasn't fallen over.

Also thanks to Petr (Moodle HQ developer) for helping with a proposal for letting modules do more things to the front page, which basically means third party developers can create modules that behave like label (displaying content on the front page instead of just a link) or like forum (showing dynamic, in this case unread-messages, information on the front page). It also tidies up and documents the infrastructure around this area. I've done all the work now but this hasn't been accepted into Moodle code yet; I'm typing with crossed fingers right now. smile (By the way, if it is accepted, I don't know whether it will be accepted into Moodle 2.0.x or 2.1.)

One last thing while talking about core stuff - I made a teensy little plugin for Moodle 2 strictly for developers that lets you one-button toggle between your normal (presumably 'debug') settings, and some faster 'production'-style settings, for when you want to realistically profile performance using Eloy's nice xhprof integration. No point profiling something that's running slowly because of extra debugging calculations, after all. If anybody wants this, please grab it from my GoogleDocs area.

Back with OU custom developments, I've done some of the work to convert ForumNG to Moodle 2, including converting all the database code to the new API. That took quite a while as the search for affected lines that needed to be changed initially found over 600 results.

As for the three other members of my team, Ray has been working on Structured Content [the system that turns XML into textbook-style content on our Moodle websites]. This is working quite well on Moodle 2 now. Alan is also converting a necessary subsystem for that, and Al is working on the 'log in as example student' administrative feature that we use instead of the core switch role feature.

This is the type of thing we're supposed to be doing. Unfortunately I have also had to fix some fairly serious bugs in ForumNG this week, and Ray's had to do some in Structured Content, both in our current 1.9 system. Obviously bugs are especially annoying because we have to fix them in both versions now. (Public notice to all staff and students: stop finding bugs in our current system! I'm trying to work on the new one!)

In addition to the actual bugs, there are also other support issues I have to investigate which aren't likely to be bugs with our system, probably just some weird configuration problem between us and other university systems - like at the moment, somebody doesn't seem to be able to get into the system when they totally should be allowed access. (Public notice to all staff and students: stop not being able to log in to our current system! I'm- wait, that doesn't really work, does it.)


Anyway, that's how things are going so far this year. Maybe I can think of something more interesting to put in the next blog entry, but I wouldn't bet on it!

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Mark Pearson, Monday, 21 Feb 2011, 15:21)
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Quick post to mention something I also posted in Moodle developer forums. I've been helping to investigate how much work it will be to move the OU from our current Moodle 1.9-based system to Moodle 2.

As part of that I converted the Structured Content module (oucontent), which is what displays textbook-like content within the OU VLE.

The non-techie version of this is 'it took about four or five days to convert this module'. If anyone's interested in the techie version, however, you can find it in this Word document which is my notes of the process.

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