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Converting from old forum to ForumNG

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Edited by Sam Marshall, Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009, 20:39

Ray's gone on holiday to China (he completed all his scheduled work) so I'm now left on my own finishing off the forum developments for our March release. Which would be fine if people didn't keep finding bugs in the rest of the system. Argh!

Anyhow, I've made another screencast about quite an important new feature that I implemented in between bugfixing over the last few days. We can now convert from an old standard Moodle forum into a new ForumNG, which should obviously be really important for anyone planning to transition to ForumNG.

Screencast about forum conversionVideo player: forumng-conversion.swf (9.3 MB)

Some notes:

  • If you're not from the OU, you might think the 'old forum' shown here looks a little different; mostly, this is just because of our theme, but there are also some custom features that were added to the old forum locally, such as the ability to add more than one attachment. The conversion process will work with standard forums as well as our customised ones.
  • In the screencast I forgot to show the course home page after conversion. Ooops. The converted forum is placed directly below the old forum it's been converted from. Since the old forum is made invisible, the new forum will appear in exactly the same place.

This feature is particularly important to me because occasionally I have to use internal forums that are still using the old forum and it's a bit painful now I'm used to ForumNG! However that was not the primary reason for implementing it. smile

I didn't show them in the screencast but there are some other features Ray and I added since last time, so I'll just mention these here:

  • Export to Word document (it's actually just HTML which happens to load in Word, but don't tell anyone) - you can now use the 'selected messages or whole discussion' system that was developed for the forward-by-email feature I demoed before.
  • Print - you can print a discussion or selected messages, too. This takes you to a simple view of the messages that's more suitable for printing, and opens the Print dialog ready for you to print the page.
  • Save to MyStuff - this is an OU-only feature. Users here can save a discussion, or selected messages, to their MyStuff portfolio. Hopefully at some later date we will convert this forum to Moodle 2.x; at that point, we'll change this feature to use the standard Moodle 2 portfolio API which means everyone will get it.

As mentioned before, all this stuff should be available in the OU's March release, and in an update to the community version hopefully around the end of the month (or early January if I run out of time).

By the way, if anyone's interested in getting a more comprehensive overview of ForumNG rather than these periodic 'what we did this week' updates, especially from the perspective of standard Moodle usage outside the Open University, you might be interested in the iMoot virtual conference in February. I'll be presenting a one-hour (!) session about ForumNG, showing how to use it with standard Moodle 1.9. This will happen in different time zones and the live presentation is at like 2am or something my time. (It'll be recorded and rerun, with a live question session afterwards, at two more salubrious times.) So you'll get to see how well I can do a presentation at that hour of the morning. Well worth the entrance fee... or possibly not. smile

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