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Edited by Sam Marshall, Friday, 4 Feb 2011, 18:40

A few things to update on with regard to the Moodle 2-related work I'm doing at the OU.

These are quite geeky but might be partially comprehensible by non-programmers this time? Maybe? I'm not sure. Oh well, not forcing anyone to read it.

1. No OU public repository. It's been discussed here and we have agreed that our Moodle 2-based source code repository won't be public after all, which is a bit disappointing. There were concerns about what happens if a developer commits code that contains a system password or something like that (this should be found in code review, but by that point, it's already in the repository).

However I still want to ensure that we release more things more reliably than last time (where we used manual processes). This should be easier because we are trying to keep core modifications as near to zero as possible, and to make our key customisations into standard, independent plugins wherever we can - so they're more practical for other people to use. The current plan is to put out all this stuff... in some as-yet-undetermined but automated way... from about September which is roughly when real live students start using the system, so it's the first time that really fully-tested code would be available.

So anyway, all our code that is suitable for use elsewhere will be public; that also means much more code will be public than under our Moodle 1.9 system; but you probably won't be able to point and laugh at all the core-Moodle customisations we might still be forced to make. Or to steal our passwords.

Before September I will probably do manual releases of a few key modules if anyone else is relying on them.

2. First outsourced project is complete

We've finished the testing process on a small admin report that was developed by Netspot. It works! Hopefully the whole outsourcing thing will actually be a success this time around.

I think the detailed test scripts I've been doing are pretty important to ensuring we actually get what we need (along with sensible selection of companies to do the work). Hopefully, anyhow, because it took ages to make them.

3. ForumNG nearly working in Moodle 2

ForumNG (our forum system) is more or less working in Moodle 2.

This has been a bit of an effort: according to git, ForumNG is about 28,700 lines of code. During the process I have added about 800 lines of code, deleted about 2800 lines of code, and modified about 25,700 lines of code. (If I modified the same line four times in separate commits, it counts for 4 in these stats, so I haven't really touched every line... yet.) Obviously some of these were search-and-replace modifications but I've done an awful lot of manual changes too.

It isn't finished yet. The big thing that doesn't work is the JavaScript, which needs converting to YUI3 (easy but tedious) and to support the new HTML editor and file manager (difficult and may possibly turn out to be a significant rewrite of certain areas). Apart from that I have decided that in order to check things I definitely need to write a comprehensive manual test script that covers all features. This is going to take quite a long time.

4. I got a fairly major change into Moodle 2...

As mentioned last blog post, I did a fairly big chunk of work for core Moodle 2 that will allow plugins (such as, for instance, ForumNG) to do more interesting things on the main course page (such as, for instance, add an 'Unread' indicator - not previously possible without hacks to core). It also improves a bunch of related areas of code, documentation, etc.

Anyhow, this work is now actually included in standard core Moodle 2. Yay - and many thanks to Petr (who came up with much of the overall concept, reviewed the design, reviewed the code, and fixed bugs) and Eloy and others at Moodle HQ.

5 ...but it kind of broke this week's release.

Sorry if you got this week's Moodle 2 release and hit one of the bits that were broken as a result of the change smile And, um, if you didn't get this week's release yet, here's a tip - wait for next week. We did actually test the change - I mean I tested it lots while I was developing it, then Moodle HQ tested it - but there have been just a couple of odd side effects in apparently unrelated areas.

Of course nobody runs random Moodle weekly releases on their live server straight away without any testing of their own, so this is okay, right? .... Right .....? smile

6. I proposed a presentation for the UK Moodle Moot.

We're going to the UK moot again, and I've proposed a short presentation about working together with Moodle HQ. Not counting chickens though: I think last time I proposed a presentation too, and it was going to be totally awesome*, but they rejected it.

* Safe to make that claim about a presentation that never existed, I think. smile


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