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Moodle 1.9 Extension Development

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Book Reviews 57

melbenson writes "Moodle 1.9 Extension Development by Jonathon Moore and Michael Churchward, published by Packt Publishing, definitely delivers what it says on the book cover — 'Customize and extend Moodle by using its robust plugin systems.' This book, intended for users with a solid knowledge of the Moodle software and Moodle technologies, does a great job of opening the doors to creative and useful ideas to take your Moodle site to the next level. The book takes the reader through many examples of customizing and editing the Moodle code in an easy to understand, user-friendly way but also presents the reader with challenging and advanced concepts." Read on for the rest of melbenson's review.I've been working with the free open-source software, Moodle, for the past 3 years as an admin in a school district and consulting, which includes experience with Moodle themes, the Moodle database, admin tasks, user technology support and the end-user interface and functionality. I also have knowledge in CSS, web development and a basic understanding of PHP and server topics. I work with Moodle, read several Moodle-related books, attend Moodle user groups and participate in the online Moodle community but amuch of the information covered and talked about is the basic tech support and technology integration (which is great!) but I've been craving to learn more of the 'geeky"' code topics in Moodle. When I saw the title of the book I was expecting material on coding, development and more technical topics compared to the other Moodle books and that is exactly what I got.

In the beginning of the book the author goes over basic, but powerful tasks like creating and modifying blocks and activities. Later on, the book discusses more advanced topics like integrating Moodle with other systems, pagelib and formslib and web services.

The 'Customize and extend Moodle by using its robust plugin systems' phrase from the book cover describes this book very well. It discussed and showed just how much you can customize your Moodle site to fit your needs and create integrations between other systems. this book covers everything from simply creating a block to integrating the Moodle system with other systems and implementing Single Sign On (SSO). The full table of contents can be seen on the Packt Publishing website. The book involved heavy discussion about PHP, which was expected since Moodle is written in PHP and the book was basically all about editing the code. I'm a newbie with PHP so some of the examples were over my head but I know I will be able to go back and reference things I didn't fully understand the first time.

After reading this book I think this book is for any programmers, database and web development people and tech savvy Moodle admins, which is what I was expecting and the reason why I was so excited to read it. I don't think this book is intended for newbies to Moodle or Moodle technologies (PHP, MySQL, CSS/HTML) however, like myself, you don't have to be an expert in all of those subjects. I would say this book is for intermediate to advanced Moodle users and programmers.

I trust that the technical information given in this book is accurate as I have read several other books from the Packt Publishing company. The author also does a good job of informing the reader of the date of publication and alerts the reader of possible changes in future versions. Although the topics in the book were technical, the author does a good job of using language that was easy to read and follow along with. The only hardware that readers will need to follow along is a computer using any type of operating system. To follow along with the examples readers will also need an installation of Moodle, which is an open-source free software. Readers can install the free software locally on their computer or install it on a hosting service.

Throughout the entire book there were real-life examples and screenshot images. The only issue with the screenshots was that they were not in color which I think could have enhanced the experience of following along. To go along with the examples there was sample code presented in the book and the full source code is available for download. The example code for download will be great for future reference and it will be useful when I go through the examples again and try to do the tasks myself and experiment on my own.

The book covered and accomplished pretty much what I had expected. I can't think of anything that I thought the book was missing, besides going into more detail about the specific topics I was personally interested in. One reason I was so excited to begin reading this book is because I've read about a half dozen Moodle books and this one, I felt, was going to contain by far the most 'technical' and 'back-end' related material compared to all of the others. I have no knowledge of any other Moodle books that are similar in subject to this one, although I have a feeling that more books like this one will be coming.

Overall, I very much enjoyed reading this book and it is personally, my favorite Moodle-related book. Not because I thought it was better written, better quality or contained the most information but because it covered exactly what I was hoping it would. I personally think the best parts about this book were the coding and advanced technical topics covered, the real life examples covered and the provided full source code for download for future experimentation and reference.

You can purchase Moodle 1.9 Extension Development from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Argggggg. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34378088)

The first couple of sentences should explain what the hell "Moodle" is. All I know after reading your introduction is that it's a thing of some kind with plugins....

Re:Argggggg. (1)

kriss (4837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378164)

Damn, good sir. You beat me to posting that very sentiment. Utterly pointless book review.

Re:Argggggg. (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378676)

Exactly. I was writing essentially the same thing, and there it was. Even posting it's a "learning management system" is not quite sufficient. So one can use it to learn what it is? Does it understand negative feedback? Where do the electrodes clip-on?

Re:Argggggg. (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386088)

It's not even a "Learning Management System". An LMS is a tool to provide structured training to recipients. It's not a tightly defined category, but you can expect an LMS to order people's training, track what they've done and tell you they've done it. Moodle is a VLE or "Virtual Learning Environment". That does a lot of the same things as an LMS, but with a different emphasis. It's designed as a replacement or supplement for a physical teaching environment. So for example, Moodle provides a lot of tools for student-teacher interaction, group work between students, rambling wiki-based projects, etc. Typically, you'd use an LMS for a corporate training program. You'd use a VLE for academic teaching. For example, I have a corporate client that chose Moodle to deliver their training (prior to my appointment). I've had to take a number of measures to eliminate core functionality from Moodle such as student interaction, which I would not need to do with an LMS. On the other hand, I built up a Moodle system for a well-known University and it was entirely appropriate and a great success. So a VLE has a great more functionalty than you'd expect in a LMS, though whether or not this is a good or bad thing, depends on your needs. For example, until Moodle 2.0, there wasn't even a good method of structuring the order in which training was taken. Simply because it's geared toward a teacher working with the students and making activities available or not as needed.

Incidentally, a number of people further down have commented that this book is useless because it's for Moodle 1.9 and 2.0 has just been released. This is incorrect. There is a very large install base of Moodle 1.9 and a reasonably smooth upgrade path to it from previous versions. Moodle 1.9 is going to be around for quite some time whether the Moodle foundation like it or not. Moodle 2.0 is a large shift from Moodle 1.9 (the big breaks where upgrading becomes a big deal are between 1.5 and 1.6 and 1.9 and 2.0 so people are tending to "pile up" at 1.9). Secondly, although the online documentation for Moodle is passable (just), a good book is very useful for two reasons. The first is simply that it can provide the hand-holding which the online documentation fails to do.

But the second is because of the audience, and I guess because of a shift in how people get into such programming, you get a lot of people starting to develop for Moodle from the web-developer end and working their way down. I.e. they started out by learning some HTML, then a bit of Javascript, then PHP. Whereas my first jobs were writing device drivers so I've worked my way "upwards" toward the webby stuff from below. I presented at MoodleMoot (the annual Moodle conference) on integrating Moodle databases and I found a real hunger for technical knowledge there. So particularly if you are a 'web developer', a book like this can be very useful.

That said, I haven't read it. I expect it's useful to those looking for an introduction. You shouldn't be put off by it being for 1.9 anyway. I'm advising clients to put off moving to Moodle 2.0 for at least the next six months until everything has settled down. I'm already developing software for Moodle 2.0 but that doesn't mean I'm touting it to people yet. My speciality is working with the Moodle database and doing migrations. You want to save yourself $$$ on using Blackboard each year? You talk to me. You don't need plugins for that and a book wont help you. But if you're a web-developer needing to deploy some new training module or enrolment system (as I've needed to do for some clients), you'll likely want a more structured approach than the jigsaw puzzle that is Moodle's own online documentation.

Re:Argggggg. (3, Informative)

throup (325558) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378206)

It's a learning management system which has a major release, Moodle 2.0, last week...

Re:Argggggg. (2, Funny)

subk (551165) | more than 3 years ago | (#34380336)

It's a learning management system which has a major release, Moodle 2.0, last week...

Which means this book review for Moodle 1.9 stuff is REALLY worthless.

Re:Argggggg. (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378250)

This review is so generic that Moodle could be nearly anything and the review could be describing it.

You are lucky you have not (4, Informative)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378438)

Moodle is a VLE, a virtual learning environment. It's for academic institutions like schools and universities. The institution creates a module for each course that might be taught and in that course is a hierarchy for each year of students and resources used by them. It depends how it is configured but each module has like a portal which has a calendar, where links to uploaded files can be put (Word, powerpoint, excel etc) and you can even run assessments of it.

With all that said, as a user, it is a horrible piece of software. It's a VLE that just doesn't improve my learning. It might put it all in one place but I regard it more of a CMS than an education system.

Re:You are lucky you have not (1)

melbenson (1871902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34381626)

Thank you to those replying with "what Moodle is" information. This being my first review, it was my understanding (which was not right:) ) that knowledge of Moodle would be a given and people who read a review on a detailed subject would know what the main topic is (just like not having to explain what an LMS is if I referenced that or what PHP is). I will know for next time and if anyone has questions I will be sure to help out with what I can. More from Moodle.org - "Moodle is an Open Source Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It has become very popular among educators around the world as a tool for creating online dynamic web sites for their students. To work, it needs to be installed on a web server somewhere, either on one of your own computers or one at a web hosting company." It is similar to WebCT and BlackBoard. As far as not "improving your learning" - it is not the job of the LMS to teach for the educator. This piece of software facilitates and enhances teaching with an emphasis on communication and collaboration, which are key 21st century skills. Moodle preaches the Pedagogy which is the real key in a student "learning".

CMS == Content management System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34382124)

In the context of this site and of the Web in general, "CMS" is not "Course Management System" but "Content Management System". Typical examples of CMSs that are mentioned on Slashdot regularly are Drupal, Joomla!, and Django, and book reviews for such CMSs appear here regularly.

If you're going to come here from a narrower or more specific application domain (Edu) and expect to be understood, you need to define your terms first. You can't just expect people to automatically know what you're talking about if you use abbreviations that mean something quite different in common public use.

Re:CMS == Content management System (1)

melbenson (1871902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34382314)

I don't believe I mentioned the term, CMS, in the original review and I don't normally call it that as I know it is not the first thing people think of. The above description comes from Moodle.org and it spells it out in the description. As stated in the intro it says "This book, intended for users with a solid knowledge of the Moodle software and Moodle technologies, does a...". I guess I didn't think anyone would read a book on a specific, detailed topic on a topic if they don't know what the topic is. But thanks for the feedback, it makes sense to include terms and 1-2 sentences on the main topic - I'll keep it in mind!

Re:You are lucky you have not (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34383674)

This being my first review

Could I gently suggest in the future you stick to reviewing technical books that you are either in a position to properly evaluate or are actually wanting to learn from. For example saying things like:

I trust that the technical information given in this book is accurate as I have read several other books from the Packt Publishing company.

Tells me that (a) you are not expert in what the book is about because you have no idea whether it is correct or not and (b) you are not using the book to learn the material for the first time for some pet project in which case you could usefully comment on how clearly the concepts are explained. Indeed your review reads like that of a novel which would be fine if you had actually reviewed a novel but for a technical book you need to include factual details: were the explanations clear? was the information accurate? how easy was it to code a trivial plugin using the book? etc.

As far as not "improving your learning" - it is not the job of the LMS to teach for the educator. This piece of software facilitates and enhances teaching with an emphasis on communication and collaboration, which are key 21st century skills. Moodle preaches the Pedagogy which is the real key in a student "learning".

Moodle can teach if you want it to - it has a lesson module and support for SCORM as well as for online assignments assessed by the site itself. In fact how can you claim enhances teaching if you don't believe that result in improved learning? I'd also point out that communication and collaboration have been key skills since the stone age when we learnt to hunt woolly mammoths. Just because the way we do these things has changed (and is still rapidly changing) that does not make them any more or less important than they always have been.

Moodle preaches the Pedagogy which is the real key in a student "learning".

Moodle does not preach the art of teaching any more than a hammer preaches the art of building. It is a tool to make teaching easier and can be used for a whole variety of pedagogical approaches. This is precisely why it is so successful: any professor or teacher can use it to enhance the way that THEY want to teach without it ramming some preconceived notion about how to teach down your throat.

Another Moodle Book last week also got that wrong (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34383846)

Thanks for adding the summary. There was another Moodle book review on Slashdot last week [slashdot.org] , which also made the same incorrect assumption about its audience, and I was one of several people who ranted about that. I'm curious about how you got asked to write the book review - was it the Moodle organization, or Slashdot's editors, or a publisher?

It's fairly common to have articles on Slashdot saying that Frobnitz 3.2.4 has just been released, with descriptions of a couple of bugs that got fixed and minor features that got added, which might mean something to existing users, but with a couple of million readers, not everybody knows if something's a widely popular game (we're not all gamers) or a software development product or something hopelessly obscure and niche-y, or if it's something new and cool we might want to read about. A sentence or two of summary up front really helps readers know whether they want to read the whole article or not.

Re:You are lucky you have not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34384368)

You think Moodle is bad? Try the non-OSS ones (e.g. Blackboard). Those will teach you what bad really is.

Re:Argggggg. (1)

British (51765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378510)

If I had mod points(remember those?) I would give them to you. I'm tired of these Slashdot reviews that automatically assume you know what obscure thing they are talking about. How about just a little bit of context? And no, please don't excessively hyperlink it. Just give me 1 or 2 sentences.

Re:Argggggg. (2, Funny)

oldmildog (533046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378602)

You can pretty much copy & paste your comment to every book review here on Slashdot.

Moodle is... (4, Informative)

MichaelPenne (605299) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378744)

Moodle is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.

It's also a good example of a successful FOSS project, with an active and growing user community, used by more than 38 million students in 212 countries [moodle.org] , translated into 81 languages [moodle.org] , and with thriving commercial support community. [moodle.com]

Re:Argggggg. (1)

Degro (989442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378800)

Yeah, somebody needs to update the script that generates these posts... You know, the lighter version of the script that writes these books.

Re:Argggggg. (1)

mctee155 (862932) | more than 3 years ago | (#34379102)

Moodle is like a content management system but geared for learning (LMS). It has features such as the ability to give graded quizzes and assignments, has a gradebook to track student's scores, and a repository for course materials. Some other LMSs are Desire2Learn, Blackboard, Sakai, and Instructure.

Re:Argggggg. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34379582)

The first couple of sentences should explain what the hell "Moodle" is. All I know after reading your introduction is that it's a thing of some kind with plugins....

Agree, but it's easy to Google...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moodle [wikipedia.org]
http://moodle.com.au/ [moodle.com.au]
http://download.moodle.org/ [moodle.org]

It's a real product but this article smacks of being an advertisement.

Re:Argggggg. (1)

melbenson (1871902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34381698)

I assure you that this review was NOT an advertisement. I can definitely see the need for a basic overview of what Moodle is and the criticism surrounding that but I don't want this book review to be looked at as "fake". It's sitting by my work desk now with bookmarks and references. It was the best Moodle book I've read so far!

Re:Argggggg. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34382904)

And how much did Packt pay you to write a review and submit it to slashdot?

Re:Argggggg. (1)

melbenson (1871902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34383106)

lol i promise nothing! trust me ha. I work in a school district, I work with/love moodle, have a moodle blog and I'm trying to learn more of the php/programming side of things - that's why I loved the book. Don't blame the author or them for me not putting in the necessary information lol.

Re:Argggggg. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34383520)

I assure you that this review was NOT an advertisement. I can definitely see the need for a basic overview of what Moodle is and the criticism surrounding that but I don't want this book review to be looked at as "fake". It's sitting by my work desk now with bookmarks and references. It was the best Moodle book I've read so far!

I didn't say your review was fake. Just that it looked like advertising. My god man, how many have you read?

Re:Argggggg. (1)

melbenson (1871902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34383628)

I didn't say your review was fake. Just that it looked like advertising. My god man, how many have you read?

(WOman ;) ) Oh, I didn't mean to respond to your post with that comment syousef.. Um, about 6ish Moodle books total (we had extra grant money to buy some for our prof dev library :) ). This one was the first one I've read with more of the coding aspect to it. The only documentation I've read on Moodle coding/plugins so far has been online.

Re:Argggggg. (1)

zhidian2011 (1936436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34382740)

YOU MUST NOT MISS IT!!! -------------- http://www.ftoto.com/ [ftoto.com] ----------- a leading worldwide wholesale company (or ucan say organization). We supply more than 100 thousand high-quality merchandise and famous brand name products all at wholesale prices. -------------- http://www.ftoto.com/ [ftoto.com] -----------

Re:Argggggg. (1)

scribble73 (879745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34384022)

I appreciate the book reviews posted here. This thread obviously has a problem with this review (good as it is) because they can't figure out what the product does. Moodle isn't alone. Open source projects often fail because they don't explain what their products do. Definitions seem obvious to the skilled, idealistic and insightful engineers who create OS software, but definitions and overviews are NOT obvious to anyone else. Further; The OS engineers who write docs often lack the skills they need to write documentation that helps their users. When their docs fail, their product fails -- and they never quite know why. So Moodle (whatever it is) needs to be defined; so I can no longer put "whatever it is" in parentheses when I refer to it. I need to see Moodle defined in terms of the specific problems it solves for me. Briefly tell me how Moodle works -- then break out a list of functions it performs, and tell me what each function does. Be specific. Include brief examples. Once you give me a practical sense for what your product produces for me, I'll be ready to read about installation, configuration, customization, admin tasks, content creation and session-building for students. ... but be specific -- appending an acronym to a product name is not a definition. sc

Another PHP (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34378090)

Plug posing as a story !!!

Slashdot: Ads For PHPers, Software That's Dead

Yours In AT.S.A. Airport Security Screening Line [youtube.com]
Kilgore T.

Re: Another PHP (0, Troll)

xonar (1069832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378774)

PHP is far from dead

only 9/10? (2, Insightful)

MichaelKristopeit203 (1943992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378242)

couldn't the publishers afford a 10?

slashdot = stagnated

Press Release (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34378272)

Yet another Packt Publishing press release disguised as a legit book review. Please keep these trash articles coming.

Re:Press Release (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34387074)

Why is this modded troll? Seems pretty insightful to me.

M.O.O.D.L.E (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34378388)

Moodle (abbreviation for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is a free and open-source e-learning software platform, also known as a Course Management System, Learning Management System, or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

A BEST SELLER FOR SURE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34378520)

This is the book of the month for sure, baby !!

Oprah is calling right now !! Get the presses running !!

Slashdot Book Reviews (3, Insightful)

Degro (989442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378546)

These book reviews are consistently the most useless things posted here. I hope Slashdot is getting a decent chunk of change for it at least.

Re:Slashdot Book Reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34380192)

I'm just surprised they're not all tagged "Packvertisement" by now...

More useless than you realize! (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34383222)

These book reviews are consistently the most useless things posted here.

In this case the book is probably even more useless than you realize. Moodle just came out with version 2.0 last week and, speaking as a Moodle plugin developer (for a question type which understands algebra), there are enough changes that this book pretty useless.

comments aren't working (0, Redundant)

MichaelKristopeit212 (1946196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34378646)

it seems slashdot has disabled comments for this obviously paid posting.

slashdot = stagnated

Close the security holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34379072)

Moodle really needs a re-design of the help system to plug the xss vulnerabilities through 'help.php'. My advice is to analyze the code and correct the core code design flaws prior to writing an extension, because you may have to go back and rewrite your extension to accommodate changes to the script API. Moodle also kills its host database performance with the way it runs queries, which will also require a major overhaul. In short, coding for Moodle is not a good idea for newbies.

Still enforcing horridness? (2, Interesting)

shish (588640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34379376)

Last I checked, moodle did things like checking to see if the universally abhorred magic quotes were enabled, and if not, it emulated them, to make absolutely sure that all developers had to deal with that crap; is that still the case? :-/

Re:Still enforcing horridness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34379616)

#ohgod #fail #phpsucksass

Re:Still enforcing horridness? (2, Informative)

melbenson (1871902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34381736)

Moodle requires the following to be set in php.ini "magic_quotes_runtime = Off". Starting in 2.0 it is strongly recommended to disable magic quotes completely - http://docs.moodle.org/en/Errors_FAQ#Any_text_I_add_with_an_apostrophe_.28.27.29_or_a_quote_.28.22.29_causes_errors_or_comes_up_with_a_slash_added [moodle.org]

Fi8st (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34380178)

non-fucking-exisTant. may do, may not fucking numbers, the official GAY

Today's Moodle: Sad :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34380396)

Am I misinterpreting 'moodle'?

Programming books best reviewed by programmers (1)

MikeTheGreat (34142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34380606)

On the one hand I appreciate someone bring greater exposure to Moodle, particularly as I've occasionally considered writing a plugin for it myself. On the other hand, I'd love to see this book reviewed by someone who actually has some programming chops. Statements like "I trust that the technical information given in this book is accurate as I have read several other books from the Packt Publishing company" aren't really helpful - the whole point of reading a review of a technical book is to find out things like whether the book is accurate or not.

My guess is that writing a Moodle plugin is the reviewer's first "scratching my own itch" project, I wish the reviewer well with it, and would love to hear from more experienced programmers about this book (if anyone's read it).

Don't buy it (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34383266)

Moodle 2.0 just came out and there are enough changes that learning to code for the 1.9 interface would be a waste of time. If you are starting out I'd go straight to 2.0 - I'm now having to make the leap in order to update my algebra question plugin.

Re:Programming books best reviewed by programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34383816)

Reviews by Moodle developers.

Tim Hunt
http://tjhunt.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-review-moodle-19-extension.html
Moodle Core developer and maintainer of the quiz module

Anthony Burrow
http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/AM53PUSFMS1RM/ref=cm_cr_pr_pdp
Contrib maintainer for Moodle.

Moodle 1.x != Moodle 2.x (1)

jamessnell (857336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34381356)

So Moodle 2.0 was finally released about a week ago. Suffice to say, there are massive differences between Moodle 1.x and 2.x - as such I'm not sure of how helpful this book would be to anyone who's already upgraded (or will be any time soon). I'm far from a Moodle expert, but as a newb admin of a Moodle deployment I feel a bit sorry for this book's authors. Hopefully the impact of 2.x isn't so great in the case of extension dev. I don't know.

(*all the pandas suddenly cried out*)

Re:Moodle 1.x != Moodle 2.x (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34386164)

I can answer that, having some pretty substantial experience with Moodle pre 2.0 and now starting to develop some plugins for 2.0. The difference is significant. Don't start with Moodle 1.9 books / guides if you're wanting to develope for Moodle 2.0. At least not unless you have to. Some areas of the code are affected more than others of course, but that would be my advice. HOWEVER, I would also follow that advice with don't move to Moodle 2.0 yet. Moodle 1.9 will be around for quite some time and it's still worth your time to develop plugins for it if you identify a need. If you're just rolling out your first Moodle installation now, then you probably have to go with 2.0 (probably) just because you're going to want to upgrade at some point otherwise, but for Pity's sake, don't upgrade just for the sake of it. Aside from this being very new code, there will be re-training consequences for a start.

Moodle is horrible (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 3 years ago | (#34381650)

The Moodle codebase should have been taken out back and shot years ago.

Re:Moodle is horrible (1)

DisKurzion (662299) | more than 3 years ago | (#34392072)

Moodle may be horrible...but what are the alternatives for Higher Ed?

Almost everything else is closed-source, expensive, and just as buggy, if not moreso.

The college I work for recently ditched Blackboard in favor of Moodle, because all of the 'core' functionality was comparable, but we could extend Moodle's functionality for free, instead of paying Blackboard's ever-increasing fees. We hand-rolled the following, for less overall TCO than we would have been paying Blackboard:
Integration with our SSO solution
Automatic course creation based on Banner data (Blackboard was a black box...we would have had to pay for this functionality).
Automatic add/drop of courses based on our Banner data (Again, would have had to pay extra for this).

The kicker is that we're running Moodle on Oracle, which required a bit of tweaking (especially for plugins) because Moodle was designed for MySQL. But the performance hit is worth it for us because the integration is easier to manage in an all-Oracle environment.

Yea, Moodle's codebase is a bit of a nightmare. But at least there is a codebase to work with, which is more than can be said for any other LMS on the market.

mod Down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34383036)

an abrduo0s [goat.cx]

Moodle 1.9 Extension Dev update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34389110)

I don't know about Coward, more like Anonymous Laziness - to lazy to create and keep track of an account.

The obvious next question is: [When] will this book be updated for Moodle 2.0?

Although much is the same or similar, there are some significant changes from 1.9 to 2.0, especially in
data structures which influence how one would set things up and how files are shared.

Re:Moodle 1.9 Extension Dev update (1)

slag02 (1359687) | more than 3 years ago | (#34390324)

I work closely with both the Authors and I believe they will be getting out a version for 2.0 when they can- We were all laughing that this gets Slashdotted after 2.0 even though the book has been out for a little while - I even have my own Signed copy :P But as I work very closely with Moodle I can assure you plenty of people will still be running 1.9 for awhile longer, I still run into Moodle 1.6 sites from time to time Also there is currently no way to import an class into Moodle 2.0 that has been backed up in a previous version - that will come in 2.1 [off topic] Moodle 2.0 is such a jump from the previous versions of Moodle - it has taken them ~3 years to get it out... People should let bugs get worked out of the early builds before they start jumping on this - at the very least a 2.01 or 2.02 some stats from the Moodle Git repository for the amount of changes that have happened to Moodle 2.0 in the last little while.: Since Nov. 10 the following has happeend to the 2.0 code: 430 files changed, 9158 insertions(+), 8117 deletions(-) This means that within the 430 files that have changed there have been 9158 lines of code with additions made and 8117 lines of code with deletions made. This is a LARGE amount of code changed in a very short period of time...

Re:Moodle 1.9 Extension Dev update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34402540)

I contacted the Publishers of this book and they indicated that they don't have ANY plans to bring out an updated version of this book for Moodle 2.0.

Blackboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34399098)

I am a developer at a school that runs the mentioned Blackboard course management software which "competes" with Moodle - or at least it is used for much of the same purposes. Blackboard is written in Java and runs on Tomcat. As someone who has developed for Moodle in a previous life, Blackboard is much easier and more preferable to develop on. At least I don't have to completely rewrite my Blackboard "plugins" as a Moodle developer would have to when going from 1.9 to the "newly" released 2.0 version. I say "newly" because it has been on the verge of being released for over a year. Even though the project is open source, decisions about the project are all centalised in one man's head in Australia. The decisions made broke this compatibility for virtually all plugins and themes in 2.0 unfortunately rendering this book rubbish. And in a recent video, he said he hopes to rewrite it again from scratch in 3.0!

Moodle Extension (1)

chinchanchoi (1954136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34467990)

I'd like to have a copy of this book, anyone can recommend this one? We are using Moodle at school, and i want to learn how to develop extension for it. Is this book a really good one? I have programming skills in php and been working with wordpress for some time now. Thanks! -Chin Hospedagem de site [hostguia.com]
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