Requesting Hacks, Fixes and Documentation for Hack/Doc Fest V

Hack/Doc Fest V is coming, we’re looking for  suggestions for bug fixes, documentation and new features for Moodle  that the community would like us to address. You can add your requests by making a comment on this blog post. You don’t have to be attending Hack/Doc Fest to make suggestions — we’d like suggestions from the entire community.

Update 1/4/2010:

  • Moodle Hack/Doc Fest V Task List: A complete list of bugs, feature requests, and road tests has been been posted to Google Docs. Attendees have edit access; everyone else has view access.


    1. Cort Haldaman says:

      One of the more annoying bugs for faculty here at Furman is that Import gets very messy if the new course does not have as many weeks/topics as the old course.

    2. Ken Newquist says:

      @Cort I don’t think I’ve seen that one — is it something like the new course has 5 topics and the imported one has 16? At Lafayette we create all courses with 16 topics to match up with the number of weeks in the semester. That way the weekly topics are all there if folks switch between topic and weekly mode, and as a result, we haven’t seen this particular issue before.

      What happens when it does this — do the extra topics get dumped into the the last topic in the new course, or does something else happen?

      • @Ken, I’ve experienced this problem as well. Smith creates new courses with 5 topics. When I or the faculty try to import or backup/restore courses with more than 5 topic sections, Moodle barfs. It either creates a whole bunch of “ghost” resources (that often can’t be deleted), or it dumps all of the resources and activities from topics 6+ into “topic 0”. It’s not pretty, and is one of my pet peeves as well.

        I give this one +1.

        • Another, somewhat related problem: When I backup a course and tell Moodle to restore it to an existing course, deleting it first, it correctly restores all the data into the appropriate topic sections, but only displays the default number of topics (in our case, 5). I or the instructor must manually change the number of topics displayed in order to view the rest of the content.

      • Cort Haldaman says:

        It dumps all the extra content links into the first block (with the News forum). Any content in the summary of the “dropped” blocks is not imported. 16 weeks is a good way to cover the problem to some extent, but there are also the faculty that have 20+ topics that would run into this problem as well.

        • Ken Newquist says:

          Interesting. That’s not the behavior I’d expect; it seems more logical for it to create the sections its missing. We should definitely look at that as I’m sure it’ll hit all of us at some point.

    3. Ken Newquist says:

      The Scheduler “Notice from 1969” bug is still kicking around (this is the bug where Scheduler decides to send a cancelled/moved email for no apparent reason. I intend to squash it dead this time around at Hack/Doc

    4. Bob Puffer says:

      I’ve done some “fixes” on the Grader and User report for the gradebook and would like consideration for inclusion in the upcoming Hack/Doc both to achieve consensus and for testing purposes. Most notably the problems I’ve worked at overcoming are:
      – not being able to display the “real” points for categories and course unless you use “Sum of points” agg method
      – not seeing the accurate point range for categories and course total
      – more flexible User report that allows for turning on and off columns as needed
      – a User report that allows the student to easily view how the grade has been calculated (weights, etc.)

    5. Steve Taylor says:

      Got a request for a “Daily” course format. This would be like the Weekly format, in that it would look at the start date and number of sections in order to lay out a series of date-labeled sections, one for each day. (Preferably each Weekday.) If it were fancy, it could include options for M-W-F or T-Th, etc.

      • Bob Puffer says:

        The TinyMCE editor doesn’t allow embedding of objects– this’d be a good thing to fix for those who have an object embedding role.

    6. Bob Puffer says:

      The bug that disallows students seeing teachers’ response files on Advanced upload assignments until after a grade or feedback has been submitted.

    7. In the Gradebook, when a Grade Item is added to a category with the aggregation method “Simple Weighted Mean of Grades” (the default ag. method), that item is automatically marked as extra credit. This is definitely not the expected behavior.

    8. I’d love to work out the last few kinks in Simple File Upload. As it stands, these things still need to be tested or added:

      – editing without uploading a file
      – getting the “force download” checkbox working

      Also, let’s figure out why the Quickmail “can receive” capability wasn’t working for some folks, fix it, and lobby to get it rolled into Quickmail core for Moodle 2.0.

      Groups in Quickmail are a little funky – Visible Groups works perfectly, but Separate Groups doesn’t work at all.

    9. Ken Newquist says:

      Document Banner and LMB Enrollment plugin settings.

      Add the ability to import department categories into a term category using LMB Enrollment.

      Document (in plain language) the differences (in code and functionality) between LAE and core Moodle. There aren’t many, but based on queries we’ve received, I think folks are anticipating that there are more than there actually are.

    10. Quickmail:
      – Add ability to use to/cc/bcc fields instead of sending out an individual email to each recipient.

      Filtered Course List:
      – Configure role checking so that if a role is assigned at the category level, the user sees categories (or “own courses”), NOT every single course in the category.

      – Add ability to choose which field to filter on (shortname, full name, course ID)

      – Add administrative option to specify own filter names, and the block title. (I.e. instead of “Current Courses,” filter title can be set by the Moodle administrator)

    11. Ken Newquist says:

      We just encountered another bug. As chronicled by Courtney Bentley: “[I] created a quick test of this in a sample course and could not get a grade item set to display text to give me a text box to enter the letters.”

      So basically, something is wonky with the text field for grade items.

    12. Ken Newquist says:

      Clark Shah-Nelson at SUNY Delhi submitted these bug requests:

      1. LMB (Luminis Message Broker Plugin)

      * as we’ve already discussed, getting this into CONTRIB/tracker, CVS, etc.

      * I’d really like the ability to have the LMB use the Course Default Settings (admin/settings.php?section=coursesettings) when it sets up new courses – so that all courses are set up with the number of weeks/topics I have there,

      * Add setting menu for “Course Enrollable: Yes/No” since that is not in the Course Default settings above (though I started a ticket to get it included in course default settings:
      I would love to have the LMB also set up courses with one “general forum” in addition to the “News Forum” so that all courses would have those 2 things at the very least as a default.

      * If it hasn’t already been added, the LMB log should be able to include a timestamp with date/time of all entries. I had to have Moodlerooms do this custom for me.

      2. IMPORT – this function is great for those who use the LMB, who normally need to have users move their content from course to course each term. The backup/restore thing, while similar, requires downloading and uploading files, and is just more difficult for users to do on their own. However, IMPORT has a number of drawbacks:

      * BLOCKS: it doesn’t bring in blocks such as custom blocks (our faculty use the custom HTML block for contact info, etc.) The backup/restore process DOES copy the blocks from course to course. It would be great if the IMPORT function also had checkboxes for the blocks, just like the resources and activities.

      * COURSE SETTINGS – these are in the backup file, but are never brought into a new course, whether by import, or even restore to an existing course, deleting it first. Generally instructors would like an easier way to import not only the content of their courses, but also the course settings, such as forced theme, # of weeks/modules, language, etc etc…

      * NUMBER OF WEEKS/TOPICS: A related issue, where when importing from a course with 20 weeks into a course with 6 weeks, the contents of weeks 7-20 are shoved into week 0 or 1:

      * ROLL ACTIVITY DUE DATES: Don’t have a ticket for this yet, but it would be powerful if the user could enter a new course start date and it would roll forward all the assignment, quiz or other open/close/due dates in the course based on the relative position to the start date. So, for example, if the Fall 2008 course started on September 1 and assignment 1 was due on October 1, in 2009, the start date changed to Sept. 3rd, the assignment 1 due date would change accordingly to Oct 3rd. This would automate something that ultimately is one of the most time-consuming tasks of instructors – changing all the due dates each term. It would likely not be perfect, but at least it would make it much easier.

      3. Another custom security item Moodlerooms did, they included at the top a username/password interface for the password protected “upload” folder so that we wouldn’t have to go into PHP or etc. to set up /change that username and password. (See attachment)

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