Hi all. Just wanted to announce that the Open University's newly developed forum module, 'ForumNG', is now available as an optional add-on for standard Moodle 1.9. Since this is currently a pilot version I thought the developer forum was the best place to plug it - sites that don't have any development expertise available whatever might not be the best place to try it.
If you run a Moodle 1.9.x installation, please feel free to try it out. However, do bear in mind (again) that this is a pilot version and is sort of halfway between testing (i.e. earlier versions have been tested but we changed a bunch of things since).
This is a newer version than the one currently running, again in pilot version (yes I just said that because I wanted to make it bold again), on the OU's live system. Please install on a test server first, and do not use for any real work unless you've verified for yourself that it is good enough for your purposes. There might well be stupid bugs at present.
ForumNG sits alongside the existing Moodle forum and is completely independent; you can still set up new forums using either system.
The forum has some additional features (and just a few that are still missing, such as most of the forum types). Here are some of the new features:
- Advanced DHTML/AJAX (dynamic web page) support in the discussion page, which allows you to reply to, edit, rate, and delete posts without leaving the page.
- Unique (only) discussion view which combines the benefits of 'nested' and date-related views; it is a nested view, so you can see the discussion structure, but except for unread posts (and their immediate parents), posts are 'collapsed' to a short summary, so you don't have to scroll through mounds of junk to get to the unread posts. Expanding a post is one click away.
- Administrative improvements such as the ability to merge discussions.
- The rating system has friendly star graphics and can be used for grading or without a grade.
You can read more about the forum and see some screencasts if you look back through my work blog about the development. (The screencasts use our OU theme, but it works the same in the standard theme.) That's also the place to follow if you want to find out about ongoing development; we are continuing to add features and will hopefully batch them into public updates periodically. Or if you prefer, my blog is included in Planet Moodle, so you can watch that and get news from all sorts of Moodle developers - core developers as well as the hangers-on like me.
If you find bugs please report them via the Moodle bug tracker. (And if you find security holes please don't forget to choose the 'security' option when filing the bug so that we can fix it before it's made public.)
PS We do hope that this forum might be integrated into standard Moodle in future if people like it. However even if that does happen, the earliest release it would likely be in is Moodle 2.1, so this is quite some way from being a standard Moodle feature.