I append some links.
On balance, I'd suggest subscription at the discussion level is a great enhancement we really need. How about voting for it? http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-1626
Some of the discussions and comments on subscription at the discussion level.
These range from politics/philosophy (you are selfish if you want to not follow everything) teacher management issues (How to deal with forums, you can choose to make some threads compulsory subscriptions . . . ), coding difficulties (to do with overheads), code that does work but has not been accepted into the core, huge numbers of votes for this issue . .
Subtle issues like: Do you have to GO there to a forum to subscribe or do you have a setting "Subscribe to NEW threads" etc. then selectively unsubscribe.
1. The Moodle feature tracker: http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-1626
2. Discussions: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=118619
3. The discussion about 'spam': http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=9960
4. The heated discussion where posters accuse others of being selfish:
I quote: "It is my understanding that as a FREE COMMUNITY based project the idea of MOODLE is for evrybody involved to SHARE their ideas. It seems to me a function allowing for subscription to single threads would only be useful for the shamelessly selfish. That is, people who only want to see the repies to their OWN threads and those threads in which the INDIVIDUAL is personally interested. For those people a 'Please help me with my problem, and by the way, don't waste my time with other people's questions..' kind of facility would be perfect. But I think that for most of us interested in learning and sharing via the very commendable social constructionist approach and open source principle it isn't really relevant."
Probably the best concentration of the issues.
5. Some comments on Forum Management:
No doubt there is more in the forums, and other issues I've not considered here . . . I lived with a system for 8 years with subscriptions at the forum and thread level and it was cool. Moodle seems inflexible in comparison. I 'monitor' 20 courses (suitable for digests), I am active in 6 courses (need post by post for some, by the thread for others) and dabble in 20 more . . . the system wide digest option just doesn't cut it. 40 rules for filtering e-mail seemed a bit sad also.
I'd be interested in any other comment/links not here.
TO REPEAT: On balance, I'd suggest subscription at the discussion level is a great enhancement we really need. How about voting for it? http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-1626
(And it is possible that ForumNG will replace the standard forum in Moodle 2.1.)
I've just had a look at thepage you linked to. I'll install it and have a fiddle.
A few questions occur to me . .
Why a new forum?
Why not develop the existing one?
Is there something under the hood that it fixes?
What was the problem/need that this was designed to fix?
1. a. The forum is one of the oldest parts of Moodle, and over the years, lots of different features have been added one at a time so there is a lot of mess.
b. The code started off in the days of PHP 4 and MySQL 3, whereas new Moodle code can use the object-oriented features in PHP 5.
c. We wanted to create a new module that could initially be a third-party plugin, without affecting the existing forum module, so the new module could be piloted and then rolled out in a controlled way while we were still using the old one.
So, basically, after 10 years, it was not unreasonable to make a clean start with a new code-base.
2. sam marshall, who wrote most of forumng, really like writing new things from scratch
I like the current forum notice "Edited on this day by the Admin" which shows students that I made a change in their work. However I would like students to be able to go back and edit their posts to correct any errors without me and have that notice read, for example, "Edited on this day by the author".
I also would like the ability to take all posts in a thread, copy and paste them as one document, into another format like a database, word document or a spreadsheet.
Is this possible?
I use the forum module because the subscription feature allows me to see exactly what students are writing in almost real-time through emails. The wiki is not so easily supervised when working with minors.
I appreciate your hard work!
This is a reasonable compromise. It gives you time to notice and correct most errors, or to delete a post you made in anger if you reconsider a few minutes later.
But it does not destroy the fact that a forum is an asynchronous discussion that builds up over time. The ability for anyone, at any time, to go back and change anything, would let them destroy the history of the conversation.
By default, the editing time is 30 minutes, but this can be changed by the admin in the site-wide forum settings.
ForumNG has this feature.
ForumNG also has the option to export all or some as a thread as a word document or to an email.
The forum module is working well for group writing projects with children and these tweaks are going to help us go back and use their posts for their personal editing practice when they learn new usage skills.
I will use ForumNG in Moodle 2.0. I appreciate all the development being done.
After some searching I have discovered this:
I can't get to read the iMoot.org post as guests are not allowed in.
Q1: What does "It is possible that ForumNG . . . " actually mean? (eg Passing comment at a developers meeting, positive e-mails from someone, musing in a keynote somewhere, someting in a roadmap, "We have posted a request" . . etc)
I'm not in a position to vote yet. I have installed Forum NG and still tinkering. But initial comments:
- I cannot find the "Subscribe at discussion level" functionality
- Save as draft is great to have.
- Export thread is great (But it is far far to cluttered - if you just want just the text from a number of posts, it is really hard work)
- Freeze discussion is great.
- etc . . .
As I said in my post, I think cool, effective, easy to use forums are critical to working with the LMS as it has emerged, and to have a lot of effort to fix bugs in the current forum with a new one coming seems counter productive. Where is the conversation around this actually taking place?
This leads to my second questions
Q2: JUST WITH RESPECT TO FORUMNG - If I want to get a bit involved in this and see about making suggestions etc, where is the best place?
I'd like to suggest a roadmap or something (Like the blog post document on the proposed search option here: http://lyceum.open.ac.uk/moodleblog/forumng_advanced_search.doc) - like the notes that accompabny plugins in wordpress - it is easier to follow whan everything is in one place.
I considered starting one such page on Moodle.org: a single wiki page with notes about features, language pacs, links to all the other discussions and bugs.
Before ForumNG could go into Moodle 2.1, at least all of the following would have to happen:
1. The ForumNG code has to be updated to be compatible with Moodle 2.0.
2. The developers at Moodel HQ have to review the code, and decide whether it is good enough technically to go into Moodle core.
3. The community need to have a discussion about whether replacing the existing forum with ForumNG is the right thing for Moodle.
None of that has happened yet. What has happened is we at the OU have kept Martin and the rest of the Moodle community informed about what we are doing (Including:
* Posting the original specification in the General Developer Forum some months before sam started writing the code.
* sam posting regular updates in his blog during development. sam's blog is aggregated with others at http://planet.moodle.org/.
* Releasing the code so people can try it.
And, from discussions with Martin, I know he has not ruled out the idea of adding ForumNG to Moodle 2.1, but, as I said above, he is spending most of his time thinking about Moodle 2.0 right now, so the real decision will be made in the future.
'It is possible that ...' was my attempt to reduce all that to one sentence.
To subscribe to a thread, view that thread, and at the bottom there is a button to subscribe, next to the text:
"You do not currently receive messages from this discussion by email. If you would like to, please click Subscribe to discussion."
Of course, if you are already subscribed to the whole forum, that does not show up.
(You were right, very hard to find. Google failed. It took an advanced forum search for posts including forum rewrite and ou by sam marshall in the general developer forum to locate it.)
Anyway, since others might want to find this, I thought I would reply by posting the link here:
I'll leave this for a while now and get on with some of my day job work. We appreciate the work the OU does.
PS: re the subscription at discussion level. Works great. The button & Text is not there when you are already subscribed to the forum as a whole. Should have thought of that.
The benefit for the OU if FormNG becomes a standard part of Moodle is clear. If that happens, then more people will contribute to the on-going maintenance, and contribute new features. We won't have to do all the work.
Therefore, we have a significant incentive to do the work required to get this into Moodle core, in addition to the fact that the OU like to be a good contributing member of the Moodle community.
However, we also realise that it is for the Moodle community to decide what is the best way forwards for Moodle. For example, there was a question of which wiki to include in Moodle 2.0, nwiki or ouwiki. The community chose nwiki, and we accepted that, even though it was not the decision we were hoping for.
Any news on this?
It is very important for the community and the opposite of selfish!
I am starting to participate in many forums and makes no sense to recieve all the traffic in my mailbox (it's easier to just visit the recent posts page), but I need to know when people I am trying to help give me feedback without clicking on million threads to check up on!
People want to contribute to Moodle support but that has to be optimized else time and energy is wasted.
Plus thread abandonment level is absurd. People open threads and just leave them there while you respond to them. Maybe they never know you responded to them, if they don't subscribe to thread and stop checking up on it later. It's absurd that people put time into helping people but that help never makes it through, remains waster.
Forums are such a crucial and wonderful tool and thanks to everyone for creating it, this one feature would make so much difference for the community!
Thank you and please see my words as positive and encouraging!
Keep up the great work all.