I appreciate I don't post on this forum very often, but I waned to let you know about some developmets with the STACK computer aided assessment questions which are going on this summer.
Starting this week I have been collaborating with the Open University to incorporate STACK into the Moodle quiz module for the new forthcoming release of Moodle 2.1. To help get this all working the OU have employed a contractor, Dan Williams, to work with Tim Hunt and myself over the summer.
This is a very exciting development. STACK is very much alive and well, and this move will consolidate and improve the code. It will ensure it integrates reliably and neatly into Moodle making it better for us all to use. I'm more confident that STACK is going to become an important tool, and it is already being used by a number of other people:
In adition, during this academic cycle colleagues at FSU used STACK in calculus with about 150 students. These students have taken a total of 28010 STACK quizzes which amount to over 200 000 problems evaluated. Last fall, the use was much higher, perhaps we had over 800 000 problems evaluated.
This round of development does not plan to introduce major new features, or to make major changes to the core functionality. An explicit aim is that "old questions will still work". We hope it will be easier to install, requireing fewer components and simpler permissions on the server.
There are to be some important changes to the way we develop the code and to the internals of STACK. In particular we are going to stop using the CVS for code development and move to GIT. This is a major move. One big advantage is that we will have an opportunity to rearrange the code and tidy things up. Moving directories and files in CVS was/is quite difficult, and some things in the current version of STACK simply need to be weeded out and moved about.
I understand that sourceforge will not support CVS for ever, so this move is timely for the project. It is also in line with many Moodle developments.
This does, of course, have implications for future development of the project.
If you are running servers then updates will no longer be distributed by a simple "CVS update". You will probably need to plan a re-install when you upgrade.
If you have forked STACK please could you let me know what changes you have made? We would very much like to keep the number of forks to a minimum.
Once the project is completed, I'm going to make a major effort to gather and consolidate language files.
Once the repository is ready for collaborative developments I shall post an announcement on sourceforge. I would very much welcome your future contributions to STACK. I hope you will be able to come with us when we move to GIT. This can be in a number of ways, of course, so please let me know if you would like to be involved.