Let's please all aim to have all modules in a stable and exciting state by Friday 11th February (that's three weeks from now). Over the few weeks I hope we can see some serious attention paid to existing bugs and problems rather than only trying to cram in as many new features before this deadline as possible!
At that point I'll look at packaging a Moodle 1.5 Beta version for others to help with testing, reporting and bug fixes. For the next week or so there will be a "freeze" of sorts on the main trunk while we work on stability and bug fixes there, but no new features. This just makes it easier since we don't need to worry about doing everything twice (on trunk and branch).
Then, around February 18th or so, I'll fork a MOODLE_15_STABLE branch so we can continue working on bug fixes and cleanups, while others can resume adding new features to the trunk.
Hopefully two or three weeks of heavy testing will be enough to declare a Moodle 1.5 release before the end of February.
(In future, I'm giving serious thought to setting up a regular and predictable major release cycle of perhaps 4 or 6 months (three or two times a year) so there's more clarity and less crazy voodoo. )
Thank you Martin!
Also a big thanks to all the others helping out.
I'm not sure if this is the right place but I still can not install version 1.5 on my main host platform. I presently run vesion 1.43 on that site, but when I upgrade I get :
|Page class mapping for id "course" exists but class "" is not defined|
I have contacted the server provider and they increased the mem allowance as sugested by someone but that still did not work.
Moodle 1.5 works fine on my own test server which has Fedora core2
I've just fixed a couple of nagging things in 1.4.3+. I'll keep feeding fixes to STABLE & HEAD, and cut a 1.4.4 as soon as we have a few more SC patches in, mainly for package maintainers.
In the meantime, 1.4.3+ is the most recommended version of the 1.4.x branch.
Martin -- do are you thinking of a "dev calendar" with freeze, branch and release dates like Mozilla has? I like it! Noone should expect that we don't follow it to the letter, but it's a great map to help coordinate efforts across different companies/tertiaries/universities and dev teams.
And go 1.5! <plug colour="shameless">The Catalyst team has a few bits of code in there that are certainly sexy and exciting.</plug>
I was just wondering if there was any update to the time table.
Thanks in advance for your response.
The good news is that a lot of terrific stuff is coming out of it and the wait will be worth it.
> The good news is
> that a lot of terrific
> stuff is coming out
> of it and the wait
> will be worth it.
I am panting and I think I drooled a little on my keyboard!
Or is that a little too much information?
You are, as they say here, too much funny In Arabish (Arabic+English) too much funny = very funny
Just one thing:
Streamlined interface for the ... Lesson modules
Dunno if streamlined is quite the right word, I mean the interface is clean, but there are about 20 new settings in it.
I guess we could move all the standard, (essential as Martin points out above) settings on a single form, and then have the option to save and create lesson there, or click an "advanced features" button to go to a second page to show the 'advanced' features?
By the way, I was meaning to mention the Quiz activity update interface ... you've got the open/close section there but it looks completely different to the way it is in Resource and the moving open/close button is a bit disturbing ... can you make it look the same, please? Usability and all you know. See bug 2587.
One of the things I do before a new release is go through the entire CVS checkin record and remember all the stuff we added!
Thanks for the update, and all the hard work.
There was a popular movie here in the states back in the 1980s with a line that went impatient boys seldom get dessert..
We will all wait!
Jason - and the other impatient ones
Why is it so IMPORTANT that you need to know when 1.5 will be released. If you are a sensible systems administrator, it will be at least 3 months after it is released that you would deploy a working copy onto a live production server. If you are serious about 1.5, you should have already a 1.5 development server and be testing your live courses in a new environment. Additionally unless you are the only person running the server, then you will also need to arrange a Professional Development program for each of your on-line facilitators.
Like the many of us who use Moodle in a real world, be thankful that we have a very stable 1.4.3 release and that it is extremly functional in most environments. If you were using a "commercial system" you would be dependant upon their timelines and in many cases also get a buggy system. If you are that eager for 1.5 Jason, why not dig into your pocket and drag a few hundred K out for Martin and the team to push ahead faster for you.
Martin and the development crew - keep up the great work on a great product and if it takes longer than anticpated to "get it right" and where you are happy to relaese it, that is the appropriate time to let everyone know. Unfortunately many do not understand the complexities of what you are doing. Keep up the great work - there are a few of us out here who understand the realities and are will wait for the next release, and then implement it slowly and effectively.
Thank you M. Ainsworth.
Hi Paul Evans,
Long time no see.
I know that there are loads of things to be ironed out but lets say one is wondering which Moodle to use for a course starting in 2 weeks time. Or x weeks time. There are a lot of nice new features in 1.5 (like RSS blocks, messaging, meta-courses, the-rumoured-user-profile-customistation, and even the tiny ones we paid for: popup quizes and group enrollment by enrollment password) so it would be great to be able to use them, but one needs to have an idea of when it is going to happen.
I am lucky because our term does not start till April. I am pretty darn sure that 1.5 will be ready by then so I am preparing course pages using 1.5. But if I were starting in 3 weeks time, or 2 weeks time, then I'd have a knotty decision. So irrespective of what estimates have gone before, or how "late" (?? this is free so nothing is "late") it is going to be, the more information that course creators have the better.
I think that we need to have a non-stress way of asking, and a non-stress way of replying.
I would like the developers to be able to say "at this rate next year!" and then the next day "yeah we fixed it! It looks like next week," and then the next day again "Oops, it looks like it is going to be about a month," or anything honest, because anything is better than a complete-guess.
That means asking is fine. But anyone who complains saying "*but* you said it would be ready last week!" should be diced. (Jason did not say "but" so he should just escape dicing, just)
For those that have students squawking with open mouths, and would really like the new features, then even vague estimates are a real help.
All hail the developers.
Sorry for the delay in reply -- been very busy lately.
I think release scheduling is just a conundrum that no one has yet solved.
It is a true-ism in the industry that *all* software projects fall behind schedule.
You can make all the timelines you like, but...
Money isn't the issue either: look at Microsoft's Longhorn.
On the other hand, rigidly sticking to a schedule like IBM did with O/S 2 or the other example posted here means endless patches for bugs and a lack of features in the release.
A roadmap with an approximate timeline which is adjusted regularly is about the best one can hope for I think.
One thing that helps is a feature freeze and a goal for release date like the linux kernel and others do, but they STILL slip. Sometimes for months.
What is being done is optimal and encouraged generally: release early, release often. Let the dare-devils test as much as possible before declaring something stable, but the code is still available the entire time if someone *really-really* wants it for production use.
As for my own copy, it's a very, very changed version of a 1.4x cvs (around last June) -- I couldn't upgrade if I wanted to. I just had to bite the bullet early on and add fields, tables functions etc. No way around it for my needs.
Anything cool that I want I need to port to my own version. Trust me, I really tried very hard to avoid this eventuality during my design phase, but I just couldn't.
And I'd still make the same choice for Moodle today. It's just perfect for my needs. I think I only use around one quarter of its capabilities. Using Moodle saved me months and months of devel time and I'm very grateful for the efforts of Martin et alia.
Unfortunately, I'd also still have to choose to modify the heck out of it and face the same problems again
If I had to implement one myself, right this minute, I would choose the stable 1.4 and be able to convincingly promise additional cool stuff for September. I would not upgrade an existing production 1.4 to 1.5
I *would* patch the existing production 1.4 for any serious bug fixes from the 1.5 tree that effected me though. Just wouldn't add anything new and not well tested.
In point of fact, I usually wait a couple of months after a dot zero release of *anything* to upgrade: distro, kernel, program -- whatever.
But, like I said above, there is absolutely *nothing* stopping *anyone* from playing with the cvs version or even running it in a production situtation if they have an extreme aversion to sleep and calm nerves.
As far as I'm concerned, a dot zero release just means a certain (subjective) confidence level on the part of the release master for a certain cvs version. In reality, it means nothing concrete. Every project is always in some late stage of beta that is 'close enough'.
Say Timothy, how's your unix learning progressing? Did you decide for bsd or linux in the end? Whichever you chose, you are well on the road.
It is me that is slow. I have been marking tests.
I agree with all you say, but I am going to be a bit more adventurous with the 1.5 release.
I am also going to have to do some patching but there are a couple of functions that I need in 1.5, so I am moving up at the moment in preparation for courses that start again in mid April. I may be doing this far to early, but I have had no serious problems with 1.5 in test yet, touch peeling formica and chipboard.
My Red Hat linux box stands unused behind me. It is still a server and it is still serving, but no one commands on its command line.
I hope this changes. I would like to be able to try out the CVS versions of Moodle. And to help the Japanese language translator via CVS. I am also having problems trying to record Skype phonecalls and using my linux box as a recording studio may be the answer.
- administer and maintain a Moodle server with 2000+ users
- teach and tutor teachers using Moodle
- support the 1st tier user support
- take part in strategic planning of my own department
- offer eLearning and IT expertise to various working groups in our organization
- participate in curriculum planning
What tools are available to teacher at the beginning of the next term (early in March)?
What will Moodle be like next fall?
Should we deploy a separate bloging server?
What tools are included in our Moodle training course?
When I recommend Moodle to other organizations, what are the caveats and what I should say about future development?
To what part of Moodle should we be investing our development resources (if we had any)?
What can I promise to achieve if given development resources?
I'm not expecting anyone to answer those questions for me, but it is my job to try to give answers, so I hope you can see why knowing (among many other things) when 1.5 is out would be useful to me.
Inasmuch as Jussi has put forth well-justified reasoning for wanting to be kept up to date on development, having to justify wanting timeline information to you Chris Ainsworth is getting rather stale. Although this last of your bulldog responses to a timeline question included some rather helpful information, in my opinion, your remarks only serve to add a haze of punitive negativity to these typically upbeat and positive forums. Please refer to Timothy's post as an example of a constructive response.
It is obvious that Martin intends to keep us up to date as much as is humanly possible, hence this post. Thank you for that Martin.
- establish a release date,
- release then no matter what the state of the code is,
- fix all the bugs via 'patchs' which break as many things as they fix.
Who on earth would want to upgrade their moodle server this time of year anyway? Here in the UK we are under a lot of pressure as our Y11, Y12 and Y13 prepare for their exams and coursework submissions and the Y9 have SATS coming up. If anyone touches the server except me there will be trouble
I s'pose it's probably the more casual / smaller user where their install is less critical but if that's the case then it's probably just admins wanting to play with toys rather than people who see the upgrade as having any real educational benefit.
In this country we have a rather annoying lager advert with the tag line "We'll only let you drink it when it's ready".
Like Chardelle, I'd be happy to test 1.5 out on my server now if it is approaching stability. I'm not live yet so I'm not worried about my site falling apart but I want to go live as soon as there is a stable 1.5 release so I'd be happy to help out by testing it now to speed up the process. Is it stable enough that it could at least be used to continue producing course materials, which is my focus at the moment?
Elearning professionals like you are the ones that should be helping us test "1.5 dev". Why?
- you gain in-depth understanding of what 1.5 has, and what it hasn't
- you get a mighty good picture of how "ready" it is
- you make sure 1.5 meets _your_ standard of stability
- by providing good & helpful bug reports, you earn the collective attention and respect
This is about "give a little, take a lot". You can take a lot and ask for more, sure. But open source only starts /really/ working for you when you give a little here and there.
People *die* for a sneak peek at the dev version of a closed source software package --- why do people wet their pants for the buggy dev CDs of Longhorn or the latest BB? --- and industry professionals pay good money for that kind of access. And they call themselves "pros" and "insiders". You get the same privileges and more here. Only you have to do something useful with them. Like get the bloody 1.5-dev and test it and report bugs.
Okay Martin L,
So, 1.5 dev. is ready for heavy testing and bug reporting? I have been waiting for the most stable "unstable" version (Beta?). I didn't want to be reporting too many bugs that were possibly already in the process of getting ironed out. But if its ready now, I'll start testing and reporting bugs.
There are a number who have similar responsibilities, roles and tasks. Some are e-learning professionals (formal qualifications in the area) others have been forced into the role and struggle to understand the full concept and others are techies who have been thrust into the position because IT is the focus and without IT support the the system falls in a hole. Then there are those managers who have just had the technology thrust upon them because upper management is looking at cost cutting.
During a given workday like you -
- administer and maintain a Moodle server (though at this stage not as many users at the moment but in 5 years the numbers will be staggering 2.5 million participants)
- teach and tutor teachers using Moodle across three different organisations (emergency services, private training organisation, university)
- support the 1st tier user support and 2nd/3rd tier engineering support
- develop strategic planning for an emergency service agency in conjunction with a university
- offer eLearning and IT expertise to various organisational working groups across a state government
- develop curriculum that is usable in a flexible learning environment within a university on a national basis
- participate on working parties developing whole of agency and integration in whole of government delivery of flexible learning strategies
- assist Private Register Training Organisations develop working strategies in the development of business plans for the integration of e-learning into their organisation and government funding
The government working parties are interesting in that one has to foresee what will happen in 2 years time, as this is the timeline government budgets (and for that matter commercial developers of software) work on. What does the Government provide for that service not even enough funding to employ a researcher / project officer part time. What are the savings millions of dollars. I have significant opposition to reviewing Moodle over commercial offerings (some are local offerings). I am sure a few in the power broker area have set projects up to fail, but as long as I have breath and can put a sound business case forward to the powers to be, commercial product will always be a distant second the offerings of Moodle and more importantly the Moodle community. That is where the strength lies.
I am lucky also in that I get to review Alpha and Beta products from a number of suppliers, however that privilege comes with a caveat of non-disclosure. Like yourself, one ask what will the product be in the fall but more importantly what will it be like in 2 years time what visions are there for the product, what support, and in fact what future. Martin was asked a great question at the NZ Moot with regards to a what if say WebCT/BB/Microsoft offered him say 10 million, 50 million, 100 million dollars for Moodle would he take it the long answer he would consider the short answer NO WAY Integrity and commitment to the longer term survival of his passion for what he is doing, supported by a dedicated team of developers. Given a couple of more years, and the development team will be full time and paid, then we will see Moodle mature into a flexible piece of software.
We will always have those that want the latest and greatest and want it YESTERDAY.
As a e-learning professional deploy a 1.5 alongside your existing production server, cross load courses, even use a trial group on the understanding that is evaluation and there will be issues to deal with, try and break 1.5, report the issues, problems, and suggestions for improvement. That way Moodle will become stronger in the wider marketplace organisationally but more importantly for students/participants.Without the learner - you have no training think about it
I do run 1.5-dev on my test server; I would consider doing so a must for any admin/organization serious about using Moodle. Squashing bugs isn't my top priority, although I do report any bugs I find as helpfully as I can. Reason why I use 1.5-dev is that it is for me the best way to stay informed. This priority is not reflective of my personal view of what is important or best for Moodle or to this community, it reflects a strategy I have adopted to perform my function within my organization.
Martin's reply to this thread was in my opinion perfect.
Other path: export your courses+users from your 1.4 to backup files, and restore them in a test install of 1.5. Take it for a spin, and report the bugs you find.
One of the great things about open source is that you don't need to sit there, waiting for the big closed anonymous corporation to release MoodleXP at some time out of your control. You can help make it happen.
- Yes, I'm very aware of people trying to make decisions and I feel the pressure, though not enough to rush a release.
- No, I'm not offended by people asking about news
- Yes, I'll try and keep revising estimates.
- Yes, the source is always available and developer/testers are always welcome (mostly those who can provide FIXES along with their reports in the bug tracker).
- No, Moodle 1.5 Beta (for wider testing) is not ready yet, there is still too much already known that needs fixing/finishing first.