I'd like this thread to just act as a general forum discussing Edge and Moodle
Edge is the product they've come up with and you can download it for free and have a play with it. It creates HTML pages that call JS scripts for animation and interactivity. It's designed to be deployed cross-platform, on all OSs, browsers and mobile devices...hooray! I've been playing with it for a couple of weeks now and it's pretty cool. I have no background in web design and know little about HTML, let alone CSS and JS but it's making it quite easy for me to create animations and even interactive content that works both on the desktop and for mobiles. Even non-techie teachers could use it to create interactive content relatively easily.
My question is: how easy will it be to integrate content created in Edge into Moodle? Are people already doing it? Do you see any merit in using Edge?
i totally agree.
edge is is exactly the tool i was looking for.
my still haven't found answer to my first two questions, though:
How easy will it be to integrate content created in Edge into Moodle? Are people already doing it?
Edge generates HTML and .js files, that call upon resources stored in a folder.
The Hot Potatoes module already integrates such files into Moodle quite well. Would we need a similar Edge Module?
I started to add a reply here but it started being long so added a blog post instead - http://www.somerandomthoughts.com/blog/2011/12/27/a-quick-look-at-adobe-edge-in-moodle-2/
It worked fine as a resource, but if you are going to generate grade data within a learning object it needs a way to talk back to Moodle.
Althought Edge Preview editor does not save as SCORM yet, i imagine it will eventually.
Hope that is of some help.
Edge is still in its initial development stages as a proof of concept. For now, it isn't an effective substitute for IDEs like Captivate, Raptivity, Articulate, etc. There are other tools that can produce interactive quizzes and presentations in JS with the added bonus that they don't rely on HTML5 (there's still a 30% gap in HTML5 support). If you have existing code bases in AS3, it's worth considering cross-compiling them to JS there's a few tools out that can do that though I haven't tried any of them yet. AFAIK, they work in pretty much the same way as Google Web Toolkit (GWT) where developers write code in Java, which is very similar to AS3, and compile it to JS.
There's also conversion tools for Flash animation to JS+HTML5, most notably Adobe's Wallaby and Google's Swiffy. However, since HTML5 is so new and support till patchy, I think a lot of presentations will end up getting converted to h.264 video anyway and then old fashioned HTML forms tacked on as quizzes. Ironically, I think the video will get played by Flash on most devices except iOS and Windows Phone which are the only OS' that provide native support for h.264.
I suspect that Edge won't be marketed as a standalone tool and more than likely it'll get absorbed into Flash Pro and/or Dreamweaver and/or After Effects (Edge has most in common with After Effects). Adobe are currently scaling down their operations due to the financial crisis and general commercial stagnation so we're likely to see rapid progress only in a limited number of projects. I think that's probably the main reason they're narrowing down the number of OS' they're actively developing Flash Player for: it makes more commercial sense to go pure native browser based (HTML+JS+CSS) as the OS market diverges and fragments.
For full HTML5 penetration, we have to wait for users to stop using Windows XP which doesn't support IE9, since IE6, 7 and 8 don't support HTML5 at all.
Whatever happens, it going to get messy, complicated, time-consuming and frustrating, and stay that way for a while. The only people who are celebrating are web developers and designers who get paid by the hour.
Thank you for the great and most informative answer.
Just thought users can use Chrome or Firefox on Windows XP to solve the issue you raised with the following observation : "For full HTML5 penetration, we have to wait for users to stop using Windows XP which doesn't support IE9, since IE6, 7 and 8 don't support HTML5 at all."
What do you think?
Yes, I think everyone should install and use anything but IE6, 7 or 8 but from the number of networks and supplied laptops I've seen, there are still plenty of PCs running XP and locked down so users can't install another browser. When they or I ask IT support, the response is a raft of well rehearsed reasons why everything's fine just the way it is.
If we had our way, they'd all upgrade to Linux and stop paying ridiculous licence fees and support for archaic LANs and software
I think it depends on who your users are. A great many of our users are working for corporations where they have no right to install software, so they're stuck with whatever OS/browser they have. In one specific case, I believe we have a corporate client (representing thousands of users) who has specifically said that they have no intention of upgrading everyone to new OS (nor installing Firefox).
So, for us, HTML 5 is just not going to be a solution until our trailing edge students have been moved forward.
Is this in the western world?
Seriously, Wikipedia tells a different story http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers.
> A great many of our users are working for corporations where they have no right to install software, so they're stuck with whatever OS/browser they have.
Oh, I see.
Unfortunately I come across this situation all too often - There are IT departments who think that the stability of IE6 is still something to be cherished, while the decision to upgrade from XP to Vista/7 is one many businesses decided not to take with Vista and have not yet taken with Win7 leaving their users stuck with IE8.
Why they cannot see the benefits of open source software such as FF/Chrome, is beyond me personally, but as has been pointed out ot me in the past - it is not always down to the users to choose their environment.
And while wikipedia and other sources will show the shrinking use of IE compared to other browsers, IE still has an enormous user base and even M$ themselves cannot seem to kill off IE6 succesfully!!! Perhaps not being able to access modern sites will change their mind if, at some stage, webdesigners/developers finally decide to stop supporting the oldest browsers in favour of the newer technologies like CSS3/HTML5
Thanks for your very pertinent observation. I think it's not only limited to software but pedagogic methodology in general. Policy makers seem to be more interested in 'one size' fits all methodology and ignore the wider choice of tools available.
Finland for example, seems to always come top in school performance tables. A finnish academic told me that ALL finnish teachers need a Masters as base qualification and then they're more or less left to get on with it. Shouldn't then software choice also be left to the (informed) users working in their own specific contexts.
e.g. I look after a small school network but have users (teachers) using what they want on their personal PCs. Macs, XP, Vista, Linux - I don't care. If they're happy and enthusiastic, they spread their enthusiasm to the learners. If they have a tech problem, I show them something that may work better.
Computer suite is all dual boot Linux (or XP if necessary) with FF and Open Office, but that's my choice and I'm happy! I also manage to steadily and slowly wean others off their old favourites in this soft manner.
I've seen this too. In one case, the school had some custom intranet software that was written back in the IE6 days and had never been updated. Their IT admin had installed Firefox and that's what most teachers used but of course when they tried to use the intranet software, it broke and and they couldn't understand why. I started off trying to explain it to a few people in the simplest terms I could but I think a lot of teachers' minds just "switched off" before I even started and continued to be confused and complain to their IT. I can see why a lot of IT staff just don't want to bother with the hassle until the school decides it's time to upgrade!
Yes, this is in the US. I know it's frustrating. It's frustrating to me, too. Ultimately, though, I have to bow to the customer's way of doing things even when it isn't the way I'd like to do it.
Thanks for your post. That was really informative. Actually, the software industry has been like this since its early ages. I don't think that hourly paid designers and developers are happy either. I was there once where clients always request a deadline and no one wants to be submitting late all the time!!
I think the golden rule must be:
HTML5 = Google Chrome
Human Logic (Moodle Partner)
After more then a year... Do you know about any advancements on this topic? I also have created animations in Edge, and all I wanted was to put them in the middle of my lesson, just like I do with pictures and videos (I wish it was that easy...). Even if the only way is via SCORM until now, do you know any SCORM wrapper (preference for free ones) for the files/formats that Edge publish?
Alas, we're no closer as far as I can tell. I did request SCORM as a publication option on the Edge feature request page, but there's nothing yet.
It might be possible to write a Moodle plugin..or something? TBH, I haven't played with Edge since it's come out of Beta and Moodle since 2.4..time to give them a go again!
OK, so I created a quick and dirty animation, zipped it up and added the zip file as a file to a Moodle course. I then deleted the zip and chose to embed the content (see screenshot) and it worked - it animated as specified.
Obviously, there's no reporting going on etc but at least it displays as advertised
It's not available on XP, even though HTML5, CSS3 compliant browsers are.
Hi Sam and everyone,
I'm in the midst of developing the SWF Activity Module for Moodle 2.5+ and I've come up against some of the issues with Moodle's file manager that have been highlighted here and elsewhere. I've developed workarounds that should work for Moodle 2.3+ (when they intrudced the File system repository). One solution is to partially bypass the file manager with a custom proxy script, see: https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=231099 However the only way to upload files to the File system repository, AFAIK, is via FTP... which in my opinion is a desireable feature since you'll get fewer "less than competent" people with editing access to those files and hopefully better file management policies.
Basically, all Edge does is a WYSIWYG version of http://www.createjs.com/#!/CreateJS and now that Adobe are pushing everyone onto its pay-per-month online version and all the proprietary lock-in caveats that it involves, I think there'll be more interest than ever in open source alternatives. I can't see why somebody wouldn't develop a plugin for Netbeans or Eclipse to support CreateJS (AFAIK, you can already do this with Netbeans as a developer but it isn't WYSIWYG for Instructional Designers).
Very informative post, thanks Matt (even if I didn't understand all of it )
I've noticed that even a little JS can interfere with Moodle's UI. I had a Twitter feed HTML Block once on my Moodle which broke the disclosure triangle nav system in the Moodle blocks. Took me forever to find the culprit..
CreateJS looks great, but non-coders like myself love having a nice WYSIWYG GUI..keyframing animations is so easy in Edge for example. Good point re: need for OSS equivalents. As a teacher, I get a great rate for Adobe's CC and am thus happy to dabble in Edge for the time being, but it would be great to have open source equivalents. I'm watching this space.
For WYSIWYG images and animation, perhaps Blender http://www.blender.org/ offers some kind of export format that a JS library could use? Perhaps export COLLADA (open standard 2D and 3D graphics and animation file format) to be consumed by something like http://threejs.org/ ?
The advanatage of using something like Blender is that it can export to a wide range of file formats and so if your target platform changes, you don't have to start from scratch (again). Whatever platform you're targeting, be it in Flash, Java, HTML5 + JS, rendered video, etc., the same source files will give you the appropriate output format.
Again, doing it this way and exporting to HTML5 + JS will more than likely crash even the newer, more powerful mobile devices (phones and tablets). Since Windows desktop, Apple OS X, and almost all Flavours of Linux already support Flash and Java, which manage multithreading (concurreny) and memory, which are absolutely necessary for high quality graphics and animation, it seems a bit redundant to go down this route.