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not cusack
Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

I'd like this thread to just act as a general forum discussing Edge and Moodle approve

By now, many of you would have heard of Adobe's latest pet project Edge. Adobe announced a couple of weeks ago that it won't develop Flash for mobile devices any longer (read: Apple won) and will now focus on software that utilises open tech, i.e. HTML5, along with CSS3 and JavaScript  big grin

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?

 
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Picture of Marcel Kaber
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

i totally agree.

edge is is exactly the tool i was looking for.

 
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Picture of Dan Trouten
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 
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not cusack
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

Thanks Dan. 

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?

 
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Picture of Gavin Henrick
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Testers

HI Guido,


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.

Gav.

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Guido,

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.

 
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Picture of Nadav Kavalerchik
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Hi Matt smile

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?

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

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 smile

 
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Picture of L Cramer
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

Nadav --

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.

 
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Picture of L Cramer
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

I just checked our stats -- 74% of our users are using some flavor of IE, and 90% of those are using version 6, 7, or 8 (mostly 8).  So, 67% of our users do not have access to HTML 5.

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
> 74% of our users are using some flavor of IE, and 90% of those are using version 6, 7, or 8 (mostly 8).

Is this in the western world?
sad

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.
 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

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

Richard

 
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Picture of Alan Hess
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Richard

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.

Regards

Alan

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Richard,

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!

 
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Picture of L Cramer
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

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.

 
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Picture of Samer Faissal
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

Matt,

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

Samer Faissal
Human Logic (Moodle Partner)

 
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Picture of Tammy Moore
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

You may want to expand the conversation to also include MUSE. It is another HTML5 Adobe Labs project. :0)

http://muse.adobe.com/

 
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Picture of Patricia Moura
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

Hi Guido,

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?

 
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not cusack
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

Hi Patricia,

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.

One of my co-workers has managed to build JavaScript into Moodle pages by including it in the data header of the page (I think).

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!

 
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not cusack
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

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 smile


 
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Also me
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

It's not available on XP, even though HTML5, CSS3 compliant browsers are.

mixed

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

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.

Moodle's pages already use a lot of Javascript and has some strict rules about what you can and can't do with it. In the case of Flash, it prohibits using JS embed methods that are standard on the rest of the web. This may also be the case with interactions developed using Adobe Edge. I opted to use a "non-Moodle" page for view.php but as a result there's no standard Moodle navigation sidebar (I'll let you decide if that's a good or a bad thing). An agency of the European Commission commissioned an adaptation of the SWF Activity Module for Moodle 1.9 to get rid of the Moodle navigation and only show Flash (full browser Flash). An alternative would be to use an iframe that embeds the Edge output from a separate page.

The way SCORM for Flash and for JS works is very similar. I can't see any reason why someone couldn't fork a branch of the SWF Activity Module and adapt it for Adobe Edge and CreateJS interactions. If you want Moodle back-end support, you can create a standard JS API script and some way for Edge and CreateJS interactions to integrate with it. You can adapt the SCORM JS wrapper from here: http://pipwerks.com/laboratory/scorm/api-wrapper-javascript/ It may also be worth looking at the Flash question type for the Moodle 1.9 quiz module (can't remember the link right now).

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).

There are also caveats that come with using this much Javascript on web pages and they are unlikely to produce engaging learning experiences on mobile devices because of the way JS works (single thread and no effective memory management). With complicated interactions and a lot of JS UI, (which will work beautifully on your desktop/laptop/netbook) you're likely to get laggy, unresponsive apps. When you add multimedia on top of that, and especially media capture (which isn't a viable proposition with HTML5 yet anyway), you're likely to see some crashes on slower mobile devices, at least for the foreseeable future. Apple and Google want you to develop native apps for that kind of thing.

 
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not cusack
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
 

Very informative post, thanks Matt (even if I didn't understand all of it blush)

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.

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Adobe Edge and Moodle
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

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.

 
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