Writing Greek letters and other special symbols in the HTML editor is somewhat tricky. Reading these forums and those of "Moodle en Español" I have seen several questions about this. If you are a mathematician or physic probably you are used to TeX and Moodle is nice for that. But for casual use greek letters and special symbols are a mess. And I have the impression that there is a need to write some alphas or betas from time to time in almost every field, by teachers and by students.
The standard practice seems to be to go to HTML source, write down the HTML entity code, like α or ε, and go back to HTML editor. This is not practical:
- puts into users (teachers and students ) the need to remember that codes
- actually exposes them to the HTML source, something the HTML editor was designed to avoid
The HTML editor do have a toolbutton called "Insert Special Characters" to insert special symbols. However, the available symbols are not particularly useful. New symbols can be added by editing the file moodle/lib/editor/popups/dlg_ins_char.php and listing the desired entities. However, those changes will be lost upon next upgrade.
Thus I would like to propose a change in the management of the symbols available in the "Insert Special Character" box. I can suggest two pathways, one more conservative, other more flexible, but I think both easy to perform.
Just adding more symbols to the standard list in dlg_ins_char.php.
The new symbols would be full greek letter in lower and Upper case, math symbols, some arrows etc.
Since this file is part of standard Moodle we all will have access to the same symbols. The only problem I see may be screen space if too many symbols are added.
making the list of symbols available on that box customizable in the same way as the language packs.
We could include in each language pack a file with the symbol list (either a new "symbols.php" file or added to the editor.php file. In this way symbols would remain user-customizable AND upgrade-friendly.
I do not want to impose work on anyone, I can manage to do it myself, but I would like to know if a general solution is desirable or just I hack my own site.
What do you think? Janne, do you see this as useful?
- Enrique -