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Davo
PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I've just released a new assignment feedback/submission plugin for Moodle 2.3+.

It is based on my previous UploadPDF assignment type (that works with Moodle 1.9-2.2) and allows students' work to be annotated within the web browser, before being returned to the student as a PDF. The original submission must be in the form of a PDF for this to work and available annotations include comment boxes, lines (freehand and straight), boxes, ovals, highlights and image stamps.

As I write this, the plugin is still officially in 'beta', as it is only just finished and hasn't had extensive testing yet, but I'm hoping that user feedback will allow any bugs that do exist to be quickly fixed.

More details (and download links) can be found at https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=assignsubmission_pdf and https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=assignfeedback_pdf (note that both parts are required for this to work).


 
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Picture of German Valero
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Translators

Hi Davo,

Thanks again for the nice plugins you just uploaded to the Moodle plugins database. I just made the Mexican spanish translations and will write you about this plugins once I have tried them in my local server.

 
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My ugly mug
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Thanks for creating these new plugins for PDF annotation, Davo.

I've done some testing and they appear to be working as expected.


 
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Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Concurring with Michael. This works quite nicely. Very cool.

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Thanks for the feedback - you may be interested in following the progress on https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-38171

 

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

As I've not had any reports of problems with this plugin, I've now updated the status to 'stable'.

Please let me know if anyone finds any issues.

 
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Picture of Michael Wuttke
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hallo Davo,

I am administrating a moodle site and since moodle 2.2 I am using the assignment_uploadpdf module. Now I would like to upgrade to moodle 2.4 and would like to use only the new assign module with your new assignment module submission/feedback. Is there a way to migrate the old assignments_uploadpdf from type moodle 2.2 to the new assign plugin for the moodle 2.3+ type?

I don't want to delete the allready uploaded and reviewed assignments. There are approximately 100 assignments in the system using the uploadpdf type.

Thanks for help!

Michael

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

There isn't currently any code in my assignsubmission_pdf plugin to transition files from the old to the new assignment type. I'm not sure when I'll have a spare evening to write this code.

Both versions should be able to co-exist on a system (as long as you have the most up-to-date version of the uploadpdf plugin).

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Davo

From mod/assign/submission/pdf/README.txt:-

>The teacher can then log in, go to the usual marking screen and click on
>'Annotate submission', which will bring up the first page of the
>student's work on screen.
>

I can't seem to find the link to  'Annotate submission' on my Moodle 2.4.1 production site. I've got Ghostrid...erm..GhostScript installed already on my Linux server. Here's the screenshot of the "View/grade all submissions" output:

If you notice on the upper-right part of the image, the "PDF Feedfack" link is grayed out. Can't be clicked on.  Below are the settings part of the assignment. As you can see, I've enabled PDF Feedback.

Am I doing something wrong? What am I missing?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

From the screenshots, you've submitted some files to the 'file submission' plugin, but not submitted anything to the 'pdf submission' plugin.

From what I can see on the settings screen, when you went to submit your assignment, you should have been shown two different filemanagers - one for the file submission (which you have enabled) and one for the pdf submission (which you also have enabled). Files need to be submitted to the pdf submission to be annotated.

It also looks like you haven't got 'quick grading' enabled on the overview page. As with all feedback types (comments, text, file upload) you can only provide feedback from the overview page if you turn on 'quick grading'. Otherwise, you need to click on the 'grade' icon on an individual user to see their grading page and the 'annotate submission' link.

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Davo. I'm stumped. Actually I have also submit via the PDF submission FIle Manager. Still can't see any "Annotate PDF" link. Where is it supposed to show up? Actually the server where my Moodle 2.4.1 resides has already been setup with Ghostscript. The same server public_html area contains my Moodle 1.9 in which the PDF annotation for Moodle 1.9 works beatifully. So I'm still puzzled why I still can't see the "Annotate PDF" link. Thanks for the quick grading tip. Frankie Kam
 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Frankie I don't know what to suggest.

Having tried several times, I can only reproduce the screenshots shown by turning off PDF submission.

If you haven't done that, then I don't know what to suggest.

With quick grading on, I can see this:

 

On the grading screen I see this:

On the submission screen I see this:

 

Note the 'download response' and 'view response online' links are there as I have already saved some feedback for those users.

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Davo

I have a confession to make. PDF Feedback on my site works fine and there is nothing wrong with it. I just messed up when I was testing it out and I didn't really examined in  detail your feedback. Pure laziness on my part. And I gave up too soon back then. 

BUT I did finally have another stab at getting the plugin to work on my site. Guess what? It works! Actually it was working all the time, it's just that I missed two crucial steps in my haste. Yes, as you had advised, I needed to submit to the "PDF Submission" file manager. I had previously submitted to the File Submission file manager (wrong one) and I had not turned ticked the PDF submission checkbox (tsk! tsk!). and the other trick was to turn "Quick Grading" to on. I can now see the so illusive (to me) "Annotate submission" link. Eureka!!!

I then proceeded to annotate the PDF and generated a response file. From the user point of view, he/she can view the Response File online. So everything is hunky-dory! Yes! Another WOW FACTOR for Moodle. Moodle rocks!!!

Thanks for a great plugin and this is IMHO, a very, if not the very, most useful plugin for teachers to use for students. Provided they have a lightpen or a stylus instead of a mouse to doodle and to 'write' annotations, hehe. Frankie Kam.

 

 
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Picture of andrew dos santos
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

I am trying to use this plugin to create feedback for some assignemnets within a pdf however i keep getting this error:

Unable to generate image - details: Command:/usr/bin/ghostscript -q -sDEVICE=png16m -dSAFER -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -r100 -dFirstPage=1 -dLastPage=1 -dGraphicsAlphaBits=4 -dTextAlphaBits=4 -sOutputFile="/home/sceafric/clx_moodledata/temp/assignfeedback_pdf/5bb61d8bac0f08a7434f4e8a1857a8685adc593f/img/image_page1.png" "/home/sceafric/clx_moodledata/temp/assignfeedback_pdf/5bb61d8bac0f08a7434f4e8a1857a8685adc593f/sub/submission.pdf" 2>&1
Result:

 

This puzzle me because when i run the command in the linux box my moodle instance is running on it completes just fine and the output image is is shown in the correct directory.

 

Can anyone one assist me?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Have you got the very latest version of the code from github? ( https://github.com/davosmith/moodle-assignfeedback_pdf /  https://github.com/davosmith/moodle-assignsubmission_pdf )

If so, when you go to the settings page (site admin >  plugins > assignment plugins > feedback plugins > pdf feedback), does the 'test ghostscript path' link work?

 
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Picture of andrew dos santos
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Thanks for replying so fast.

I believe that it is the newest version however i dont get the option to change ghostscript path nor do i get a test ghostscript path in the feedback part. I can change the ghoscript path in the submissions sections though.

 


 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

If you don't have that option under PDF feedback, then you don't have the latest development version of the code from github. I am in the process of making a lot of changes to the code and the latest version on Moodle.org does not have all of these features yet. One new feature is a link to test the ghostscript path on the settings page (which is why I specifically asked if you had the latest version from github). The latest version number is 2013032500 (for both plugins).

 
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Picture of andrew dos santos
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Thanks again.

I loaded the newest versions and the test ghostscript link is here now, i tested it and i get this error similar to the original error, i have also confirmed that the path to gs is correct:

 

Unable to generate image - details: Command:/usr/bin/gs -q -sDEVICE=png16m -dSAFER -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -r100 -dFirstPage=1 -dLastPage=1 -dGraphicsAlphaBits=4 -dTextAlphaBits=4 -sOutputFile="/home/sceafric/clx_moodledata/temp/assignfeedback_pdf_test/image_page1.png" "/home/sceafric/public_html/clx/mod/assign/feedback/pdf/testgs.pdf" 2>&1
Result:

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Andrew - I'm afraid I don't know what to suggest.

I assume you have a linux set up (from the path), that you have ghostscript installed on the server, you don't have any security restrictions in place to prevent the PHP 'exec' command from running and you have checked that switching on debugging ( http://docs.moodle.org/en/Debugging ) doesn't show any other errors? 

 
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Picture of William Lu
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

I am having same problem.

Click on 'Annotate submission' got:

Unable to generate image - details: Command:/usr/bin/gs -q -sDEVICE=png16m -dSAFER -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -r100 -dFirstPage=1 -dLastPage=1 -dGraphicsAlphaBits=4 -dTextAlphaBits=4 -sOutputFile="[tempdir]/assignfeedback_pdf/50c5e7f7a356ea1c2a481a8ba9b7b347f0166c7b/img/image_page1.png" "[tempdir]/assignfeedback_pdf/50c5e7f7a356ea1c2a481a8ba9b7b347f0166c7b/sub/submission.pdf" 2>&1
Result:GPL Ghostscript 8.62: Unrecoverable error, exit code 1

 

My gs test passed fine.

I am in Moodle2.5.1

 

Dear Andrew,

Have you got a clue yet?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

You seem to have a slightly out of date version of ghostscript - you might find that upgrading to a more recent version (9.07 is the latest, according to the website) might fix the problem.

Whatever it is, does appear to be an internal problem within ghostscript, rather than an issue with my plugin itself.

 
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Picture of William Lu
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Fixed by the IT of our Uni, see below:

The error was caused by missing fonts. Fonts used by ghost scripts should be installed separately and/or available in the search path used by ghostscript.

In our case the search paths are:

. : /usr/share/ghostscript/8.62/lib :

/usr/share/ghostscript/8.62/Resource :

/usr/share/ghostscript/fonts :

/usr/share/fonts/TTF

sym linked the font folder /usr/share/fonts/Type1/

to /usr/share/ghostscript/fonts/

Regards,

Aravind.

 

Thanks to Aravind!smile

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Thanks for posting that info - I've added it to the README for the plugin (it will be included next time I release to Moodle.org).

 
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Bryan Dawson
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

We are looking to use these PDF extensions for the marking of Lab Reports and other student coursework containing a mix of text and other sources.

We have them installed on a test server, and they work perfectly when used via Google Chrome on PC.  However:

1) When used on FireFox PC, the graphical overlay is not being cleared when you change pages.  This means that the overlay 'collects' all graphical annotations as you go through the document so by the time you reach the last page, it shows every line, box, stamp etc that was used anywhere in the document.  The text comments (which are presumably on a different overlay) are fine.  The created PDF for downloading is also fine - it's just the on-screen rendition of graphics that has the problem.

2) Internet Explorer 8 PC is a disaster.  Although the document shows up in the editor, none of the controls function properly, and the screen layout is corrupted.  Unfortunately this is our institution's default browser, so it's a serious problem.

Does anybody have any similar experiences or workrounds?

Is there any intention to provide a more sophisticated text entry system e.g. that accepts and renders HTML?

submission plugin is 2013013000

the feedback plugin is 2013021300

 

Thanks,

Bryan Dawson

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Locally it is working perfectly in Firefox, Chrome and IE9.

IE8 has a very slight bug, that causes stamps to display a border around them, but apart from that is working fine.

Could you possibly try out the lastet versions of the plugins from github?

https://github.com/davosmith/moodle-assignfeedback_pdf 

https://github.com/davosmith/moodle-assignsubmission_pdf

There are no plans to accept HTML in the comments - I cannot immediately see what the use case for this would be and it would certainly cause problems if anyone typed a '>' or '<' character within the text, which wasn't meant to be a HTML tag (quite aside from the way that the text would be inconsistent between when you were editing it and when you were viewing it).

If the above links do not solve your problems, please could you let me know which Moodle version you are using as well as the theme you have chosen.

 

 
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Bryan Dawson
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

I have now installed the newest (March 25th) versions, and the situation is reversed: IE8 is fine, and has boxes round the stamps, but both Chrome and FireFox have non-functioning interfaces, as shown below:

corrupted layout of editor interface

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Have you tried clearing your web browser caches?

When you do an upgrade like this, your web browser has a habit of keeping old bits of javascript code around, which don't match with changes to the page layout. These would timeout after 24 hours, but clearing your browser caches should fix it straight away.

If that doesn't solve the problem, then could you look in the chrome developer tools 'Menu > Tools > Developer tools' (or in the Firefox javascript console) and let me know any error messages that appear?

 
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Bryan Dawson
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Thanks, that fixed it.  It now works with IE8, FF and Chrome.

Regards,

Bryan Dawson

 
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Picture of Dave Livingston
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

I recently installed both the assignment and feedback plugins. The assignment side worked fine, however when I installed the feedback plugin the assignfeedback_pdf_x tables did not get created in the db.

Is there an easy way to create those tables with out having to manually  enter them into the database? 

Is there a way I can uninstall and reinstall the feedback plugin?

I am using postgres 8.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Dave



 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Sounds a bit odd.

I would suggest going to admin > plugins > assignment feedback > manage assignment feedback plugins (this is off the top of my head) and then uninstalling the plugin there.

Visiting the 'home' page, should then spot the plugin again and install it afresh (which should hopefully set everything up for you).

If that doesn't work, you could always set up the plugin on a clean Moodle install, then export the DB structure for those tables + re-import (via whatever DB admin interface you are using).

 
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Picture of Dave Livingston
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Removing both plugins, upgrading moodle to the newest version and reinstalling from git seems to have fixed the bad install.

Thanks for the help and quick response.

Dave

 
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Picture of Rob Woof
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo,

I'm running Moodle 2.4.4+ and I am doing some testing of the PDF Submission/PDF Feedback plugins (version 2013061200 of both) in preparation for roll-out.

I noticed an issue with Blind Marking. Blind Marking (i.e. teachers cannot see student names when grading assignments) is required at my institution, and is built into Moodle 2.4 and 2.5. However when I activate PDF Feedback the student's name is shown in the tab's title bar when annotating, even though Blind Marking is selected.

Am I missing something, or do I need to hold off using this wonderful plugin for now?

Cheers,

Rob

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Blind marking is not a feature I've looked at supporting.

I don't know how much work would be involved in doing so (probably only a couple of lines of code, if it is just the title bar that is an issue), I just haven't looked yet.

 
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Picture of Rob Woof
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Thanks, Davo.

I suspected as much. I'll have a dig through the code and see what I can see. I have looked again, and it is just the title bar, which means there must be only one or two lines of code involved.

I'll have a dig around, and see what I can see.

Cheers,
Rob

 
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Picture of Rob Woof
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

I had a bit of a dig around, and found three places where there would need to be changes. I had a go myself, but my PHP ability hit the wall pretty quickly.

In the end, I inserted some fixed text strings to replace the parts that put the submitter's name into the page title. Instead of the name, it now says "Anonymous".

In order to put the plugin into use, I will run with that hack for now.

BTW, in every other respect this plugin totally rocks. I salute your effort!

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Rob,

Just to let you know, the latest version of my assignfeedback_pdf plugin on Git Hub ( https://github.com/davosmith/moodle-assignfeedback_pdf ) now replaces the user/group name with 'Blind marking' when that feature is enabled (and disables the ability to view previous assignments for the given user).

If you were able to double-check it does what you wanted, before I push an update back to Moodle.org, then that would be appreciated.

 
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Picture of Rob Woof
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo,

Yep, that works! 'Blind marking' instead of student name is great. I've installed it on my dev server and had a play, and it works exactly as described!

I really appreciate your efforts here. It is a wonderful feature to have the Blind Marking built in. I had figured out a hack, but built in beats hack any day!

Many, many thanks!

Rob

 
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Picture of Pauline Fogarty
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo

Im just wondering if the UploadPDF activitiy could be available to students to use so they could peer-review and supply each other with feedback on each others work? If they could upload their assignments and make them accessible to others in their class, I think students would enjoy this feature for commenting /annotating. Any suggestions?

I know there is a Workshop activity designed for the purpose of peer assessment but using uploadpdf or this assignment/submission activity would be more interactive and even enjoyable for them.

By the way, we are about to upgrade to 2.5 so which plugin would be advisable : plugin=assignsubmission_pdf or plugin=assignment_uploadpdf

I have used Moodle Forums in the past where students share their assignments in Word format and use Word’s comment feature for annotation but this UploadPDF would be far better. Any suggestions would be great.

It would even be more amazing if UploadPDF was usable within the Workshop activity but I doubt that is feasible . Any and all feedback on this welcome! Thank you

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Definitely use feedback_pdf and submission_pdf - uploadpdf is now unmaintained and will probably stop working at some point (with future versions of Moodle).

No, there is no functionality in the Moodle assignment type to allow annotating of PDFs of other students. There are some changes being made to the plugin in the process of integrating it into Moodle core in 2.6 (hopefully), which *may* mean that it is possible to then update it further and have it work in other places in Moodle. However, this is unlikely to happen in 2.6.

 
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Picture of Pauline Fogarty
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Thanks for your response Davo.

I have downloaded the plugins you suggested for moodle 2.5 which appears to be successful.  However I am trying to test its functionality but keep coming up against an error.

When I set up an assignment activity I cannot see witin Submission and Feedback Types, I do not see the option to tick PDF Submission or PDF Feedback Submission. However I did notice when I go into Site Administration>Plugins>Assignment Plugins>Submission Plugins>Manage Submission Plugins - the option for PDF Submission is there but it is 'hidden' under the Hide/Show icon. I have tried unhiding and going back to Assignment settings but it still wont show. When I go back to check it again in site administration, it has automaticaly reverted back to 'hide' mode again.

Likewise  within Manage assignment feedback plugins: Pdf feedback keeps reverting to ‘hide’  mode.

Is there something Im missing? I hope you can assist as I have spent a long time on this and cannot figure out what may be causing this. Thanks again.

Pauline

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Go to the feedback global settings settings and click on the 'test ghostscript path' link - if these tests fail, then the plugin is automatically disabled, to prevent teachers using the plugin before it has been configured.

 
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Picture of Richard Lian
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo - might seem like a silly question, but I can't seem to find how to use the new plugin.

I am on version 2.3.5

I have installed the two plugins and tested the Ghostscript path with is successfull. But when I go to add an activity I can't see anything for assignment PDF. Am I just being daft?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers
Do you mean that you can't see it in the activity chooser?

It's not supposed to be there - it should be on the settings page once you create an assignment (along with the standard submission & feedback types).
 
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Picture of Richard Lian
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo,

I created a single file upload and an advanced uploading of files one and can't seem to see the settings if I click on Edit settings for the assignment.

If I check site settings I can see both the submission and feedback plugins in the activity section.

Thanks.


 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

The feedback/submission plugins only work with the new mod_assign module ('assignment' in Moodle 2.3, not 'assignment (2.2)'). If you are still using the old mod_assignment module ('assignment (2.2)') then you will need to install my uploadpdf assignment plugin instead - https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=assignment_uploadpdf

 
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Picture of Richard Lian
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo,

We used to use your UploadPDF plugin - it worked great!

We are on Moodle 2.3.5 - should our assignment version not match this or I have I missed something here?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

In Moodle 2.3, the old assignment module (mod_assignment) was replaced by a new version (mod_assign). The code for mod_assignment is still present, but (except for upgraded sites) it is disabled by default.

In Moodle 2.3+ the old assignment type (if enabled) is referred to as 'Assignment (2.2)'. 

My uploadpdf plugin works with mod_assignment (AKA 'Assignment (2.2)'), my submission pdf and feedback pdf plugins work with mod_assign ('Assignment' in Moodle 2.3+). You can use whichever of these two versions of my plugin you want to, but your screenshot says 'Assignment (2.2)' at the top of it, so you are using the old Moodle 2.2 (and below) form of assignment, so my submission/feedback pdf plugins will not appear. If you want to use the new versions of my plugins you need to create a new assignment (not a new 'assignment (2.2)').

 
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Picture of Richard Lian
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo,

I understand now. It looks like I have a problem with my "Assignment" module i.e. the one for 2.3. The old "Assignment 2.2." seems to work fine.

I started a new thread - have you seen this before?

 
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Picture of Richard Lian
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo,

I have upgraded to Moodle 2.5 and your new plugins work a treat.

Thanks for the help!

Regards,

Richard

 
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Picture of Pauline Fogarty
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

You were right Davo, the ghostscript path had an error and as soon as I corrected the file path, I was back in business. Am now looking forward to using this fantastic feature. Thank you very much!

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Davo

Moodle PDF assignment type - how does it handle multiple teachers / multiple markers? do they all annotate the same document, or can they annotate one version each?

Regards
Frankie Kam

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

There is one set of annotations per document - if a two teachers annotate at once, then you will see the other teacher's annotations as soon as you change pages (there isn't a mechanism for pulling up the annotations from the current page without moving pages, as that would be a lot of work to implement and only rarely useful).

 
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Picture of Kate Davies
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo, 

I've installed the plugins on my localhost (windows) with 2.4, but when I am annotating the PDFs a message appears over the pdf "Server communication failed - do you want to resend the message?" The option to resend just causes the message to reappear moments later, ditto for cancel. 

I can't seem to save draft annotations or publish them subsequently. Using Chrome 28. The message also appears when previewing the annotations later (not that any get saved).

Have I forgotten to do something? What should I look for?

I also have: Strict Standards: Declaration of assign_submission_pdf::get_files() should be compatible with assign_plugin::get_files(stdClass $submissionorgrade) inC:\xampp\htdocs\moodle2\mod\assign\submission\pdf\locallib.php on line 766

Many thanks.

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

If you turn off debugging does it work?

It looks like this is another place where the assign_submission API has changed between Moodle versions - if you edit the line giving the error and delete the 'stdClass $user' bit, then it should remove the warning message.

 

 
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Picture of Kate Davies
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo, 

Yes - turning off debugging completely has fixed the problem and all the test markings I made on Monday appeared to boot. 

Thanks for that!

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Glad to hear that Kate.

I'll go back and review the compatibility of my plugin against Moodle 2.3/2.4 when I get a spare moment (hopefully tonight) and I should be able to eliminate those warning messages (which are breaking the AJAX calls from the browser back to the server).

 

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Just to update on this - it looks like a backported change introduced via MDL-39760 caused this strict standards warning. I've worked around it by releasing a new Moodle 2.3 / 2.4 version of my plugin, but that will only be compatible with the latest versions of Moodle 2.3/2.4 and will not be backwards compatible if anyone has an earlier version of Moodle 2.3/2.4.

 

 
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Picture of t brown
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

I love the idea of this plugin. We installed it last night. When I tested it something strange happened. With in the Assignment module, the option for PDF Submission and PDF Feedback keep disappearing.

When we go back to plugin in Admin settings is is turned to "hide". Then when we go back to Assignment we can see it, but as soon as I save the test assignment, it disappears.

Any ideas?  We are running 2.5

 

Thanks in advance.

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Have you followed the step 5 of the installation instructions: https://github.com/davosmith/moodle-assignsubmission_pdf/blob/master/README.txt ? 

Have you tried clicking on the 'test ghostscript' link after doing that?

The plugin deliberately disables itself if ghostscript is not properly configured (to prevent teachers seeing an option that doesn't work). I'd prefer it to be a temporary disabling until the plugin is configured, but the API doesn't allow me to do that (the function I'd need to override to allow that is 'final' and cannot be overridden).

 
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Picture of t brown
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Davo,

 

Thanks. I really don't know because my Tech is handling it. I have forwarded this to him and will know later today. Hopefully, this resolves it. Really looking forward to using it.

 

Thanks

 
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Picture of andy emerine
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Does this work from a student side? For instance I just received a request from a teacher. She said, "I have fill in the blank notes from our text book that are really good. These are PDF documents. Is there a way I could make these accessible to my students in Moodle and allow them to type/draw on them and make annotations?"

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Theoretically, the frontend could be made to work with students annotating PDFs.

However, the code has not been set up to work that way and it would take quite a bit of rewriting to allow this to happen.

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Davo,

I am hoping for some help troubleshooting PDF submissions from Google Drive.  I am using Moodle 2.4.5+, version 2013061201 of the PDF assign plugin and version 2013061200 of the feedback plugin.  I have hacked my Google Drive repository to return PDF files instead of .rtf.  This works fine.  Students compose in GDrive, browse GDrive in the file picker and submit.

The problem I have is when the submission is viewed for annotation.  The text rendered is extremely small.  Please see image below.

 GDrive PDF

If I download the submission, the text is readable in a PDF viewer.  PDF submissions created outside of Google Drive look fine.  I have attached the PDF used for the screenshot in case that helps.  Any ideas?

Rob

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I'm not sure - the PDF is simply fed into ghostscript via the command line and the PNG image produced by that is sent back to the browser. Something strange must be happening with the PDF when you are pulling it out of Google Drive, as there really isn't anything strange that gets done to it by my code.

 
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Picture of Ada Yau
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

It seems only selectable text PDF file is acceptable in PDF annotation assignment plugin. We received several scanned assignments and returned error "Unable to generate image".

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I've used plenty of PDFs with images in them and they've worked without any issues.

My best guess would be that the file was very large and that it was timing out waiting for ghostscript to generate the pages.

Please could you turn on debugging on your site and see if you get a more detailed error message?

 
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Picture of Graeme Dunkley
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

I'm very new to moodle and I've just tried to get this plug-in to work. I installed it directly from the plugin directory, not through linux. Now I can't create any assignments at all - i get an 'unable to read database' error. Help!

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Graeme, I'm going to need more information than that in order to help you out.

What version of Moodle are you running?

Which version of the plugin did you install - the 'uploadpdf' version for Assignment (2.2) or the 'submissionpdf' + 'feedbackpdf' versions for the newer Assignment module?

If you turn on debugging ( http://docs.moodle.org/en/Debugging ) do you get any more useful error messages?

Did the install appear to work correctly (did it list the plugin(s) as needing installing, did it say they had been installed OK)?

Were you able to configure ghostscript correctly - on the site settings page does the 'test ghostscript path' link work?

 

 
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Picture of Graeme Dunkley
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo, thanks for the prompt reply. I'm very new to moodle, so thanks for you patience too.

1) Moodle 2.6

2) I'm not sure

3) Not really, i expect some kind of 'you have installed' splash page, but i was a page that looked a lot more like an error page

4) i turned on debugging but got nothing

5) 'test ghostscript path' didn't work

i suspect there's a problem with gs - i can't even find the relevant directory on the ftp site. i think i will need to take it up with the person who installed moodle for us

 
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Picture of Graeme Dunkley
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Hi Davo, I've now realised i didn't need the two plug-ins, Annotate PDF is core in 2.6. I've uninstalled them and am still trying to get Annotate PDF to work correctly.

Testing the gs path produces a "non-existent file" error, but my hosting service assures me the path is correct.

Any suggestions?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

There is a standard PHP function 'file_exists' ( http://uk1.php.net/file_exists ).

The test code directly calls this function with whatever path you typed into the settings.

If the 'file_exists' returns false, then the error message you mentioned is displayed.

Therefore, the error can only displayed if either the file does not exist in the location you specified, or it is not accessible by the web server software (note, the path must include the name of the executable itself, but if that was all you'd missed out, then you would have got a different error: 'The ghostscript path points to a folder ...').

 
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Tony Featherstone
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Great plugin.

 

I cannot see how to delete an annotated file once it has been created

 

It is probably obvious - so who is going to tell me first?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Tony,

There is no functionality for deleting an annotate file once it has been created. Whilst I was teaching with my plugin, I never came across a situation where I needed to do this.

 

 
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Tony Featherstone
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Thank you for your response, I understand that you never needed it.

A student uploaded the wrong file and I made some comments on it. He has deleted his file but I cannot delete the annotated file.

The students have expressed surprise that such a mistake cannot be rectified.

I cannot think of another situation where a file cannot be removed.

Surely this is a basic need for tutors or administrators to be able to do?

Could this be done?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I can look into doing this, but I can't make any promises about how long it will take to do (as an adapted version of my plugin is now a standard part of Moodle 2.6, I am now tending to do a lot less work on my own standalone version of it).

 
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Tony Featherstone
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Many thanks,

Is there a quick fix way of doing it, I can access the database and ftp the files. I can also change a bit of code here and there.

I think in due course this might appear as a need from others.

 

Anyway - great plugin!

 

Regards

 

Tony

 

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

It could probably be removed by manually editing the database table mdl_files (if you don't mind a small amount of space being taken up on the server by the orphaned file still remaining on the disk).

However, that is not usually a safe thing to do.

I will look at this as soon as I can, but this is the first time such a request has come up, so it will take me a while to address it.

 
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Tony Featherstone
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Ok, really appreciate your efforts.

 

 

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I've checked in some new code to https://github.com/davosmith/moodle-assignfeedback_pdf (master branch only - so it is compatible with Moodle 2.6).

This adds a 'delete response' link to the main grading page, as long as there is a response to delete.

It does not delete any of the comments/annotations, so they will reappear when you start to annotate a newly submitted response (deleting the comments in one go seemed rather dangerous - you can still delete them individually if you want to get rid of them).

It's marked as beta, as I'm fairly certain it works, but there may be problems I haven't thought of.

 
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Tony Featherstone
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

WOW, that was quick.

 

Thank you so much, I will check it out and give you any feedback I can

 

Kind Regards

 

Tony

 
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Tony Featherstone
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

Sorry to bother you again.

 

I have not applied changes like this before.

 

Is there a procedure somewhere for applying these changes from github?

 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Download zipfile.

Unzip.

Delete existing files (from /mod/assign/feedback/pdf) from server.

Upload new files (to /mod/assign/feedback/pdf).

 

 
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Tony Featherstone
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
 

OK, did that but got the attached message in notifications.

Note: there was not an existing pdf folder to delete, so I just added your folder to mod/assign/feedback.

Note: the zipped folder was called moodle-assignfeedback_pdf-master, so I changed it to pdf.

Any idea what went wrong? - respond only when you have the time.

 

thanks again

 


 
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Davo
Re: PDF annotation assignment plugin
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

If there was no existing 'pdf' folder, then you are not using my plugin, you are using the 'editpdf' plugin that is part of Moodle core in 2.6 (which was based on my plugin, but substantially rewritten by Damyon in Moodle HQ).

My plugin only works if the supporting 'assignsubmission_pdf' plugin is also installed - it has also quite a significantly different UI to the Moodle HQ version. I wouldn't recommend moving over to my plugin if you're already using the new version in Moodle 2.6.

 

 
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