I agree with your approach but, I think, I've no enough time .
In fact, today, I already built a trial website (on webhosting, moodle 2.2.3) with a first course to test functionalities ( configuration of website : accounts, Front page ; Categories and courses : creation, enrolments; Material : links, html, folders , files to download, organization; Lessons and Assignments; creation of different type of quizzes, feedback, chat, Glossary, Forum, wiki . Evaluations: grades automatic or to do , reports ; Backup ) . I use documentation for a 1.9.x version and I was working on a 2.2.3 version. It was a good experience, sometime difficult because of differences in presentation or location of functionnalities, but I was able to manage it. It was my first trial. Now, I would like to build a real small production, to test a solution for the course I'd like to have . So I installed Moodle 2.4+ on a dedicated laptop (localhost; on windows XP ; 2Gb); response time (performance on that computer) is too long (may be some tuning would help a lot) . Moodle 2.2.3 on webhosting was acceptable but not 2.4+ on localhost (time is not in fraction of a second but in term of perception for a smooth utilisation). So now I'm thinking about using a PHP accelerator (if existing ???? ) for this computer. Same time I'm thinking to install Moodle on an other laptop (AMD A8-4500M/700Go/8Gb/Radeon HD 7640G with Windows 7 pro and Ubuntu 12.10) ; this is a challenge for me because I saw that Windows7 isn't easy for installation (often some problems) and I don't know Ubuntu.
I 'm afraid to say that I don't have time to try too much different versions it's too much time, and too much energy .
So , following your advice and to minimize trials, I'm asking me three questions :
_ would it be a good idea for my next installations to test Moodle 1.9.19+ and after Moodle 2.3.3+ ?
_ Is it possible to transfert my course from version 1.9.19 tp 2.3.3 easily ? are there some restrictions or incompatibilities ?
_ Is my dedicated small computer compatible for these versions and only for one user ? do I have to make some tuning (parameters on blocks ....) to decrease quantity/size of html files to generate ? Is it appropriate to install an html accelerator ?
(localhost; windows XP home ;2Gb).
First step would be to work only with windows XP (and to avoid learning Ubuntu and debate with windows 7)
Thank you again