Future major features

 
 
Just wondering . . .
Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I wasn't quite sure where to put this topic, moderators please move if you feel like it.

I'm still finding the upgrade process a little chaotic.  It's that small things that sneak in unintended (As in the law of unintended consequences again). An new version can pass all the tests and still with a minor change break a specific server or break the accustomed workflow of users.

What about a little running list somewhere in docs of minor changes that have come with a .X (or even a .X.X) version like the loss of editing inline with assignments, changes in role hierachies, changes in flowplayer version and behaviour, changes in course formats . . .  sort of a one stop shop focused on just the version upgrade to ask "is this what I see a feature or a bug or an unintended consequence".
Such a hypothetical list could have links to the tracker or a discussion.  A first point of call with considering the upgrade to a new version.  Some sort of focus on the Current upgrade path, which is what most will be looking at at any given time.

We actually all (as a community) are doing some wheel spinning doing lots of testing for ourselves and there are lost of duplicate posts on critical issues.  See just as one example this blog post by Mark: http://www.markdrechsler.com/?p=878

-Derek

And as a PS.  Plugins remain a huge problem with version changes.  I'm personally finding it hard to keep up with GIT, Google docs, Blogs, Messaging, Forums, Plugins database, Tracker, Dev and Docs as inputs.  I am conscious I do not want to sent more stuff in the direction of developers if I have not done my homework. 

Good news: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDLSITE-2092 we may have notifications from the comments sections on the tracker to non-maintainers (ie regular users) soon.  (Tx Aparup!!) I think this will help with keeping track of plugins.

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Current minor features
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Hi Derek. Well there is partly that already in that for each version there is a "new features in 2+(whatever) category" which lists the pages where new features for that minor version are highlighted. Here's the 2.4 one for instance - http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Category:New_features

It's also inyellow at the top of the main page of that particular docs version - http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Main_page

However, it's possible of course to miss new features I agree. On the release notes the new features are mentioned with links to docs  http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Moodle_2.4_release_notes but again it's possible some could have been missed out.

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Current minor features
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

All the changes in every release should always be on the release notes:  http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Releases

If anything gets missed please tell someone or add it there yourself!

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
This may be off topic as well:

"How many minor features make one major feature?" I wonder.
wink
 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

This is a good question Visvanath, and it reminds me of the old discussion on "One person's critical is another person's trivial".  I have hesitated to talk about minor things in the Major Issues forum, but then I think there is no audience to speak of if I post elsewhere.  smile

I will return to this topic at some stage, once I have thought a little more. 

I have several servers I work with, and have just done a test upgrade to 2.4.1.  I thought I had done my homework, but there were still things that were gotchas.  All tracker items are not the same.  There is the nice summary that Martin pointed to.  I'm not sure that the docs thing Mary referred to is as good as it could be.  But trying to figure out quickly the potential bugs is a little difficult.  Martin's list doesn't address this and you can spend time on the tracker and still miss it.  I'm going to try to get my filters better.  But then some kind of human tagging can help.  "If you want X, these issues are critical"

I know this goes against the trend of Helen's work plan, but I wondered if a forum "Upgrading to 2.4" may help centralise some of the issues, even if they were just references to activity in the other 43 relevant forums.  This is where tagging of threads would be great. 

-Derek

 
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Martin in black and white
Re: Current minor features
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

I don't think a forum is really an ideal place to curate a list like this.  By all means add forum links to the release notes if they are relevant though, surely that will give people the best chance of finding out this information.

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I think as some of you have suggested my first post in this hread was a little poorly thought out.  I'd now like to add this:

We curate a list of feaures of a new release quite clearly as has bees said.

However we do not curate a list of current problems whether critical or trivial (by anyone's definition).  They are scattered around the forums.  Sometimes it is quite random if you find them.  We often find tem too late.  Now I know i would be difficult to do this,but not impossible.

But what I am saying is we need to not only have list of current new features, but a list of problems introduced by a new version of Moodle that may be unexpected.  Where a feature of Moodle version X+1 BREAKS a feature of Moode X.

As I said:above: features of a version X of Moodle may become part of a workflow, and sometimes these same features get broken and are no longer possible in Moodle X+1.

This is all in the cause of helping smooth the upgrade path for indiviuals. Not just "What new goodies do you get wih the latest release?" but also "What are the key issues people are finding in upgrading to the latest version?"

-Derek

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Current minor features
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

"we do not curate a list of current problems whether critical or trivial (by anyone's definition"

Yes we do: https://tracker.moodle.org/issues/?jql=project%20%3D%20MDL%20AND%20type%20%3D%20Bug%20AND%20resolution%20%3D%20Unresolved

"Where a feature of Moodle version X+1 BREAKS a feature of Moode X."

We do have a way of tracking this, as explained on http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Tracker_issue_labels. See the lost_functionality label. So https://tracker.moodle.org/issues/?jql=project%20%3D%20MDL%20AND%20issuetype%20%3D%20Bug%20AND%20resolution%20%3D%20Unresolved%20AND%20labels%20%3D%20lost_functionality is a list.

Of course, we are probably not as good at using that label as we should be. Helping to track down such bugs, and label them in the tracker, is a useful contribution.

Issues with that label are given a slighly higher priority, I believe.

 

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Tim, thanks.

1. The list you descibe is not a "curated" list.  It is just every single known problem.  There is a list in the tracker of fixed issues.  (Uncurated) There is a list in dev.moodle.org of fixed issues in a new release (curated) and as Martin said, if there is anything missing here, then we add it.

Trying to find an example: the 2GIG file restore limit.  
https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-34388
Moodle 2 has broken this.  But no where is there a place to find this out specifically and easily.  This is an old issue.  The onl way you wil find this out is by trial and error, unless you read a lot.

I've done a quick survey: some other OS projects have a simple curated list of "Current known issues"  ie it's a problem, we know about it.  It's a big problemand we know about it.  Or it's a smal problem, sorry if affects you so much, we know about it.  And: current workarounds.  My view stands: an Upgrading to current version forum will help.  Martin said this is not the right place to go.  But tracker is not effective.  Current curatated lists in DEV don't work for this purpose.

Your list "every unresolved issue under the sun" does just not work for this purpose. As I said, all tracker issues are not the same.

2. Lost functionality label.  Cool.  This is a major learning moment for me. I've just added it to 

I will do some more later.  This may be there, but, as you say, it is certainly not used widely.  When you pointed me with the link in your post, to the list it was 8 issues long.

EVERY lost functionality item is here: https://tracker.moodle.org/issues/?jql=labels%20%3D%20lost_functionality a total of 34.  I'm sure I can increase this.  I'd like to see this list linked to in devs docs release notes.  I think it may help solve my problem.

Tim, as usual, thanks for the reply.

EDIT.  Well, I might not have added the labels if I had known veryone gets a personal e-mail.  smile

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Derek

> it reminds me of the old discussion on "One person's critical is another person's trivial".

That's definitely a topic which we should not forget too quickly. But this time it looks like the same trivials have bocome critical for many of us. (see later)

> I have hesitated to talk about minor things in the Major Issues forum, but then I think there is no audience to speak of if I post elsewhere.

I did a web search for "little things" and found that they are in big demand. Yes, I too think we should discuss those things in other places, like this one: http://justlittlethings.net.
smile

> I have several servers I work with, and have just done a test upgrade to 2.4.1. I thought I had done my homework, but there were still things that were gotchas. All tracker items are not the same.

I thought I've heard is somewhere. Of course that was Alice:
First it [Dodo] marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle, (`the exact shape doesn't matter,' it said,) and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no `One, two, three, and away,' but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out `The race is over!' and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, `But who has won?'

http://www.literature.org/authors/carroll-lewis/alices-adventures-in-wonderland/chapter-03.html

> There is the nice summary that Martin pointed to. I'm not sure that the docs thing Mary referred to is as good as it could be.

http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Category:Release_notes is my favourite.

> I know this goes against the trend of Helen's work plan, but I wondered if a forum "Upgrading to 2.4" may help centralise some of the issues, even if they were just references to activity in the other 43 relevant forums.

That will cause unrest. Helen just got rid of the "Window-based Servers" causing heavy losses. If there going to be a new forum, I propose the revival of the Windows-forum.

> This is where tagging of threads would be great.

You mean this suggestion https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=218412#p959133 ?
 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Visvanath, re your comment

> This is where tagging of threads would be great. 
You mean this suggestion https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=218412#p959133 ?

No, not the use of subject headings, I mean real tags as in  this request: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-21416  I think this would benefit a lot for learning as well as Moodle.org.  But I'm more interested in getting ForumNG into the core, then worry about tagging later.

I suspect the question that Helen is facing is unsolvable.  http://www.shirky.com/writings/ontology_overrated.html

How do we classify anything nicely?  I mention this so that anyone does not start to worry about "Whose tags?"

-Derek

 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Derek

You wrote:
> I mean real tags as in this request: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-21416 I think this would benefit a lot for learning as well as Moodle.org.

May be. But the current thinking is that people don't "navigate" these days, they goggle. See "Using Moodle course layout change" https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=221071#p962496.
sad

> http://www.shirky.com/writings/ontology_overrated.html
>
> How do we classify anything nicely?

Thanks for reference. Stimulating (for things outside moodle.org). OT in a strict sense.

BTW, you've omited a couple of other points. Not that you must respond, just mentioning in case.
 
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Picture of Lesli Smith
Re: Current minor features
Group Testers

Funny.  I thought the Shirky article was the most useful part of Derek's post because it captured pretty much everything I hadn't yet articulated for myself about the organizational structure implosions I keep witnessing in forum discussions and tracker discussions and even in my own use-case scenarios. Whether we need to organize a site into course categories or a quiz bank into something useful that can be shared or a course with cohorts or groups or groupings or a list of hundreds of standards that need to be applied in thousands of places from granular quiz questions to whole courses, I'm finding an increasing need to be able to cross-list these different needs and ways of organizing.  Maybe there is no shelf.  I was always a skeptic about the whole tag cloud value, in terms of being able to see for myself beyond the "most users at this point in time are concerned about x" part, but I think now I'm understanding why every librarian I've talked to in the last five years has been so excited about this concept.  They must be able to see, based on their experiences, the potential this would afford over the limitations they've been struggling to overcome for years.

I suppose this is, in a strict sense, not a discussion anymore about where to log minor feature changes and track them for ourselves, but the point made earlier about someone's minor is someone else's major really rang true for my experience.

If nothing else, it made me think, and that is what I love about Moodle.org conversations.  Especially some of the slightly off-topic ones.

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Current minor features
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Just to acknowledge your post Lesli.  This article helped me realise it was not me going crazy when at the time we were trying to implement an LMS tagging system with the possbility of official tags and personal tags.  The project foundered when term got underway and we had to work on more prosaic matters.

Tagging + voting is a good combination.

-Derek

 
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