Dear English Speaking Moodle Users in Japan,
Please forgive the crossposting.
I hacked moodle 1.4.4's forums to allow anonymous posting because it seems to me that there are sound cultural reasons why Japanese do not like to post to forums when their name is on the post.
And at the same time anonymous forums in Japan have a lot of postings. The famous, or infamous, "2ch" forums in Japan are a case in point. There are many Gigabytes of discussion, scandle, information, and slander posted to that forum network.
Obviously if forums were completely anonymous then there would be no way of preventing abuse, and no way of encouraging student contribution by grading, but I am hopeful that the hack attached should allow posters to remain anonymous while allowing teachers to grade the posters (and delete posts if they want to).
This is the first time I have felt reasonably confident about a hack but at the same time it needs testing. If anyone is interested then please test the two files enclosed. I could upgrade this to 1.5 if anyone is interested.
Anonymous posting is quite important, I think. The enclosed is just a hack but if it were found to be effective in stimulating forum activity then we might be able to persuade developers to come up with a more graceful and comprehensive "anonymous" checkbox for a forums and perhaps other activities.