Future major features

 
 
Picture of Jason Fowler
Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQ

Hi All, 

If you have some spare time, could you please head over to http://prototype.moodle.net/editor/ and test the different editors we are considering for Moodle 2.7?

A survey has been set up to gather feedback about it: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qmiqZvqDbdp7clkVgNgqNvHxJucAPnlXME1ottuR4g0/viewform

For more details please check out the developer documentation on the project: http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Editor_2.7

Cheers

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hey Jason, 

i didn't follow any of the testing instructions, but instead took a common use case from my experience with end users.

I copied and pasted content from :

1. A word document with lots of fun formatting

2. A web page (actually from moodle smile

The results were pretty bad no matter what editor i used.

None of the editors stripped ids, classes or style tags which meant i could very easily break the whole page and this made me sad sad

 

I know its often emphasized that user need education - to learn how to use the editor - but isn't it time as devs we started to learn from our users?

 

 

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

For quite a lot of moodle sites there is a long expensive process involved in choosing and designing a theme.

It is a whole industry in itself.

Once you carefully debate your branding, style,  employee or in-house the design and build etc, to then give the tutors/content editors - who i'd hazard a guess are not graphic designers - the ability to deliberately or accidentally change fonts, colours etc is a bit odd.

Alongside stripping that crud would it not be wise to have adding those wysiwyg application options that enable such theme destruction to be off by default, and for the admin to enable at their own risk?

 

 

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I don't think markup is the answer, but having worked on quite a few cms i agree with Phil - who puts it much better than i can from around 24 mins in....

http://vimeo.com/53317254

having a verbose .removeAttribute attached to any onpaste event is your friend here smile

 

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I've been looking at the new Ghost platform https://ghost.org/features/  Type on the left, view on the right, simple markdown.

What I want is for things to be simple and quick.

I'm not saying the ghost option is transferable to Moodle, but a very simple text, headings, images functionality is very appealing.

-Derek

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

yep - i love using ghost, but the idea of teaching tutors the syntax isn't something i'd relish.

are you using https://medium.com/ ?

It has similar ideas and is a really enjoyable way of creating content.

It was a difficult proposition for some of our tutors to let go of that "i'm making a digital/word document and need to style it myself" mentality.

Interestingly thats something none of our tutors have a problem with when writing a book or article where they expect a designer to do that work for them!

At sussex we basically did a medium/evernote and stripped all the crud while making their content look beautiful so editors didn't have to.

With the new emphasis on ui and usability i'm thoroughly looking fwd to the moodle front end team moving towards an interface more like medium soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hello Jason,

Testing the Atto editor on the prototype website remembered me of a problem I had already spotted but not reported : The Atto editor is not working in the quiz essay questions (no editor when students attempt the question). What is the best way to report this problem ? create an issue in the CONTRIB tracker ?

For the record there was a similar problem with Tinymce that was solved some months ago, I will try to find the tracker issue for this bug, maybe the problem is similar.

 

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Well in fact it has already been reported : MDL-42348 and closed as won't fix when Atto was removed from core and is now https://github.com/damyon/moodle-editor_atto/issues/6

 

 
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Picture of Jean-Michel Védrine
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Please see my comments about equation editing in these different editors in the Mathematics tools forum  here : https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=244333#p1089887

 
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Picture of Joshua Bragg
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I realize that I'm coming to this discussion very late.

One of my biggest concerns with Atto is the lack of subscript/superscript button and the symbol button.  I'm a high school chemistry teacher.  I'm not concerned for my use.  I know enough HTML to manage these things myself.  I'm concerned for my students.  If they are posting in the forum how are they to go about writing something like MgSO4•7H2O?

Secondly, the disappearance of the Paste as Plain Text.  If this goes away, as the site admin, I'll start getting all kinds of calls from teachers asking why the stuff they copied and pasted looks strange and is doing strange things.  I'm less concerned about the loss of Paste from Word since the Paste as Plain text would help on that end also.

As I understand it, the goal with the editors is to make something easy for everyone to use.  Dropping those out of Atto makes Atto more difficult to use.  People shouldn't have to muck around in the HTML do simple things.

 
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Me!
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Hi Joshua,

Note - the Atto version on the prototype is only the starting point. We are already working on adding the extra plugins for things like symbols etc. There is a tracker issue collecting all the little things we want to do - MDL-43841.

It is a balancing act though - if we add 1000 little things that hardly anyone wants, we will end up with a bloated editor that is hard to use (again). This doesn't apply to obvious things like symbols and super/sup - but we do have to consider it every time we build a new plugin.
 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Joshua "People shouldn't have to muck around in the HTML do simple things."

I agree on principle. The problem is that what some users consider "simple things" or "indispensable features" are totally useless to others. In the HTML editor for Moodle, subscript/superscript and symbol buttons are essential to you (and your teachers). They are mostly useless to me, whereas I would really like the non-breaking space button to move from the 3rd row to the first (default) row in the editor, as it is indispensable when writing French.

Joseph

 

 
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Picture of Adam Morris
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
 

I would just like to point out there's a reallly great talk about how CMS packages always get this wrong. We should be getting our teachers managing content, not managing design.

http://vimeo.com/53317254

 
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Picture of Stuart Lamour
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

posted that above, and a number of times on the moodle forums adam - i think we are on the same track smile

have you seen https://vimeo.com/56705945 ?

 
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Picture of Joseph Thibault
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Similar message, here's how another site is handling/enforcing style: https://medium.com/medium-writers-guide/4ea454b6b224

Interesting read. 

 
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Picture of Joseph Rézeau
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Adam "We should be getting our teachers managing content, not managing design."

I agree, on principle. We all agree that design should be separate from content as far as possible. However, that separation is not always feasible, nor, in my opinion, always desirable.

A part of pedagogy (the art of teaching) involves the presentation of content to learners. And presentation does involve a measure of design, does it not?

Joseph

 
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Picture of dawn alderson
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
 

Hi all,

Joseph-very useful, thanks.  A request- question, if I may, shifting to application mode:-

As a teacher, 'What is it I will be able to do to enahnce my pedagogy with the use of Atto in 2.7 (like the sound of that one-read about it and the bonus point for me is the info about plugin compatibility-that is all you get about knowledge of techy stuff from me-tis limited smile)-compared with what I can do in 2.6 for example?'

Tis this type of explicit explanation that is helpful for us teachers, in order to have a shared understanding about functionality to inform our pedagogy. Hope makes sense.

cheers

Dawn  

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

That is an excellent question, and perhaps it should have been asked already smile

I fear the answer is probably disappointing. Broadly speaking,

  • You will be able to do pretty much exactly what you can do now with the current editor.

However, when you look at the details, there will be some minor improvements:

  • It should be less fiddly to use. For example you should be able to drag images directly into the editor, rather than having to fiddle around with dialogue boxes.
  • That annoying thing where it takes several seconds, or longer, for the editor to appear should be fixed.
  • Behind the scenes, it will generate HTML that does a better job of complying with accessibility best practice. Not that exciting, but important for some learners.
  • ...
 
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Picture of dawn alderson
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
 

I see, thanks for this Tim.  So,

+1 for improved efficiency=to aid pedagogy.

+1 for 'inclusive' learner implications.

Understand, sounds like a very useful plan.

Cheers,

Dawn

 

 

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I think this "We should be getting our teachers managing content, not managing design" is a sometimes a sidetrack.

Certain functionality like

  • subscripts/superscripts
  • Nonbreaking spaces for French
  • equations for maths
  • insert symbol
  • paste as text
  • horizontal line

etc are the basic building blocks we need to be conversing about, and have not a lot to do with design.  

Tim's post is helpful, I know there will be a lot of things beneath the covers - but if we loose basic functionality that is there now, then there will be challenges with some of our users.

Am I right in assuming things like colours, fonts, sizes of fonts, tables are the design features you are talking about? 

What about Tables?  Can we do away with tables?  Is this a design feature of the past?  What about columns of figures for accounting?  I think I am with Joseph: some presentation does involve design.

Rambling over

-Derek

 

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

ATTO is it.  See the third comment here: https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-43841

Martin announced at the last Dev meeting.  (I cannot find a reference, but it will be there somewhere)

So onwards. No more testing/comparison.  We have made our bed.

-Derek

Edit: found docs from last week: http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Atto

 
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Picture of dawn alderson
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
 

Derek, hi

to be very honest, (mind you have been picked up for using that phrase-doesn't sound honest at all! wink) However, from where I am standing.....amidst the scrambled egg detail of dev world (in my world!)  I think Atto is the logical way forward-for what it is worth.....can research detail....quite well here, and from a teacher's perspective....sounds about right to me-i could be wrong....always open to challenge and change.

forgive me for rambling! smile

Cheers,

Dawn

 

 
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Just wondering . . .
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

To be clear Dawn, I think Atto is the way to go.  But I am only cautiously optimistic about the details.  There is no definitive list of must haves for buttons yet.  I work with end users.  smile  such things as subscript/superscript (MDL-44032) could just slip off the radar.  I have no doubt we can make a great editor.  But politics, time and $ can often mean priorities can get shifted.

-Derek

 

 

 
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Picture of dawn alderson
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
 

Derek, hi

as always-I hear you. Know you can tolerate my questions-fab!  What is the digestable and do-able alternative? Very curious.  Perhaps down to my learning trajectory...but I thought Atto-just sounded/seemed to tick a big box-compared to the others (e.g. plug-in compatibility, to be sure/not to be honest-got to get rid of that tick!)

cheers,

Dawn

 
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Me!
Re: Prototyping Editor 2.7
Group DevelopersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers
Yes - Atto it is and we are making great progress. MDL-43841 is the epic issue that tracks all of the sub-tasks (not all of the tasks in that Epic will be done, we need to decide on them individually). http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Atto is the start of our dev docs for Atto - it will be expanded on and improved before release (especially as we are changing the API occasionally).

2 of the major features I worked on last week are
1. a new equation editor that works with the existing filter system and has no requirement for Java (and hence is better for accessibility)
2. a built in accessibility checker - each of the new tools will be designed with accessibility in mind - but there will also be a plugin to do some additional checks like colour contrast, alt text for images, headers for table rows etc.
 
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