I can see a problem for a user who happens to be in 2 courses with the same shortname - unable to differentiate courses from information in the "bread crumbs". I rule that out by controlling enrollment.
Are there other features in Moodle that depend on uniqueness for 'shortname'?
I was under the impression that moodle prevents multiple identical short names
On that note however, I would like the short names to be slightly longer
I would really like to see 18-21 characters for the short name. I found a bug post on it, and there was mention of it being possible to add the length by changing the table. We did change the table, but there is also length on the field in the form itself. We were reluctant to change the parameters on the form.
So, should we go for changing the form as well? Will anything else break?
Any advice would by appreciated!
I, too, thought about providing more space for Short Names. But -- since Short Name is the text that appears in the "bread crumbs" for navigation, I decided not to pursue that angle, in the interest of a cleaner page (navigation bar).
It seems there's no problem increasing the length of the shortname field in mdl_course. (Source: bug 3201)
The maxlength of the shortname field in the form also needs increasing (in /course/edit.html).
However, you make a good point about the navigation bar, George.
Shortname is used in backup, therefor it should be unique.
We maded (available during creation) a list of dropdown boxes which reflect the structure of our organisation: this helps to spot/classify the course in the organisation (also for backup and retrieve reasons)
If you change in the navigation bar the shortname into the static word HOME, you can use shortnames of any length. (the user can see by the long name in the header which course it is and going to the homepage in that course by pressing HOME is more intuitiv. )
the only dip is when you reference to that course by using the shortname..