Hi Eloy and everybody,
There is something I don't understand. It is true that now somewhere you can see the word count. The thing is, the way this is implemented right now, it is not very useful for the purposes we had in mind when we came up with the proposal. The idea is that if the teacher so wishes, s/he can set up some sort of limit (which, as we discussed earlier, doesn't need to be strictly enforced and can work only as a recommendation) and then the work of both the student and the teacher with regards to this recommendation is made more comfortable by means of various mechanisms (the counter in the editor is only one of them).
I still don't really understand why this functionality was not incorporated in the way that Joan had implemented it, provided, of course, the code was sound and there wasn't any conflict with anything else in the assignment module or Moodle as a whole. It is just that. That I don't understand what ended up happening when it seemed that the little patch was going to be incorporated once Joan fixed the problems that Martin pointed out earlier (which he did). If suggestions like the ones Eloy and Julian give in the sense of limiting the presence of the counter to certain environments are presented, I can understand that. As I said, I do agree with you, and I see no reason to have a counter in the editor when you don't need it (although, it is so unobstrusive that it doesn't bother me to have it either, I don't notice it is there most of the time).
But, again, I don't really understand why the word count functionality has been introduced in the way it has been introduced and not in the way we suggested.
Anyway, I think I won't insist any more (although knowing myself, I don't know if I can promise that ). We'll just apply the patch in our Moodle installations and anybody who is able to find out that it exists and wants to use it can download it from our site. It is just that I find it a little sad that something that seems totally unproblematic (maybe I'm very wrong but nobody has told me otherwise) and does not affect in any negative way the overall structure of the assignment module or Moodle as a whole cannot be incorporated for the benefit of everyone who might want to use it.
We are not talking about some very weird, complex and unusual kind of functionality here. For people who work with language (second or first language teaching) it is rather usual to establish recommended lengths for the students' essays. We just added a way for Moodle to make it easier to work in these kinds of situations, both for the students and for the teachers, without imposing this way of working on anyone who doesn't need this functionality. It is just one more choice. I frankly don't see where the problem might be.