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Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer

 
Picture of Rick Jerz
Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Particularly helpful Moodlers

I upgraded my experimental Moodle (before updating my production), and I noticed an interesting change in what shows in the drawer.

In Moodle 3.3+ (Build: 20170601), the drawer did not contain course topics.

In Moodle 3.3+ Moodle 3.3+ (Build: 20170616), the drawer now contains topics, which I don't want to show.

I have attached a graphic showing the older and newest student views of the drawer.

I really don't see a need to show the topics in the draw since the topics show right in the main moodle, and it seems somewhat redundant, and it pushes the more important drawer elements of Dashboard and Calendar down (sometimes out of view depending upon the number of topics in the course.

Is there a way to turn off the display of topics?

I did notice a new setting, Course Overview (Timeline or Courses). But this doesn't seem to control the drawer.  Maybe there is some other setting?

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Documentation writersMoodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

That is odd because I would say the view you have now, with the course topics is the correct view, which I have had since the release of 3.3 and the view you had before was not the correct view. Did you tweak your previous version at all?

 
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Gareth J Barnard
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Rick,

As the course format is Collapsed Topics, then probably down to my application of MDL-55074 in https://github.com/gjb2048/moodle-format_topcoll/commit/70371cbbfafc8d8063065b76457ac4514222f285 to fix an issue of missing navigation drawer items.

Kind regards,

Gareth

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Gareth (and Mary), let me see if I am understanding.

I never saw the list of topics because I was using Collapsed Topics.  Then Gareth, you fixed an apparent bug in Collapsed Topics so now I am seeing all of the topics in Moodle's drawer.  Is this what has happened?  (I can do more testing on my own.)

If this is so, Gareth, might I go back to your old code?  Is this what I am seeing in your GIT link, the old versus the new?

Or Gareth, are you say that the list of topics should not be showing when someone is using Collapsed Topics, and that you still have to fix this problem that they do show?

Do you see what I see, that the list of topics on the Drawer are really not needed with Collapsed topics?

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
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Gareth, I am now better understanding some of this.

If I go back to your previous Collapsed Topics, I get the effect that I am after: Course topics are not shown in the Drawer.  This is what I really like.

But I am still not sure what you intend?

This is an interesting issue.  With the latest version of Moodle, we got the desired "More" for "My Courses" because "My Courses" was showing everything.  But now I have the unnecessary clutter of having all the course topics show.  ???

 
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It's only an avatar...
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Core developersDocumentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developersTesters

Hi Rick,

I think what Gareth means is that he saw that the Collapsed Topics format was missing the the Topic Items in the Drawer...and so he added them in.

What YOU need is a setting that allows this funtionality to be an option.

Perhaps Gareth has seen this as a possibility too?

Just a thought.

Mary

 
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Gareth J Barnard
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Yes I have seen it as a possible option.  But I need to think about it as its a non-standard thing in an area that needs to be standardised.  I believe that the Topics and Weeks formats have the sections in the Nav-drawer as anchors to the actual sections on the page.  So perhaps its a core setting to be added?  Also if I added it in to CT then it would need to be maintained and considered every time core API changed in this area, making things even more complex, so perhaps it needs to be thought about in a more general terms of 'What is this and do we actually need it in the Nav-drawer?'.

In the mean time, adding back the code I removed in the commit Rick will solve the problem in this case for you.  Clearly though it is not a long term solution, nor is going back to a previous version as that will not contain other fixes / changes I've since made.

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Thanks Gareth (and Mary),

Yes, I guess that I would need a setting.  This could compliment Collapsed Topics, in that CT becomes even more useful showing the natural collapsing of topics, and also removing the less important items (meaning the topics) from the Drawer, and thereby making the Drawer even more useful.  However Gareth, I perfectly understand the coding issue.

Ideally, someday Moodle core will provide much more flexibility to customizing the Drawer.  Somehow, in MORE, I was able to not show the topics navigation in the Administration block.  I forget how I did that.  Whatever setting it was is probably not being honored in Boost.

Back to business...

Gareth, I think that I see the line(s) of code in the lib.php that I would need to change.  Lines 228-230 contained:

                global $CFG;

                if (empty($CFG->linkcoursesections) && !empty($options['navigation'])) {

                    return null;

                }

In the new lib.php, I see these two lines being replace by:

             $url->set_anchor('section-' . $sectionno);

Would I simply need to replace the new code with the old code?  I have tried this, it works, but I thought that I would ask.  (I learn something new every day!)




 
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Gareth J Barnard
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Rick,

Add back the old code:

                 global $CFG;
                 if (empty($CFG->linkcoursesections) && !empty($options['navigation'])) {
                    return null;
                }

so:

             } else {
                  $url->set_anchor('section-' . $sectionno);
              }

becomes:

             } else {
                 global $CFG;
                 if (empty($CFG->linkcoursesections) && !empty($options['navigation'])) {
                    return null;
                }
                  $url->set_anchor('section-' . $sectionno);
              }

Gareth


 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
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Great!  Thanks much.

Well, I wonder how the bigger issue will eventually be fixed?  I am going to be attending MoodleMoot US and MountainMoot, so maybe I can explore this with folks.  I am also a member of the Moodle Users Group, so this might be a good project.

 
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Picture of Hartmut Scherer
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
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With Boost Navigation Fumbling, a local plugin, it is possible to customize the navigation drawer. So far there is no option regarding enabling/disabling course topics in the navigation drawer.

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
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Hartmut, thanks.  I will have to take a look at this plugin.

 
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Picture of Alexander Bias
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Rick,

I am the author of Boost Navigation Fumbling which has just been mentioned by Hartmut. Currently, this plugin is only able to remove main navigation items from the Nav drawer like Calendar or private files.

We have already been looking into changing the course navigation section in the nav drawer when browsing a course, but this is not possible currently due to the way the nav drawer is created by Moodle core and due to the way the plugin interacts with the core.

However, if you have any proposals to the plugin, don't hesitate to create a ticket on https://github.com/moodleuulm/moodle-local_boostnavigation/issues.

Thanks,
Alex

 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
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Hi Alexander, thanks for your post and update.

Well, this is all pretty interesting.  We have an very good new theme, Boost, with some very nice features, the Drawer, but we are finding that the Drawer needs a lot more work to make it a "powerhouse" feature of moodle.  It needs (almost demanding) that there needs to be much more user (either Manager, Teacher, or Student) customization.

For me, it is pretty good, except for two things: 1) All of the courses showing for Manager/Teacher, (which has just been fixed in the latest moodle), and 2) To remove topics navigation (which I can fix myself applying Gareth's suggestions.)

I am looking at the future of the Drawer.  Looking ahead, yes, it could really benefit by allowing users to decide (i.e., pick) which features they want on the Drawer, and the ability for everyone to pick which specific courses show on it.  Then the My Courses will really be from the perspective of "My.." and not Moodle's.  I can see this happening since there has been overwhelming discussion about it here on moodle.org.  I see the current Drawer as version 1.01.  Yep, we need to have this  "boosted" this to version 3.x.

Below is a screen shot of how my Moodle currently looks with the Drawer displayed.  For me, not bad.  The last two courses are actually "hidden" on my moodle, so I would like their color to change to my hidden color (see the main topic hidden color), or I would rather be able to say, "Just show my top 10 active courses and no hidden courses" because I should be able to get to the hidden courses by going to my Home.  The student's view, I think correctly, does not show hidden courses.  I also think that the ability to sort the course list would be desired by many.  Also notice that no topics show in my Drawer, and that topics easily show in the main body (with Gareth's Collapsed Topics.)  I think that you can see why I believe that showing course topics in the Drawer are unnecessarily redundant.


 
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Picture of Rick Jerz
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Gareth,

I believe that what we anticipated happening, did happen (core code has changed.)  I had been applying this patch from above and it has been working fine.  I have been running it with Moodle 3.3.1+ (Build: 20170810).

Today, I have been preparing to upgrade my Moodle to the latest 3.3.2 (Build 20170911).

I have applied your patch as always, but the course topics do not disappear, they are always on.  So it appears to me that there has been some change in the Boost nav drawer code that makes your patch no longer work.

I thought that I would mention this to you.  You maybe already know what is going on.

If you see the quick change that I would need to make in your patch, please let me know.  Otherwise, maybe I will have to stop making this patch.

Incidentally, I did try installing your patch into two different experimental copies of my Moodles, without luck.  I even took topcoll folder from my production moodle, moved it into my experimental moodle, and it didn't work.  I double check your topcoll version.php, and in all cases I have $plugin->requires  = 2017051500.00; // 3.3 (Build: 20170515).

Thanks.

 
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Gareth J Barnard
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Rick,

Ok, thank you, I'll update my Moodle's to the current ones on GitHub and see what happens.

Gareth

 
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Gareth J Barnard
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
Core developersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

Hi Rick,

Ok, odd, on Moodle 3.3.2+ (Build: 20170915), CT 3.3.1.0 shows the navigation section links even without the patch.

G

 
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Jim Judges
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
 

Hi Gareth,

Please can you clarify if this means that the latest plugin does display the section folder links int he Navigation drawer?

Many thanks again for your useful and popular plugin.

Jim

 
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Gareth J Barnard
Re: Changes in what appears in Boost's Drawer
 
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