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Admin tools: Advance course search

tool_coursesearch
Course search plugin is replacement of existing course search with the more better performance & extra features.
Maintained by: Picture of Shashikant Vaishnav Shashikant Vaishnav, Picture of Marina Glancy Marina Glancy, My ugly mug Michael de Raadt

Sets

This plugin is part of set Course search tool. Plugins from the set work the best when installed together.

The plugin is integration of moodle course search with the apache solr search platform. Solr search can be used as a replacement for existing course search and boasts both extra features and better performance. Among the extra features is the ability of being flexible, case-insensitive, works with non-latin languages, fast, auto complete suggestions, filtering and can sort results by relevance(score).

Plugin requires

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Contributors

Picture of Marina Glancy
Marina Glancy: Mentor
My ugly mug
Michael de Raadt: Mentor
Picture of Shashikant Vaishnav
Shashikant Vaishnav (Lead maintainer)
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  • Capt. Moodle
    Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 12:47 PM
    Shashikant - Congratulations on your work with GSOC this summer and for sharing your efforts back here with the Moodle community. I would like to check on the copyright currently listed in some of the files that says "All Rights Reserved" before approving this plugin. I am not going to test extensively since Michael and Marina have already been involved with your work. I did confirm that the addon installs just fine. Regarding the tracker URL, the purpose of that URL is for users to report issues. I would recommend using either Github's issues or Moodle Tracker. If you would like for me to create a component in the Addons project for the plugin just let me know. You can continue to use https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/CONTRIB-4335 for development work. Just let me know whether you prefer to work with Moodle Tracker or Github issues. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do to be supportive of your efforts. Peace - Anthony
  • Capt. Moodle
    Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 12:58 PM
    p.s. - Regarding the renderer.php - should we consider some type of hook in core to allow admin tools to be able to have their own rendering functionality and thus avoid having to copy files into a theme?
  • Capt. Moodle
    Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 12:59 PM
    I'm reading the README file and wondering if we should create a set for this and add the cleantheme to that set
  • Picture of Shashikant Vaishnav
    Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 1:15 PM
    Anthony - Thank you so much for evaluating the plugin. The plugin includes Solr-php-client that is distributed along with the plugin. although its an open source library. But it includes copyright. So we should respect those copyright smile

    I will like to use Moodle Tracker. It will help me to understand more closely how things in tracker works. Here is one thing I will like to ask you. As according to discussion of today's meetup we have decided to distribute renderer.php ( renderer that makes the search results & search form appear ) along with the plugin.

    So If I need to update the existing plugin code. What's the process ? I will need to add another version or there is any another way. ?

    I again thank you for the help smile

    Regards
    Shashikant
  • Picture of Shashikant Vaishnav
    Fri, Sep 20, 2013, 2:18 PM
    Anthony :- Yup. But the Users may not be interested switching to cleantheme. Thats why we moved all the code to admin tool & made the renderer as light as possible.
  • MD shot of me from his iphone4
    Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 11:24 AM
    Hi Shashikant,
    Thanks, the issues with license are fine. 'All rights reserved' is an obsolete convention and solr-php-client mentions BSD 3-clause which is compatible with us requiring GPL.

    note that https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-31989 will be looking at incorporating a solr client there so tool_coursesearch and global search might need to be aligned to avoid duplicity (solr settings) in future.

    I've updated the tracker link to point to the component for course search in the Add ons project in tracker.


  • MD shot of me from his iphone4
    Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 12:02 PM
    You can add new versions of your plugin via the Administration block > Advanced course search > Add a new version. Older versions can be hidden.

    On the renderer manipulation that is needed, non-administrative users who would like to use this may find this daunting and accesses might not be available. This is why we prefer that there be no need for file manipulations (and file access) to get a plugin to work.

    You may want to highlight/link in the description here that this plugin requires a Solr server to be installed/available for this to work so that its clearer to users before they download and install it.

    In light of the fact that this wouldn't function without a solr server installed and that renderers need some changes for this to function, if you can describe that here i think that would help. This is also because moodle doesn't yet support this easily. As Anthony has commented above, i think it will be useful to consider how this can be made easier for admin tools.

    Marina, do you know of any existing issue to look into this?

    Note, if you rename and register https://github.com/shashirepo/moodle-theme_cleantheme in the Plugins directory, we can make it a set that relates them both. This will make any user's experience to install this much more simpler. I think we can approve it easily then as atleast it will work on one theme out of the box. (given that the user has details to some provided solr server).

  • Picture of Shashikant Vaishnav
    Fri, Oct 4, 2013, 5:41 PM
    Hello Aparup,

    1. Yup, global search might cause conflicts with the course search plugin. So here setting up the multiple solr core looks to be straight forward solution. I will put the instruction on same in readme.

    2. About the replace / copying of renderer. The plugin includes a search interface that will provide a quick view of how search results will appear ( with out any renderer manipulation. although I have not included it yet. see https://github.com/shashirepo/moodle-tool_coursesearch ). It can be seen via /admin/tool/coursesearch/example.php

    3. The another option of including search_cleantheme which is actually clone of clean theme is good to go.

    well, I will put the search_cleantheme too here. I will modify readme to include proper instruction of dependency with theme & solr installation & will update description too.

    Thanks smile
  • Capt. Moodle
    Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 6:48 AM
    Shashikant - Many thanks for updating the readme file to help clarify the installation requirements.

    I'm wondering if the best way to proceed is to make the theme and the tool dependent upon each other to ensure everything is functional. This would be the standard install and then folks could choose if they want to copy renderer.php to their theme (or modify). What I am trying to avoid is the appearance that this is a patch (anything that requires modifying core code).

    In addition, once MDL-39840 is resolved, perhaps a custom environment check could be developed for checking for solr.

    Peace - Anthony
  • Picture of Shashikant Vaishnav
    Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 4:38 PM
    Okay, will add the dependencies in version file and will update the read-me accordingly.

    Thanks smile
  • Picture of Shashikant Vaishnav
    Mon, Oct 14, 2013, 9:46 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Here is the quick review to avoid the confusion using plugin.

    1. You will need to install both course search plugin along with coursesearch theme (previously named cleantheme) to make it work out of box.

    2. You may go with your own theme too. You will need to remove the dependency from coursesearch version file. then modify / replace the renderers file.

    3. We might remove dependency in next version. (as It won't have any code dependency )

    4. If you want to have a demonstration how the search results will look with installing coursesearch theme. Remove the dependency from version file. Install course search plugin. Go to /couesesearch/example.php

    I hope you will like the plugin. I will come with some more updates/ improvements in next release smile

    Regards
    Shashikant
  • Picture of Shashikant Vaishnav
    Wed, Feb 12, 2014, 8:35 PM
    Hello everyone,

    I heard from lots of peoples using this plugin, thanks you much for using this plugin.

    Most of the peoples was having issue with http authetication with solr instance. I just updated plugin for moodle 2.6, that Includes the http authetication, you just need the supply the credentials and thats all.

    Looking forward to make the things even more better smile

    Thanks again !
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