Archive for July 2006

Wednesday 26 July 06

Spent the last couple of days at MoodleMoot & Moodle Hackfest, though unfortunately I’ve got to miss the final day (today) of MoodleMoot. Monday (hackfest day) was good, meeting up with the guys from Covcell as they’re doing very similar things with Moodle and instant messaging that I’m working on for the OCI project. Found that they had a lot of similar queries/issues as we’ve been discussing here, for example to do with deciding when someone has logged out (do they stay logged in to the IM client even after they’ve left or logged out of Moodle), and how to display the contacts, when there could potentially be 100’s of them.

All the presentations I attended at MoodleMoot yesterday were really interesting, and shame I’ve got to miss out today – though might get chace to catch some this afternoon.

Wednesday 26 July 06

Things have been progressing well on the Moodle side of the things over the last  few weeks, there has been a lot to cover and think about with this, especially with the fact that the groups code is spread throughout Moodle. Juliette gave a presentation yesterday at the MoodleMoot conference about some of the issues that have arisen and how is could be properly integrated in Moodle Core.

We received details yesterday about the end of programme show and tell meeting, so we’ve got to demonstrate the work we’ve done next week, most of which should be fine, though it’ll be difficult to demo the LAMS, as they’re not going to get chance to do the LAMS-Moodle integration code updated in the LAMS v2 until later in Sept, although the coding has been done for LAMS v1.

Thursday 20 July 06

Been looking further into creating a Moodle block for the MSG tool, and started to do a little bit of coding now. But soon came across the cross-domain problem when using XmlHttpRequest – in that you can’t make an AJAX request from one domain to another (well, not without the user lowering their browser security levels on their machine first – which wouldn’t be a good plan!)

So it looks like we’ve got 3 options: 1, install the software on the same server so the url is the same and everything will be happy, 2, make proxy http calls, or 3, use frames/iframes. Option 3 is pretty much ruled out straight away, and I;ve gone for testing out option 2 (as I’m not sure if we’ll be able to run the buddy space service on the same machine as Moodle).

So my first task for this was to figure out how to make http requests in PHP, for this I needed pear installed. I’d read that pear was included with PHP 5 but jsut needed activating, but I didn’t have go-pear.bat in my PHP installation. This was because I’d just downloaded the PHP 5 installer rather than the PHP 5 zip package. So I downloaded the zip package and unpacked over the top of my existing PHP 5 install (overwriting any files) and that appears to have worked fine, as I now have the go-pear.bat and necessary extensions – just need to actually install them now!

Friday 14 July 06

All been going well this week, had another day working on OCI, which was mainly meetings discussing how 3 KMi tools (BuddySpace, Compendium and FlashMeeting) could be intergrated into Moodle, and also how the authentication & registration was going to work across the OCI sites.
Also spent some time this week handing over some the Sled/CopperCore work – though spent most of the time trying to remember what I’d done all those months ago. We eventually got to the point where we can compile and run Sled on Juliettes machine. I’ve still got a few more bits to hand over to her about this, eg how the CCSI module works etc.
Finally, updated the database on our Sled demo site (, so that it uses a MS SQL database instead of HSQL. We had loads of reliability and performance problems using HSQL, especially as more people registered on the system. It’s still not as fast as it could be, but is much faster and more reliable than it was!

Friday 7 July 06

First day working in KMi on the Open Content Project today, all going well so far! Been reading through some of the technical documentaiton and functional specs and all making sense 😉 Also been looking at the architecture & code base for BuddySpace and MSG, that Chris has given me access to. The other thing that I’ve been doing is installing Moodle, I’m trying to get apache, PHP & mysql installed separately (rather than just using the bundled package) and running together, gradually getting there with this but finding that setting up PHP to work with apache & mysql isn’t totally straightforward – too many config file changes etc for my liking! Should be up and running soon 😉

Wednesday 5 July 06

Gave a presentation yesterday at the London Knowledge Labs, as part of the LAMS version 2.0 Beta release, about the work I’d been doing in Australia on the LAMS Tools Contract. The presentation was videoed, so I’m assuming it will appear up on the LKL site soonish – or perhaps it’ll be on one of the LAMS sites. All seemed to go well, and people were interested in how the tools contract works and the type of tools that could be plugged in.