Archive for August, 2008

End of My Summer of Code

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Today is the official pencil down date for the 2008 Google Summer of Code and is the last day code can be submitted to be counted in the final evaluation. This is also the week i move back to Thunder Bay to start a new term at Lakehead University, so it has been a busy week of finishing up code and documentation, getting packed up for the move and setting up the server to host a new project i will be a part of this fall.

I have committed the latest code for the project and considering this to be a first release of the report/stats and report/visual plug-ins for Moodle 2.0 dev. I have also update my test site with the newest code so any one can take a look at the plug-ins running in a Moodle install (you can login as guest). I had also hoped to have a screen cast demoing the plug-ins for today however due to some trouble getting sound working right it will probably be ready late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Anthony Borrow has requested that i get an entry for the plug-ins added to the Moodle Modules and Plugins Database and some pages up about it on the Moodle Wiki instructing users how to use the plug-ins and install them, witch i plan to also get done this week, time and internet permitting (i may not have internet access for a few days well moving back to Thunder Bay).

You can download the plug-ins at:


GSoC 2008: Comming to an end

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Google Summer of Code 2008 is coming to an end with the “Suggested ‘pencils down’ date” on the 11th and the “Firm ‘pencils down’ date.” on the 18th and yet i still feel like there is so much that could be added to my project.

Whats done:

  • report/stats gradebook plug-in works and shows text based statics on a courses grades in a table format.
  • report/stats has a modular design that allows for new statics to be dropped in.
  • Printable version of report/stats.
  • Group related functions for report/stats.
  • Settings page for report/stats.
  • report/visual gradebook plug-in’s framework is done and allows for new visualization to be dropped in.
  • report/visual gradebook plug-in’s flash/flex with flare front end is in a running state and can take grade data from Moodle, a visualization’s settings in an XML format and turn them into an interactive visualization for the user.
  • Continuous Grade Distribution Visualization.
  • Grade Distribution by Item (Bar) Visualization.
  • Grade Distribution by Group (Bar) Visualization.
  • Grade Distribution (Line) Visualization.
  • Normalized Grades vs Students Visualization.
  • Ability to invert Visualization’s axes.
  • Ability to hide axes.
  • Ability to hide axes labels.
  • Ability to hide any legend item (hide a group or item).
  • UI Selector widget for changing data source of the visualization.
  • Highlighting of legend items (highly a group or item in a graph).
  • Popup detailing a nodes information/data.

What needs to be done this week:

  • Finish printer friendly version of report/visual.
  • Add in checking of users capability to see if they should be able to view a visualization or statistic.
  • Add in two or three other visualizations i was planing to get in.
  • Finish options page for report/visual.
  • Fix mode problem in report/stats where students could possibly see all grades.

What needs to be done before the 18th:

  • Add more documentation.
  • Do final testing and fix any bugs found.
  • Clean up code.

What i wanted to get in but probably will not have time for:

  • Back port to Moodle 1.9.x
  • Export functionality to other programs and document types like excel.
  • Port to flare 2008.07.29 (new major flare release that had some big changes to the API witch would require some recoding of the plug-in’s front end).
  • Stats and visuals for outcomes and outcome reports.
  • “Find me in data” - a feature i wanted to add to show a user where they are in the data being visualized.
  • More options, more controls, more functions, more cool looking animations, more visualizations, more statistics, etc.
  • Better looking graphically and more natural UI.
  • Add reports that go beyond just grades in a course. Compare diffrent courses, years, drop out trends, age of students, submission times, etc.

Overall i am rather happy with how far the project has come considering that at the start i knew nothing of Moodle, Flex, Flare, Actionscript 3, or much flash. I think the plug-ins that i have made will be use full to teachers and educators and i hope to keep supporting them and working on them in my spare time as a hobby after GSoC has come to an end.

CVS: CONTRIB-497 2/August/08

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

*Added more visualizations
*Added selector UI Widget for flex/flare visualization
*Refactored some of flex actionscript code.
*Added defaults for selected group and items in visualizations.
*Improved removal of nodes and edges when an item or group is deselected in a legend.
*Fixed a memory leak realting to the removal and addtion of nodes.
*Added more options for and control of the flex/flare based visualization from the Moodle back end.

MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ visual_settings.php   Rev. 1.2   (+105 -33 lines)
MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ data.php   Rev. 1.3   (+3 -3 lines)
MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ flare_visualization/bin-debug/flare_visualization.swf   Rev. 1.4   (+0 -0 lines)
MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ flare_visualization/   Rev. 1.4   (+488 -178 lines)
MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ flare_visualization.swf   Rev. 1.4   (+0 -0 lines)
MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ visualizations/visualization.php   Rev. 1.2   (+19 -1 lines)
MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ lang/en_utf8/gradereport_visual.php   Rev. 1.3   (+9 -0 lines)
MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ lib.php   Rev. 1.4   (+13 -10 lines)
MODIFY plugins/grade/report/visual/ visualizations/visual_grade_distribution.php   Rev. 1.2   (+25 -8 lines)