This years Moodle moot in Dublin, Ireland has been very successful, again. Situated in the Crowne hotel near the Airport surrounded by parks and a bus stop that connects you to central Dublin. It was organised by Moodle guru Gavin Henrick and Mark Glynn. Gavin is well known in the Moodle community and owns a company that focuses on Moodle consultancy and development, he is also an excellent gamer. Mark Glynn work at the DCU and IOTI and is an excellent dancer to 80’s music.

Monday: dev workshops

Monday started with the workshops. I attended the dev workshop by Mark Melia and Tomasz Muras. In this workshop we worked in groups and were given a couple of assignments. These were: build a Moodle block, filter and reporting plugin. Tomasz explained some of the API classes that should be used when building plugins and we discussed some programming styles and techniques. The dev workshop ended with a demo of the Moosh ; a command line Moodle management tool. It has a lot of cool features, some simple: turn debugging on and of on the command line. Some complex: automatically create a Moodle plugin with all the right settings and naming. Now 2 weeks after the workshop I still use moosh regularly. I have it installed on my dev machine and the most common used features have been:

Turning debugging on and off

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$ moosh debug-on

Finding files in the Moodle file API

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$ moosh file-list "filearea='courseimages'"

Create some test users

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$ moosh user-create testuser{1..10}

Tuesday & Wednesday: presentations

There were many presentations on Tuesday and Wednesday so I am sure I have missed some really cool ones, there were 3 rooms with parallel presentations and 1 room for workshops.

I will not be blogging about the individual presentation since there were simply too many and lots of them will be probably be published on the Moodle moot website.

Looking back at my notes these were some items I wanted to remember:

  • Helen Foster did a presentation on the Moodle demo site. I always admire her style of presenting
  • Davo Smith showed us the work he has done after the Drag and Drop stuff for Moodle that looks smashing. For instance the Realtime Quiz that allows you to setup a quiz that can be used live in a classroom en the results can be displayed on your smart board.
  • Gavin Henrick showed us the new plugin database and showed us a list of popular Moodle add-ons and discussed how to evaluate and use them.
  • Leona Norris from the City University of London made a cool video.

On the Pecha Kucha sessions I added my to cents to the congress presenting about using Moodle as a framework for development:

Thursday: hack fest

The hack fest must have been the biggest learning experience for me during this Congress. Some of Moodle’s core developers and Martin Dougiamas were present and we discussed various ideas for Moodle.

Full hack fest on youtube video 1 Full hack fest on youtube video 2

Some of topics were:

  • Replacing MNET with another authentication mechanism
  • YUI module development using shifter youtube
  • Patching Moodle: How to add bug fixes youtube and contribute code youtube
  • Getting the Bootstrap theme into core (me talking) youtube
  • Moodle Searches youtube

There were lost of developers and Ideas involved and we used a Google hangout to allow people online to participate.

Conclusion

I will definitely attend the next Moodle moot in Scotland. This is the best-organised and fun Moodle moot I know of and it gave me an opportunity to learn more about development en Moodle usage. Above all it gave me a change to meet with the community face to face, dance to 80’s music in an Irish castle, meet some friends from last years Moot, listen to some excellent Irish music in the Porterhouse brewery pub and eat some really tasty cakes.