[LON-CAPA-admin] LON-CAPA Version 2.9.0

Stuart Raeburn raeburn at msu.edu
Thu May 27 15:07:10 EDT 2010


> Are there any issues with mixing versions?

Installation of the 2.9.0 release on an access server in a domain in  
which the library server is running 2.8 or earlier is a supported  

The networked character of LON-CAPA means that user sessions can  
potentially be hosted on servers (both access and library servers)  
belonging to a different domain from the home domain of the user.  In  
such cases it is possible that a user session will be hosted on a 2.9  
server, while the user's home server is running a version of LON-CAPA  
which predates this.

Some of the features customarily available to a Domain Coordinator in  
2.9 will not be displayed if the primary library server for the domain  
is not also running 2.9.  For example, the DC's option to create  
communities, or to configure who may request courses/communities, will  
not be offered by a 2.9 access server, if the primary library server  
is 2.8 or older.

That said, the consensus so far from postings to this list seems to be  
that update to LON-CAPA 2.9.0 on a production server is painless, so  
you may wish to consider updating your library server (on your  
existing hardware) now, regardless of your planned hardware upgrade  
later this summer.  There are only very minor interface changes  
between 2.8.1 and 2.9.0.

> or just wait on everything until August?

Note: LON-CAPA 2.10 (which includes a redesign of the user interface  
is scheduled for release at the start of August).

See: http://loncapa.org/presentations/redesign-msu.pdf
for information about the 2.10 redesign project.

Stuart Raeburn

Quoting James Mueller <mueller at pitt.edu>:

> Stuart,
> 	Are there any issues with mixing versions?  The purchase order for a
> new library and access server went out yesterday, but we don't want to
> switch the library server until after the end of summer session in
> August; at which point we could put 2.9 on the new one.  We could bring
> up the access server as soon as it arrives, but should we install 2.9
> on it and have a mixed environment, or just wait on everything until
> August?
> -Jim
> On May 25, 2010, at 5:34 PM, Stuart Raeburn wrote:
>> New Version 2.9.0 Released
>> Changes from 2.8.1:
>> Authoring Resources
>> - CSS, javascript and plain text files (.css, .js, and .txt
>> extensions) can be edited.
>> - Assistant Co-authors can browse directories in the repository of
>> published resources
>>  belonging to author(s) to whom they are assigned as assistant co-author.
>> - The "Edit Math" button (which launches a pop-up Math expression
>> editor) is available
>>  when editing HTML files.
>> - Adaptive hints are available for reactionresponse and   
>> organicresponse types.
>> - The R statistics package can be used in place of Maxima as a
>> Computer Algebra
>>  system (CAS) in mathresponse and formularesponse problems.  R can
>> also be used to
>>  generate data sets in problems by using calls to appropriate cas
>> routines within a
>>  script block. Example templates are provided.
>> - Custom Response problems can award partial credit for problems
>> containing multiple
>>  answers.
>> - In dynamic plots (GNUplot) - x and y axis zero lines can be
>> displayed as regular lines,
>>  thick lines, or as dotted lines.
>> - Checkbox attribute for simple two-option optionresponse type allows
>> checkboxes to be
>>  used instead of two item select box (e.g., for True/False). See:
>> SimpleTrueFalse
>>  problem template.
>> Student Interface
>> - Information about resources for which access is controlled by
>> reservation (i.e., slots)
>>  is displayed on the "Table of Contents" page (renamed from
>> "Navigate Contents").
>> - Students within a course can access a "Manage Reservations" utility
>> from the Main Menu.
>>  This may be used to view and change reservations, and also display
>> a log of reservation
>>  transactions.
>> - When a user initiates the reset password process for an internally
>> authenticated
>>  account, the e-mail address entered in the web form can now be any
>> of: permanent email,
>>  critical notification email or regular notification email.
>> - Courses with access start dates which were in the future when the
>> student logged in,
>>  will become selectable from the courses screen, once the start date
>> has been reached,
>>  without the need for logout/login.
>> - Course Configuration for "Grading" includes a mode to not show total
>> parts when a
>>  student displays his/her grading information.
>> Communication
>> - When rendering discussion posts and other feedback for the web, new
>> lines will no
>>  longer be automatically converted to <br /> tags if HTML block
>> elements are detected
>>  (suggesting the author had used HTML originally during composition).
>> Course/Community Management
>> - A "Course/Community requests" icon is included in the "My Roles" or
>> "My Courses"
>>  category if the user has rights to create courses or communities in
>> their home domain,
>>  and/or in another domain.
>> - Course Configuration (previously "Set Course Environment") has been
>> moved to the top
>>  level ("Main Menu") and divided into separate sections, with
>> permitted user input
>>  constrained by radio buttons, select boxes, checkboxes, etc., in
>> place of unrestricted
>>  entry via textboxes.
>> - The Course Owner can assign the Course Coordinator role in a course
>> to other users.
>> - The Course Owner can declare other Course Coordinators as
>> "Co-owners", who can choose
>>  to accept or deny co-ownership assignment.  (Your institution may
>> use co-ownership to
>>  permit access to institutional course rosters by the automated
>> enrollment process).
>>  Co-owners are listed in the Course/Community Catalog, and can be
>> used as a filter when
>>  searching for courses.
>> - Alternative titles may be specified for standard role titles (e.g.,
>> Teaching Assistant
>>  etc.) in a course.
>> - HTML documents uploaded directly to a course can be edited by a
>> Course Coordinator.
>> - The template displayed when creating custom roles depends on course
>> type (Course or
>>  Community).
>> - Coordinators can require all self-enrollment requests to be
>> approved, and can specify
>>  which Coordinators should be notified when a self-enrollment
>> request needs approval.
>> - Coordinators can set an enrollment limit, which when reached will
>> prevent new
>>  self-enrollments.
>> - A link to the course request page is displayed after log-in if a
>> user has no active
>>  roles, and has rights to request creation of courses/communities.
>> - Slot reservation transactions are logged, and
>> Coordinators/Instructors can view the
>>  history of reservation changes for a particular slot from the
>> "History" link in the
>>  slots table.
>> - "External" documents which may be included in a course (and display
>> a web page from
>>  an external site in a frameset within LON-CAPA) are now more robust
>> (e.g., trailing
>>  "&" trimmed from query string etc.).
>> - Coordinators/Instructors are warned if there is a version
>> discrepancy if the same
>>  resource is used more than once in a course, and the versions are   
>> different.
>> - When a Coordinator uploads a file to a course, a check to determine
>> if it is an HTML
>>  file will occur if the option to look for embedded objects was checked.
>> Grading
>> - Problems including randomlists are now supported for Bubblesheet grading
>>  (and verification).
>> - When grading Bridge Tasks an additional check is made for
>> consistency of username,
>>  domain and resource identifier between the grading key and the data
>> to be submitted.
>> - The Bubblesheet Data Uploader's upload screen now includes a link to
>> the syllabus
>>  for the course selected to receive the data file.  A comparison is
>> made between the
>>  student populations in the course roster and in the bubblesheet
>> data (based on
>>  student/employee ID), to try to detect uploads to the wrong course.
>> - For Bubblesheet Data Uploaders picking a destination course, the
>> institutional code
>>  textbox is replaced with linked select boxes (e.g., year, semester,
>> department, number),
>>  as used in Course Catalog (if configured in the domain). The course
>> owner/co-owner" row
>>  is replaced with "Course personnel includes: " row which can be
>> used to search for
>>  courses where a specified username:domain has active non-student role.
>> Domain Coordination/Domain Settings
>> - Firewall configuration for traffic between LON-CAPA servers now restricts
>>  port access to IPs for servers currently in the LON-CAPA cluster.
>> The nightly cron
>>  process which checks LON-CAPA connections will update the firewall for any
>>  changes in membership of the cluster.
>> - Display of the log-in page for specific servers in a domain can be
>> replaced by
>>  automatic redirection to a different server (e.g., to a LON-CAPA
>> load balancer server,
>>  used solely for authentication and session switching).
>> - Domain Coordinators can modify institutional status for users in
>> their domain.
>> - A new configuration is available to set which users may request   
>> creation of:
>>  (a) official courses, (b) unofficial courses, or (c) communities.
>> - Communities are similar to courses except the Coordinator may only
>> browse areas
>>  of the shared LON-CAPA repository for which he/she has an author or
>> co-author role.
>> - Course/Community requests may be set to be processed automatically,
>> queued for approval
>>  by a Domain Coordinator, or (for official courses) validated
>> against the institutional
>>  instructor of record.
>> - Domain Coordinators can permit course requests to be made by users
>> from other domains,
>>  on a user-by-user basis.
>> - A Domain Coordinator can set which affiliations within the
>> institution (e.g., Faculty,
>>  Staff etc.) may create his/her own account (applies to
>> institutional login/SSO only).
>> - The course creation menu includes additional links: (a) display
>> course requests queued
>>  pending approval by a Domain Coordinator; (b) display requests for
>> official courses
>>  queued pending institutional validation; (c) display a log of
>> course creation history.
>> - The "Edit this resource" link is displayed to a Domain Coordinator
>> in course context,
>>  if the domain of the resource author is the domain of the current role.
>> - The aggregate database of courses in a domain used when searching
>> for a course (e.g.,
>>  when selecting an ad hoc role, choosing a course to clone etc.) is
>> rebuilt nightly
>>  by cron from permanent data stored in each course's environment.db file.
>> - Domain Coordinators may filter by time elapsed since course creation
>> when using the
>>  course picker (e.g., to select an ad hoc role, assign a Course
>> Coordinator role etc.).
>> - A domain may be configured to automatically assign co-ownership
>> status when a Course
>>  Coordinator role becomes active in an official course, if the
>> Coordinator is official
>>  course personnel (requires customization of localenroll.pm).
>> - Domain Coordinators may delete entries in personal information
>> fields (i.e., name,
>>  permanent e-mail address) if a value has been set previously.
>> - Domain Coordinators may allow users to choose (via a User
>> Preference) to prevent
>>  updates to information fields by a nightly automated update which
>> synchronizes LON-CAPA
>>  with institutional directory data.
>> - Nightly removal of stale files in /home/httpd/perl/tmp will descend
>> into sub-directories
>>  and also remove stale files from them.
>> Printing
>> - Printouts of PDF files within a folder (both in a course and in
>> Construction Space)
>>  can be generated.
>> - The default font size in printouts can be set by Course Coordinators and
>>  Authors/Co-authors.
>> - Composite pages (.page) can be printed in Construction Space and
>> also printed with
>>  answers.
>> - Composite pages (.page) containing numerical problems can be printed
>> when set to exam
>>  mode.
>> - Composite pages (.page) can be printed for selected students.
>> - The syllabus can be printed when generating printouts of resources
>> for selected
>>  students.
>> - Printing of tables has been standardized to use the perl
>> LaTeX::Table module.
>> Localization
>> - New translations and improvements are provided for both the German
>> and Spanish
>>  interfaces.
>> - UTF-8 encoding is used for all browsers (including Internet Explorer).
>> - The time zone of the local server is cached, and translations of
>> phrases are also
>>  cached to improve performance.
>> Accessibility
>> - An alt attribute (which includes the raw TeX) is supplied for use by
>> screen readers
>>  when MimeTex images are used to render math expressions.
>> - Raw mode (will output raw TeX) is available as an additional option
>> for rendering
>>  math expressions.
>> Appearance
>> - More interface standardization using the following display elements:
>>   - Data tables with rows of alternating light/dark background colors, and a
>>     colored header.
>>   - Two column data tables with a colored left column, and light
>> gray right column.
>>   - Boxes with a thin border used to group similar items together.
>> - More muted colors, and standard data table used for Roles/Courses screen.
>> Installation Notes:
>> To use this release you need to have version 1-18 of LONCAPA-prerequisites
>> installed.
>> To install this update:
>> 1) You will need to be running Fedora Core 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12,
>> RHEL (AS|ES) 4 or 5, SUSE 10.2, 10.3, 11.1 or 11.2, SLES 9, 10 or 11,
>> CentOS 5, or Scientific Linux 5.
>> (Fedora Core 5 should continue to work but is deprecated.)
>> 2) Update LONCAPA-prerequisites to 1-18.
>> (a) Fedora
>> yum update
>> (b) RedHat Enterprise 4
>> up2date -u LONCAPA-prerequisites
>> (c) Red Hat 5/Centos 5/Scientific Linux 5
>> yum update
>> (d) SuSE/SLES
>> Use yast-> Installation Source to refresh the LON-CAPA repository
>> Use yast->Software Management->Search to update LONCAPA-prerequisites
>> On all distributions, it is recommended that you check that you have
>> the correct versions of LONCAPA-prerequisites installed before proceeding.
>> rpm -q LONCAPA-prerequisites
>> should report:
>> LONCAPA-prerequisites-1-18.X
>> (where X is a distro identifier e.g., fc12.lc)
>> 3) Download the new LON-CAPA tarball from
>> wget http://install.lon-capa.org/versions/loncapa-2.9.0.tar.gz
>> and untar it
>> tar xzvf loncapa-2.9.0.tar.gz
>> 4) stop the LON-CAPA system services
>> /etc/rc.d/init.d/loncontrol stop
>> 5) stop the webserver:
>> Fedora/RHEL/Centos/Scientific Linux
>> /etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd stop
>> SLES 9:
>> /etc/init.d/apache stop
>> SUSE 10.2,10.3,11.1,11.2/SLES 10,11:
>> /etc/init.d/apache2 stop
>> 6) Run the UPDATE script as root
>> cd loncapa-2.9.0
>> su
>> 7) restart the LON-CAPA system services
>> /etc/rc.d/init.d/loncontrol start
>> 8) restart the webserver:
>> Fedora/RHEL/Centos/Scientific Linux
>> /etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd start
>> SLES 9:
>> /etc/init.d/apache start
>> SUSE 10.2,10.3,11.1,11.2/SLES 10,11:
>> /etc/init.d/apache2 start
>> ----NOTES
>> 1) Many questions are answered at http://help.lon-capa.org
>> 2) Defects reports, and enhancements requests can be entered at
>>      http://bugs.lon-capa.org
>> 3) Mailing lists can be joined and left at http://mail.lon-capa.org
>> Stuart Raeburn
>> MSU LON-CAPA group
>> _______________________________________________
>> LON-CAPA-admin mailing list
>> LON-CAPA-admin at mail.lon-capa.org
>> http://mail.lon-capa.org/mailman/listinfo/lon-capa-admin
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