[LON-CAPA-announce] New version released - LON-CAPA 2.7.0

Stuart Raeburn raeburn@msu.edu
Thu, 28 Aug 2008 20:59:46 -0400

New Version 2.7.0 Released

Notable Changes from 2.6.3:

Authoring resources
- Choice of problem templates shown for new problems in Construction
Space are organized by type/function.
- Math renderer and language can be set when displaying problems in
Construction space.
- Problem Type can be set to "Practice Problem" when displaying
problems in Construction space.
- Maxima libraries are available for mathresponse and forumlaresponse
problems which use the Maxima CAS.
- Import of questions from a testbank file now supports import from
files in RTF and HTML format (including embedded images) as well as
plain text.
- Users uploading HTML files containing embedded objects (images etc.)
to Construction Space will be prompted to upload referenced files.
- New units are available (c, cc, e, hbar, mph, rpm, pc).
- An improved example of a mathresponse problem is provided.
- New accessor functions provide access to submission, current part,
and open date, due date and answer date in a format suitable for
- The JME Molecular Editor is an updated version.
- The pop-up Dragmath editor is available for composing math expressions
and pasting them as LaTeX into text blocks.
- Publication of problems lacking response items is prohibited.

Course Management
- Recent role changes in a course are displayed on the What's New page.
- The complete history of role changes in a course is available to a
Course Coordinator.
- A role switcher in a course's inline menu allows users with multiple
roles in the course to choose a different role; Course Coordinators
can choose any role currently assigned in the course.
- Courses can be configured to allow students to self-enroll.
- Modify Resource Parameters - Overview Mode can be used to shift all
start and end date parameters in a course.
- Individual courses can be excluded from display in the course catalog.
- A timezone selector is available when choosing a timezone to be used
for a course.
- The timezone is displayed when setting access dates, enrollment dates etc.

- Scantron format choices available for scantron grading are from the
course's domain, instead of the domain of the server performing the
- Comparisons can be generated of raw scantron data and submission
records for previously graded scantron exams.
- Locking prevents logout while scantron grading is in progress,
unless overridden by the user.
- The grading interface now provides a free form data entry field for correct
answers to clicker questions.

Student interface
- Users in domains with institutional authentication (Single Sign On,
Kerberos or local authentication e.g., LDAP) can be authenticated if
they do not have a LON-CAPA account and given the opportunity to
create an account.
- A pop-up Dragmath WYSIWYG editor is available for composing math
expressions and exporting in Maxima format.

Domain Coordination/Domain Settings
- Domain Coordinators can select an ad hoc co-author role for any
author in the domain, unless the author chooses to opt out.
- A hierarchy of categories and sub-categories for use in categorizing
courses can be defined for a domain.
- The course catalog can display courses cataloged by institutional
code, and also by categories defined for the domain.
- When cloning a course, date parameters can be omitted, preserved of
shifted by a specified number of days.
- Default authentication type, argument and language in a domain are
configurable by a Domain Coordinator via the  "Domain Configuration"
- Domains can permit self-creation of LON-CAPA accounts using a valid
e-mail address as the username.
- The scantronformat.tab file which describe the format(s) of scantron
data used in a domain can be uploaded by a Domain Coordinator using
the "Domain Configuration" interface.

- Help files have been added for Maxima CAS, Formula Editor, and Vector Input.
- Description of new accessor functions added to the functions table.
- More help files translated into German.
- A new help icon is used.
- A Domain Coordination Manual is available

- utf-8 entity conversion to LaTeX has been optimized

- New translations and improvements for German interface
- All languages now use UTF-8 encoding.

Installation Notes:

To use this release you need to have version 1-12 of LONCAPA-prerequisites
installed.  The repositories for the various supported Linux
distributions on http://install.loncapa.org/ have been updated with the
new package, and any associated new dependencies unavailable from core
repositories for each particular distro.

One of the changes affects the scantronformat.tab. After you have installed
this new version on the primary library server in your domain, log-in,
select the Domain Coordinator role, and go to "Domain Configuration".
Check the box for "Scantron format file", click "Go", and if you currently
use a customized scantronformat.tab file it will be copied (behind the scenes)
from its current location to a new location where it will be
available for selection whenever scantron grading is used in a course
in your domain.

To install this update:

1) You will need to be running Fedora Core 6, 7, or 8, RHEL (AS|ES) 4 or 5,
     SUSE 10.1 10.2 or 10.3, SLES 9 or 10, CentOS 5, Scientific Linux 5
       (Fedora Core 5 should continue to work but is deprecated.)
     Support for Fedora 9 is expected to be available soon.

2) Update to the latest LONCAPA-prerequisites (1-12).

(a) Fedora
yum update

(b) RedHat Enterprise 4

up2date -u LONCAPA-prerequisites

Note: LONCAPA-prerequisites for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 includes
a dependency on perl-libxml-enno-1.03.  If you already have perl-libxml-enno
iinstalled on your system it will be version 1.02.  If the update to
LONCAPA-prerequsites 1-12 fails to update perl-libxml-enno to 1.03,
you should update that package directly:

up2date -u perl-libxml-enno

(c) Red Hat 5/Centos 5/Scientific Linux 5

yum update


Use yast-> Installation Source to refresh the LON-CAPA repository
Use yast->Software Management->Search to update LONCAPA-prerequisites (to
version  1-12).

For SLES9, use yast->Software Management->Search to also update latex-ucs
(to version 20041017-31) after refreshing the LON-CAPA repository.

On all distributions, it is recommended that you check that you have the
correct versions of LONCAPA-prequisites installed before proceeding.

rpm -q LONCAPA-prequisites

should report:

(where X is a distro identifier e.g., fc7.lc)

If you are using Red Hat 4, also check that you have
perl-libxml-enno version 1.03

rpm -q perl-libxml-enno

should report:

3) Download the new LON-CAPA tarball from
wget http://install.lon-capa.org/versions/loncapa-2.7.0.tar.gz

and untar it

tar xzvf loncapa-2.7.0.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

/etc/init.d/apache stop

SUSE 10.1/SLES 10:
/etc/init.d/apache2 stop

6) Run the UPDATE script as root
cd loncapa-2.7.0

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

/etc/init.d/apache start

SUSE 10.1,2/SLES 10:
/etc/init.d/apache2 start

1) Many questions are answered at http://help.lon-capa.org
2) Defects reports, and enhancements requests can be entered at
3) Mailing lists can be joined and left at http://mail.lon-capa.org

Stuart Raeburn