[LON-CAPA-dev] New Testing Release 188.8.131.52
Sat, 27 Dec 2008 01:13:09 -0500
New Version 184.108.40.206 Released
This is a testing release for upcoming version 2.8
If you have a development machine you are invited to test it out.
To use this release you should have version 1-12 of
LONCAPA-prerequisites installed (this is the same as for LON-CAPA 2.7).
You will need to update the version of perl-DateTime installed on your server
to perl-DateTime-0.4304-1. This updated package is available from the testing
repositories found at: http://install.loncapa.org/msu/testing/
In a day or two, to coincide with release of 220.127.116.11, the new perl-DateTime
package will be added to the main LON-CAPA repositories for the
various distros, so that updates/refreshes of yum/up2date/yast on
production servers will pick up the new package.
If you do not currently have your development server(s) configured to
use the testing repositories please refer to:
The list of distros for which testing repos exist, as described in
that November 2007 posting, has now been extended with the addition of
SuSE 10.3, Fedora 8 and Fedora 9. SuSE 9.3 is no longer supported.
Notable Changes from 2.7.1:
- Publication is possible for problems that do not include any
response items, but include imported libraries.
- After the "Display Answer Date", Organic Material Response items
display a "Show Your Last Answer" button if a JME string for display
as the computer's answer was omitted. (In 2.7.0, but eliminated in
2.7.1 when the pencil icon replaced the "Draw Molecule" button).
- Users with a single role/course no longer have this role selected
- Instead the courses/roles page will be displayed for all users
- A "Re-initialize/Re-select" course button is shown on the
roles/courses screen for all course users when in course context.
- The WYSIWYG editor used for composing HTML in text areas has been updated.
- The mimeTeX utility used to create bitmap images for display of
mathematical typesetting has been updated.
- For inline navigation (set to icons or icons/text) the "annotations
to a resource" icon will change if a user has already annotated the
- The starting day of the week used in the calendar is determined by Locale.
- Files uploaded by students for submission to assignments (e.g., via
a Drop Box) are subject to a size restriction.
- System-generated text in a notification e-mail is localized
according to the recipient's language preference (or course language
preference, if message sent in course context).
- Each recipient receives a single notification e-mail if notification
e-mail and permanent e-mail addresses are the same, and e-mail should
go to both.
- The recipient type - either To: or Cc: - is preserved when
displaying a message. Selections from both To: or Cc: recipients can
be made when replying.
- A pop-up window can be launched to show a list of recipients when
displaying a message broadcast to multiple course participants.
- Group members sending a broadcast message to active group members
can elect to designate recipients as either Cc: or Bcc:.
- Ccs set in the "Contact Helpdesk" web form only apply if the form is
accessed by a logged-in user.
- The default maximum for the cumulative size of files a user can
submit to a particular question is 10 MB. Max. file size is a
parameter which can be set at a course, folder or resource level for
all users or specific users.
- Storage of information about file uploads in a course's activity log
has been streamlined.
- A file uploaded to a Drop Box is not overwritten by later submission
of a similarly named file by the same user to a different assignment.
- The naming scheme for page/sequence files which record
folder/composite page contents is more succinct where the folder/page
is a copy of an existing course item.
- Formularesponse items will not accept a comma in an individual
submission - either as a scalar answer or within a single component
in a vector answer (vector answers still use a comma as separator
- If timeouts or internal errors prevent grading of a submission, a
student will not be charged a try, and will be able to submit the same
- When grading bubble sheet exams, an optional verification can check
for inconsistencies between bubbled letters/numbers and stored
submissions. A scan line with anomalies receives a second grading
pass, and a warning is displayed if they persist.
Domain Coordination/Domain Settings
- Default Locale can be set for a domain or for a course.
- User Tools (Personal Home Page, Blogs and User Portfolio) can be
enabled/disabled for users in a domain based on affiliation (e.g.,
Faculty, Staff, Student etc.). Any domain-wide access controls can be
overridden for individual users by a Domain Coordinator. The default
is for all three tools to be enabled for all users.
- The lightweight webserver run on port 8080 (lonhttpd) formerly used
to serve icons has been eliminated because of issues with
institutional firewalls. The standard web server on port 80 (or 443
for SSL) is now used.
- Display of a banner and/or main logo on the log-in page (either
custom or default) can be disabled.
- A Domain Coordinator's Main Menu includes "Domain Status" which
links to a number of utilities which provide server status information.
- Access to server status pages can be configured for specific users,
or from specific IP addresses. Domain Coordinators automatically have
access for servers in their domain. This replaces the previously used
Apache Basic Auth access control.
- Generation of printouts is faster (and postscript files are smaller)
as a result of minimizing the incidence of missing fonts (which must
- The HTML paragraph tag is disabled when printing tables to prevent
hung print jobs.
- New translations and improvements were made for the German interface.
- Ongoing 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
- Boxes with a thin border used to group similar items together.
To use this release you need to have version 1-12 of LONCAPA-prerequisites
installed (this is the same version as used with LON-CAPA 2.7). You
will need to update the version of perl-DateTime installed on your
server to perl-DateTime-0.4304-1.
To install this update:
1) You will need to be running Fedora Core 6, 7, 8, or 9, 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.)
2) Update perl-DateTime to 0.4304.
(b) RedHat Enterprise 4
up2date -u perl-DateTime
(c) Red Hat 5/Centos 5/Scientific Linux 5
Use yast-> Installation Source to refresh the LON-CAPA repository
Use yast->Software Management->Search to update perl-DateTime
On all distributions, it is recommended that you check that you have
the correct versions of LONCAPA-prerequisites and perl-DateTime
installed before proceeding.
rpm -q LONCAPA-prerequisites
rpm -q perl-DateTime
(where X is a distro identifier e.g., fc7.lc)
3) Download the new LON-CAPA tarball from
and untar it
tar xzvf loncapa-18.104.22.168.tar.gz
4) stop the LON-CAPA system services
5) stop the webserver:
SUSE 10.1/SLES 10:
6) Run the UPDATE script as root
7) restart the LON-CAPA system services
8) restart the webserver:
SUSE 10.1,2/SLES 10:
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
MSU LON-CAPA group