[LON-CAPA-dev] Draft of Release Notes for 2.10.0
Fri, 14 Jan 2011 14:41:44 -0500
Draft of release notes for 2.10.0
LON-CAPA Technical Director
New Version 2.10.0 Released
Changes from 2.9.1
General User Interface
- User interface styles, colors and fonts are now more uniform
- A consistent style is used for menus and sub-menus.
- Breadcrumb trails are more ubiquitous.
- The use of icons is now more common, and in many cases existing
icons have been replaced with new ones which depict functionality
- A compact display is used for common elements on each page.
In order, from the top:
- A primary menu which contains links to features which are
independent of the current role. This includes a "Messages"
link which will change to "New Messages" if new LON-CAPA messages
have been received.
- A secondary menu containing links to features specific to the
- A breadcrumb trail which encapsulates the context of the
current page in the hierarchy of menus and sub-menus, and
in the case of resources in a course also contains icons
for common utilities (feedback, printout generation etc.).
- A functions list which contains specific functions for the
current page available for the current role.
- Where colors are used to highlight things, colors used are
subtler and deployed more sparingly within a page.
- Textareas which support a Rich Text (or WYSIWYG) editor, now
include a link for each instance to toggle the editor on/off
for that instance alone.
- Rich Text Editor updated to CKEditor 3
- Updated design for "templated" pages: "About Me", Simple Page,
Syllabus, Standalone Discussion board.
- LON-CAPA standard display (tables with alternating light/darker
gray tables) used in Construction Space and Portfolio.
- "Global" WYSIWYG preference in "Set my user preferences" and
single link on pages containing textareas has been eliminated
(replaced with link to toggle for each textarea).
- New Problem Templates:
- Custom Response using Computer Algebra System and Hints
- External Response
- Drop Box
- Input-Dependent Problems:
- Using Learner Answer in Multipart Numerical Problem,
- Using Learner Formula in Graph with Formula Response
- Using Learner Formula in Graph with Math Response
- Randomized Question Stem Radio Button Response
- Upload of HTML files with references to embedded objects etc.
- More comprehensive feedback on reference detection.
- Reference updates in HTML file for changed paths originally
only available for upload of HTML file in course,
now available for uploads in all contexts.
- Consistent set of colors used in colorful editor.
- Colorful editor provides insert item to wrap content within a
- Optionresponse problems:
- Can suppress display of checkbox choices.
- Display of bullet suppressed if there is only one foil.
- Improvements in printouts for problems with a part which
contains multiple responses.
- Portfolio: No upload to portfolio if the uploaded file is zero
bytes in size.
- Dropbox: Improved student interface for managing files submitted
to dropbox over multiple tries.
- Display of submitted files for drop box and Bridge Task
includes warning about consequences of file deletion.
- Clarification on how to disassociate previously submitted
files for dropbox or Bridge Task assessment items.
- Course Catalog will display the end date for self-enrollment
both before and during availability of self-enrollment.
- Fonts and icons used for the Course Contents screen are more
compact. Icons replace the "Select Action" dropdown list.
- Can choose to overwrite when uploading a file to the portfolio
if a file with the same name already exists in the same path
(unless the file is locked).
- If the portfolio file is locked for an assignment with access
controlled by a slot which is currently open for the user,
overwrite is still possible.
- If the "Course roster" is included within a course, forward and
backward arrows are now included to permit navigation to adjacent
- For assignments for which collaborators can be specified:
collaborators can be modified when new submissions are made.
- Files submitted to dropbox items directly from the student's
desktop instead of by selecting from the portfolio are now also
stored in the student's portfolio (thereby allowing return of
a version with instructor comments to the student).
- Transactions which were to hide/unhide or delete posts do not
contribute to the count of visible postings.
- New set of "smileys"/emoticons. Smileys that could conflict
with URLs and mathematical expressions disallowed.
- Information about specific LON-CAPA version required is
available in Course Configuration (General Settings) -
determined by content, and parameters in use (e.g. questiontypes).
- Course Editor
- A tabbed interface separates editing of items in the main
course contents area from editing of items in the (optional)
supplemental documents area.
- Editor Functionality is separated into: Import Documents;
Published Resources, Special Documents and Tools. These items
are now below the listing of resources in the current folder,
and buttons have been replaced with icons/links.
- Parameter Manager
- Overview/Table Mode: List of selectable Folders includes
indentation to show course hierarchy of folders and sub-folders;
"Parameters to View" is a list which can be expanded or collapsed.
- Modify Mode: Radio buttons replace free form textbox to assist
in assignment of appropriate value for "Question Type".
- Browsing LON-CAPA shared repository: Style and icons consistent
with listing of files in Course Contents display for a course.
- For roles in Courses/Communities requiring a specific minimum
LON-CAPA version, in cases where the server hosting the session
is not running a sufficiently recent version:
(a) If server hosting the session is running 2.10 or later, a
link is provided for the role on roles/courses screen to switch
to a server in the user's domain or to a server in the course's
domain (if any have required version).
(b) For servers hosting sessions running 2.9 or earlier, only roles which
can be run on the version on the server hosting the session
- New problem modes (i.e., "questiontypes")
- Anonymous survey (submission information not tied to
identifiable user information).
- Anonymous survey with credit for submission
- Survey with credit for submission
- New Randomization after N tries (N set as a parameter; default = 1).
- Simple Problem Type (added directly to a course via Course
Editor) now includes a "simple numerical" type.
- Time intervals are supported for resources for which access is
- For case sensitive and case insensitive stringresponse problems,
the computer's answer is available in the detailed submission display
for each submission.
- Groups: the link to the group homepage supports cases where the
group homepage has an encrypted url.
- Course Requests: now allow users without existing accounts to be
included in course creation requests, as long as a default authentication
type has been set for the domain.
- Slots: for slots schedulable by student slot can set slot to
send message(s) when student reserves slot or releases reservation.
Domain Coordination/Domain Settings
- Domain Coordinators can control:
(a) where their users may have sessions hosted (by internet
domain and/or LON-CAPA version).
(b) which other domains may have user sessions hosted on
servers in the domain.
- Domain configuration to set a portal or default URL, e.g., a
loadbalancer server or a specific alias on a multidomain server.
- Linked select boxes in course catalog can support names of
categories for components of the institutional codes used for
official courses which differ from the standard names: Year,
Semester, Department, Number.
- Number of responders to anonymous survey items required before
displaying anonymized submission data can be set for domain.
- No longer stop and start firewall rules for existing hosts when
nightly loncron connection check is made for new servers in the cluster.
- LON-CAPA log files contain less superfluous logging (e.g., for
non-existent metadata files).
- LON-CAPA's Apache configuration file includes a directive for
cacheable files which allows a user's browser to use the disk cache
for such files served via SSL.
- Breadcrumbs added to "Preparing Printout" and "Download PDF" pages.
- New translations and improvements for German interface.
- Default to English for any untranslated phrases in simplified
- Need for pre-2.10 "Text-based Interface Login" and
"Accessibility Options" items eliminated by improving accessibility
of regular pages (e.g., alt tags standard).
- Course Coordination Manual updated to include new icons and discussion
of redesigned general user interface.
- Domain Coordination Manual expanded to include entries about
access to Server Status pages, course defaults, and hosting of
To use this release you need to have version 1-18 of LONCAPA-prerequisites
If you are running SuSE/SLES you will need to modify:
in APACHE_MODULES, if it is not already included.
You can do this using a text editor, or you can download the
installation tarfile for your SLES/SuSE version file from:
http://install.loncapa.org/versions/suse and then replace the existing
/etc/sysconfig/apache2 with the sysconfig_apache2 included in
the installation directory extracted by untarring the slesN_install.tar or
suseN.M_install.tar tarfile, appropriate for your distro.
To install this update:
1) You will need to be running Fedora Core 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 or 14,
RHEL (AS|ES) 4, 5 or 6, SUSE 10.3, 11.1, 11.2 or 11.3, SLES 9, 10 or 11,
CentOS 5, or Scientific Linux 5. (Fedora Core 5, 6 & 7, and
SuSE 10.1 & 10.2 should continue to work but are deprecated.)
2) Update LONCAPA-prerequisites to 1-18.
(b) RedHat Enterprise 4
up2date -u LONCAPA-prerequisites
(c) Red Hat 5 and 6/Centos 5/Scientific Linux 5
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
(where X is a distro identifier e.g., centos5.lc)
3) Download the new LON-CAPA tarball from
and untar it
tar xzvf loncapa-2.10.0.tar.gz
4) stop the LON-CAPA system services
5) stop the webserver:
SUSE 10,3,11.1/SLES 10,SLES11:
6) Run the UPDATE script as root
7) restart the LON-CAPA system services
8) restart the webserver:
SUSE 10.3,11.1/SLES 10,11:
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
LON-CAPA Academic Consortium