[LON-CAPA-users] Need testers and input for version 0.6!!!

Gerd Kortemeyer lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Thu, 12 Sep 2002 13:44:57 -0400


The next Version 0.6 of LON-CAPA is currently being developed
rapidly. Version 0.6 is going to be a leap in the direction of
mainstreaming LON-CAPA to make some trivial things easier.

The main difference is that 0.6 will have the concept of "one-time"
documents, meaning, user- or course-owned documents that do not go
through the complete publication cycle, but are one-time-use for a
specific course - basically, what all other systems do.

The main change in light of this is that the top-level map of a
standard course will now be such a document: it used to be that a
course had to point to a published map; now, a course points to an
internal map, which in turn can point to published maps and other
one-time use resources. This mechanism allows instructors to add to
the content of their course without having to create a new published
map.  On the other hand, if you don't care about this, you won't
know the difference.

Typical examples are the addition of a course homepage. For
convenience, LON-CAPA now also provides templates for syllabi (which
are publically available, too), user information ("About Me"),
simple pages, bulletin boards, tables of content, and uploaded
documents (PowerPoints, lecture videos, etc), which can be inserted
into the course without publication by the Course Coordinators or
Instructors. These one-time documents, since they are not
published, will not re-usable or shareable with other courses.

In addition, 0.6 will allow different domains configure their color
schemes and use their own logos, as described before. On the more
power-user side of things, we will be working on the exam features
of LON-CAPA. We are also working to improve the speed of the
spreadsheet, and make a more student friendly display of course

As this is a shift in general philosophy from "power user" to
"general user", and modifies some of the internal structure of
courses, it will require a significant amount of testing. We would
like your help in quality assurance - if we do not feel comfortable
with the maturity of the new features, we will have to roll out
something like 0.5.2 for spring 2003 instead.

If you do have a development server, please keep upgrading it to latest
bleeding builds, play with it, and try to break it. All bugs and
enhancement requests - as always - should go into Bugzilla,
http://bugs.lon-capa.org/ , with release marked "latest."

We would also be thankful if you had bright and reliable students you
could recommend to us to do testing and documentation. They would run
fake courses on a development server, document features in
http://help.lon-capa.org/ , and file bugs and problems in
http://bugs.lon-capa.org/ .

LON-CAPA will only work as a community effort.

- Gerd and Guy.