Abandon Ship! - No One Can Hear You #Moodle in Space
|Black hole - http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Science/Images/black-hole-galaxy.jpg|
A terse tweet this morning from Dr. Chris Craft caught me off-guard but didn't surprise me too much.
And, then Chris proceeded to heighten the suspense:
Since this seemed so out of character for the friendly Chris Craft, I just had to DM him and find out why. Sure enough, it appears Chris fell into the Moodle 2.x blackhole.
THE MOODLE 2.0 BLACKHOLE
My recommendation for fellow Moodle 1.9.x users? Stick with Moodle 1.9.12+ for now, don't switch to Moodle 2.x until you have time to play around. In fact, it's better to wait until Summer, 2012 to make the switch over or you may end up in trouble.
As you can see from the excerpt below, that's what happened to Chris as he upgraded--prematurely, I believe--to Moodle 2.0:
Ever since I upgrade[d] from Moodle 1.9.x to Moodle 2.0, I’ve been displeased. I was hoping for the new release to bring me new features and new ways of extending the learning into cyberspace. All it brought me was pain. The upgrade itself took hours, and required lengthy trips into the user support forum. I don’t mind that kind of work, but I have to wonder if my time isn’t better spent elsewhere.
ESCAPING THE HOLE
My experiences haven't been too dis-similar from Chris', except that I chose to abandon upgrading to Moodle 2.0 and skip it for a year...or two. Every time I tried to upgrade Moodle, things would either work exceedingly well (wow, that was easier than I thought!) or break horribly (heck, that's not what happened last time), even when I was working with the exact same Moodle setup (copies of the same Moodle instance).
Worse, upgrading the Mac Server I work on has turned into a near impossibility...we have so many users relying on the Moodle instances that I am loathe to take the Moodle off-line because it would interfere with quality of service. As a result, I'm thrilled we're setting up a new server designed to handle the load (although that's in doubt before we begin because we have so many users). That said, if it crashes after tweaking, I can argue we need to add more servers or something (smile).
A FASTER STARSHIP
While Chris has decided to go with Haiku, another learning management system, that he can pay for support....
it’s worth noting that I wanted something not free. I want to pay for it. I want the right to call and fuss and get help from the folks who work there.
To be honest, I'd expected Chris to say, "Ok, I've had enough of walled garden apps." But that's not what his move signals. Instead, he's tired of serving as the one man tech crew who is teaching and supporting the platform he teaches on. No one can hear you scream in space....
Maybe building the plane as you fly it isn't it all folks made it out to be?
This past weekend, I reflected on the process of setting up a new Moodle. Here are my notes on what's involved...as I review it, I suppose that if I was a one-person show and teaching a class of elementary students, maintaining Moodle, setting it up might not be at the top of my list. In fact, it couldn't be.
Here are my notes:
- Connect to the client’s server remotely.
- Setup Apache, MySQL, PHP on a server (using XAMPP with security precautions in place)
- Customize php.ini file to facilitate server operations.
- Assign username and passwords for the following:
- MySQL Root access
- PHPMyAdmin access
- Moodle database access
- Create Moodle database
- Install Moodle 2.x (the latest version)
- Add themes, blocks, mods provided by organization to ensure their Moodle courses work properly
- Restore Moodle courses to newly setup server
- Setup admin user on Moodle
- Apply organization themes to the Moodle (or whatever theme is preferred).
- Enrollment keys for all courses on the Moodle.
- Setup an automated cron job on the Windows server. A cron job assists some of Moodle's modules to perform tasks on a scheduled basis. For example, the cron process might tell Moodle to check all discussion forums so it can mail out copies of new posts to people who have subscribed to that forum.
You know, if you don't have a server of your own to work off of, this can all get to be pretty overwhelming. I'm grateful for the opportunity to work on a server I can easily control. Otherwise, I'm sure I'd be thinking what Chris implied in his blog entry...let someone else worry about this.
What are your thoughts?