Administrators of Moodle 3.3 sites are about to enjoy a more interconnected platform, as this new release expands and refines the integration of the Open Source LMS with more services. Internally, it pushes further in modularity, making this version customizable at the most granular level yet.
Additional File Converters
At least since Moodle 2.7, the LMS was borrowing the
unoconv utility from the Open Source office application suite LibreOffice to handle file conversions. Mostly it was to turn text documents, slideshows, and spreadsheets into PDF so teachers could add annotations and comments without affecting the original file layout. This utility was clearly not intended for the specific Moodle use scenario and it was bound to cause headaches for Moodle Sites not running a specific version of Linux. For Windows, it required the installation of the full LibreOffice suite.
Now, admins can replace
unoconv and set a different file conversion utility as default. Moodle 3.3 comes with the Google Drive converter to PDF, along with
unoconv. To deploy it, it is necessary to add OAuth 2 Google authentication to the Moodle site.
MySQL and MariaDB Full Unicode Support
Previous versions of Moodle provided partial conversion of data into Unicode character encoding specification. With some special characters, tasks such as sorting and comparing would yield different, if not erroneous, results. Now, Moodle 3.3 offers full UTF-8 conversion, the almost universal encoding standard today, in MySQL and MariaDB databases. Most Moodle sites use MySQL.
New installations will enjoy UTF-8 encoded databases from the start. Moodle upgrades using existing databases with different specification must perform a UTF-8 conversion.
New Scheduled Tasks Panel
For Moodle 3.3, the panel features a “Run now” option for every scheduled task, to help increase the speed to attend issues involving automated site updates. Using the “Run now” option will not alter the existing schedule for the task. Issues with scheduled tasks, such as not running when they were supposed to, are mostly due to “Cron” (Moodle’s internal clock) settings.
But that’s not all! Be sure to check the features available for every kind of user, including teachers and students.