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Contributing plugins


anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 19

15 October 2013, 2:25 AM

Hello,

we developed several plugins for Mahara which we would like to contribute to the core.

I read the wiki entry on how to contribute code. Since Mahara 1.8 is already on its way, I just wanted to ask if you would recommend waiting for the development of Mahara 1.9. I found Mahara 1.9 on launchpad, but not yet on gitorious.

Regards,

Angela

Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

15 October 2013, 2:32 PM

Hi Angela,

Thanks, we always appreciate community contributions! Smile What kind of plugins have you developed?

We at Catalyst IT probably won't get around to reviewing your contribution until after the 1.8.0 release, but you could upload it now if you wish, and perhaps one of the other reviewers in the community will be able to review it.

As you may have noticed, the "master" branch in gerrit is where dev work goes, and currently it's occupied by the 1.8 release candidate, which is in feature freeze. Once 1.8.0 is released, we'll move 1.8 to a new 1.8_STABLE branch, and the "master" branch will have its version number bumped to 1.9. What we've been doing during feature freeze, when people upload new features for review to gerrit, is we mark them with a temporary "-2 do not merge" review so that they won't get accidentally merged into 1.8. Then once the release goes out, we'll bump them back to "0 - not yet reviewed".

You might also consider listing your plugins on the Plugins list page on the wiki, so that people can install and use them before 1.9.0: https://wiki.mahara.org/index.php/Plugins

It can take a while for community-contributed code to get reviewed. Embarassed So, if we're slow in reviewing it, it can be helpful to send off an occasional, "Hi there, remember me?" message so that we don't forget about you. Wink

Cheers,

Aaron

Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

15 October 2013, 2:58 PM

Oh yes, also please be sure to file a separate "wishlist" bug on Launchpad for each feature that you want to contribute (and then include the bug's number in your git commit messages). Smile

https://bugs.launchpad.net/mahara/+filebug

Cheers,

Aaron

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 19

16 October 2013, 12:47 AM

Thanks for the info :-D

We made

  • an outbox plugin,
  • adminmessage plugin,
  • groupmessage plugin,
  • calendar plugin

and right now we work on a

  • blocktype tagcloud plugin,
  • printing view plugin and
  • competence matrix plugin.

I'll have to do some code cleanup and further testing. We also developed these plugins for mahara 1.7, so I'll probably will have to make some changes for Mahara 1.9. (Icons etc. at least)

It might be possible that some of these features are already implemented in the newer versions, I'll check that, so I don't commit duplicate features ;-)

If I can run gerrit locally, I will do that first to ensure the plugins match the coding guidelines.

Regards,

Angela

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3772

16 October 2013, 8:00 AM

Hello Angela,

Do you work with Tobias Zeuch? He's been talking about sent mail display as well, e.g. https://mahara.org/interaction/forum/topic.php?id=5779

The plugins sound intriguing and I'd love to hear more about them. If you want to propose them for Mahara, please add a wishlist item on the tracker as Aaron said and describe the functionality. That will also help us to test the feature and know what to look out for / how to test it. Then ideally use the bug number on the first line of your commit message. You can check what that normally looks like at https://reviews.mahara.org

I don't think you'd have to install Gerrit on your local instance because it wouldn't be hooked up to Jenkins where some initial tests are run. You can find information about the coding guidelines at https://wiki.mahara.org/index.php/Developer_Area/Coding_guidelines and if there are other things that would work better in core, the developers would let you know during the review. That's what the code review is for. :-)

Stacey had been working on a print view PDF https://bugs.launchpad.net/mahara/+bug/547690 you could ask her to see the code. It's been a while that she could work on it, but maybe there is still something that you could use unless the technology has advanced much since.

Cheers

Kristina

 

Tobias Zeuch's profile picture
Posts: 101

17 October 2013, 12:27 AM

No, we aren't working together on the plugins but I've noticed this thread as well and I wanted to ask how you implemented the message-plugins and especially the outbox. 

The group/admin-message each sends a bunch of single notifications, I guess?

And about the outbox: Do you show the messages from the  same table, so when a recipient deletes a message, it disappears from the outbox as well? Do you give the users any way of cleaning up their outbox? 

One not on gerrit: It won't let you commit any code unless you keep strictly to the guidelines. Most of them are written down in the Guidelines that Kristina linked to but Gerrit will tell you any line it doesn't like. There's no need to install it locally

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 19

17 October 2013, 10:42 PM

Groupmessages sends messages to all members of a group (which one has to be a member in themself).

Adminmessages send messages to all users (or all user that were active within the last 6 month / last year).

Both send 'usermessages' via Mahara, we're using whats already there ;-)

 

The outbox plugin shows all usermessages you sent to someone. Many users didn't like that user messages don't show up in the inbox until they received an answer.

In addition you can show the "discussion". This means every message that belongs to this discussion is displayed.

The discussions of the inbox just shows single threads, which means that if a user answers a message multiple times those answers are all displayed in different threads. In our outbox plugin we traverse the answers parents bottom-up then look for all descendants top-down, so we can display all threads (and all meesages) of the discussion.

If a recipient deletes the message it disappears. We don't like the feature of deleting messages in the inbox, but we didn't want to change the basic messaging system. In our plugin, you can't delete messages. One solution could be to mark the messages in a additional db table as deleted, so they aren't really deleted but don't show up in the outbox anymore.

If something I said isn't clear enough, please feel free to ask :-D

Tobias Zeuch's profile picture
Posts: 101

18 October 2013, 3:43 AM

What do you mean when you say you don't like the feature of deleting message in the inbox? :)

We startet with an outbox just like you described except the full tree view for message threads. One of the things we didn't like was the effect that message disappeared from the outbox when the recipient removed them from the outbox. Is that what you didn't like? 

One alternative would have been to store the outgoing mails in a separate outbox-table but that would have complicated the thread-building if we had tried to incorporate the messages from inbox and outbox (so you don't break the thread when your conversation partner deletes a mail from his inbox). 

Deleting mails from the outbox would be nice as well, especially as the subject doesn't tell you a bit about what the message was about. 

The full tree view of the messages sounds interesting, I would love to have a look at that. Do you use collapseble/expandable elements to display the tree? Does that work well, even for long and widely branched conversations?

And one more question about the group messages and admin messages: Do they all appear in the outbox of the sender? 

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 19

18 October 2013, 9:20 PM

I don't like that the recipient can remove the message and it disappears for the sender too.

In the standard inbox view you only see the sent messages, but you can click on a link to show the discussion tree. As far as we tested it, it worked well, but we're only a small team, so input from others would be appreciated ;-)

You can take a look at: https://mahara.hrz.tu-darmstadt.de/view/view.php?id=4921

There you can find the screenshots and gitorious download.

I didn't test if the admin and groupmessages show up, but since they are just normal user messages they should. I will test that ;-)

anonymous profile picture
Deleted user
Posts: 19

21 October 2013, 10:02 PM

Hi again,

I just tested it, and like I said, the groupmessages show up, because they are normal usermessages from user a to user b.

The adminmessages don't show up, because those are system messages (maharamessages). I had that mixed up.

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