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Couple of ideas for the future

Mark Drechsler's profile picture
Posts: 47

12 May 2009, 7:23 PM

Hi all,

First proper post to Mahara community after lurking for a while. Part of my work with NetSpot in Australia incorporates giving demos of Mahara to a gradually increasing number of potential hosting clients, so I've gradually got my head around what it can do, including the integration side of things with Moodle. Every now and then someone will give me some good feedback on Mahara, so Nigel suggested I start sharing the ideas - hope this is the right place to do so (if not please let me know - wasn't sure if the Roadmap forum would have been better).

Anyway, couple of suggestions.

Firstly, I've had a couple of people ask whether Mahara can create views that are 'nested' rather than 'flat', i.e. a learner creating (for example) a series of links within a view on to other pages. Talking it through in my head I wonder if this could be achieved by creating each page as a separate view, and then having an 'aggregator' page that was basically an index on to the other pages (views). This might work (I'll try as soon as I've posted), but is this something that is on the table for future versions? I believe that some of Mahara's commercial competitors have this feature.

Secondly, the navigation flow in Mahara doesn't quite seem to hit the mark  with some users. I tend to break the Mahara process into three steps - create some artefacts, define a view, and choose who you want to see the view - as this seems to resonate well with most people in my experience. To follow this flow, I have to jump around between the profile and 'my portfolio' tabs, with the worst bit telling people that you probably want to upload some files before creating a view (i.e. back to front from the order of the tabs in 'my portfolio'). I just wonder if there is a better way of structuring this information, or if I am missing something really fundamental in how I am explaining the way I would put together an ePortfolio. Any guidance one way or another would be awesome :)

I'll keep throwing more ideas into the ring as they come to hand, and where possible I'll try think up a proposed improvement rather than just having a whinge :)


Nigel's profile picture
Posts: 1643

13 May 2009, 3:57 PM


Regarding 'nested views' - we've had the idea of 'view tabs', or making 'websites' out of views rolling around for a while now. There's no detailed plans yet, but if someone is really keen to see this feature and is able to provide funding, we'll look into it then (the funder, of course, would naturally get to influence how the resulting functionality worked, which is why it can pay to get in before anyone else!)

Navigation flow - we're planning to make some large changes to the navigation after Mahara 1.2, precisely to make it easier for people understand more about creating stuff and then sharing it. There are some notes on the wiki, in the developer area. This work is a little while off making it to the Mahara core of course.

The files/views is an interesting one - Richard recently did some work that means it is now technically possible to upload a file directly into a view - though I'm not sure it's wired up in the current Mahara 1.2 to-be-released code. But that's one way we can make things easier for users who want to get cracking on making views straight away.

21 May 2009, 9:35 AM

Hi Nigel,

do you plan to implement a dashboard which will show all new events in one's portfolio at the logged-in page?


Nigel's profile picture
Posts: 1643

21 May 2009, 6:22 PM

Hi - this is under consideration as part of our usability work. There's no solid plans right now, but we'll see what happens over the next couple of months Wink

22 May 2009, 9:11 AM

This would be great! Smile

28 May 2009, 1:54 AM

Hi all, 

I would like to extend the list of ideas:

-- introducing something like a CMS for managing the admin pages like frontpage, about, terms & conditions by simply applying the same functionalities as already applied for the views section -> drag & drop content assembly

-- introducing the ability of document collaboration by granting editing access rights to TinyMCE docs to network members (see also, which also use open source modules for collaboration)

Best regards



28 May 2009, 2:50 PM



-- Alerts, like Google Alerts, in order to get informed about new knowledge units in one's network or wihin the whole community.

29 May 2009, 9:35 AM


 -- static (external) URL to  profile view

-- introducing individual (theme) language files, that overwrite the system language phrases in order to prevent individual changes from deletion due to an update (e.g. I changed the phrases associated with "Friend" to "Contact" which would be pot. deleted in case of an update)


Heinz Krettek's profile picture
Posts: 480

29 May 2009, 1:13 PM

Hi Peer,

a good idea to work with a modified langpack is to copy the existing one, name it e.g. "my_langpack_copy" and install this for your site. With help of the GIT you can find new strings and insert them into your copy. So stringchanging is very easy.

HTH Heinz

30 May 2009, 4:04 AM

Hi Heinz,

many thanks for your reply.

Good idea! I will try to follow your advice.

Best Regards, Peer

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