Developer Area/Developer Meetings/81

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Agenda for the 81st Mahara developer meeting on Tuesday, 8 September 2020 at 7:30 UTC

We will meet using Big Blue Button (Kristina will initiate the call).

Our #mahara-dev channel on Freenode IRC will be our backup or in case there are problems with the web conferencing tool and we'll need to chat to resolve it. If you don't have an IRC client, you can join us using your web browser.



  • Kristina Hoeppner, Catalyst IT, Wellington, New Zealand (Chair)
  • Robert Lyon, Catalyst IT, Wellington, New Zealand (Minute taker)
  • Cecilia Vela Gurovic, Catalyst IT, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Lisa Seeto, Catalyst IT, Wellington, New Zealand
  • Ghada El-Zoghbi, Catalyst IT, Sydney, Australia


The recording of the meeting is available.


Item from the last meeting: Résumé block continuation

Has been postponed to next meeting because Russel didn't attend.

Application to become approved developer from Lisa Seeto

Kristina mentioned that she had sent an email to approved developers (Cecilia Vela Gurovic, Robert Lyon, Ghada El-Zoghbi, Dmitrii Metelkin, Aaron Wells, Hugh Davenport, Andrew Nicols, Ruslan Kabalin, Stacey Walker, and Yuliya Bozhko) to get the votes needed to make Lisa a +2 developer.

Lisa talked about the work that she had done over her time at Catalyst and showed examples of that work as part of her application to become a +2 developer.

This work included the major change for the artefact descriptions going from being a separate page to being a modal pop-up. This gave her a 'deep dive' into how the many parts of Mahara work and fit together.

Lisa talked about her client work that included investigations, minor bug fixings, and sql query creation to fetch report data for the clients.

She showed a list of over 100 Gerrit changes that she authored. They included minor changes, big changes, and backported changes.

Question: Ghada asked "If you could change something what would you change?" Lisa replied that she wasn't so keen on Behat.

She also talked about dealing with accessibility will mean lots of changes going forward.

Question: Ghada asked "What was something curly / hard to fix?" Lisa asked answered how simple fixes turn out to be much harder in practice.

She talked about an issue with a required field on the admin screens where administrators can be added as institution or site administrators.

Question: Ghada asked "What was the hardest thing to learn about Mahara?"

Lisa mentioned how the javascript / php / db all works and plays together.

Question: Robert asked "What do you think about Pieforms?"

Lisa said it was interesting that we kept this but understood that legacy code would be harder to change than keep.

Question: Robert asked "What new feature would you add?"

Lisa said "Maybe a help chat system", but not one like the Office paper clip.

Idea: We then talked about having a tool to allow students to understand how to use Mahara easier - needing easier instructions / videos to follow

Vote: to accept Lisa as a +2 developer The following developers voted: Robert, Dmitrii, Yuliya, Cecilia, and Ghada. They all voted in the affirmative so now Lisa is a +2 developer. Congratulations.

Replacing out of date plugins

Dwoo templating engine

Talked about changing Dwoo to Smarty or possibly an alternative like Moustache. It was mentioned that changing to Smarty templates would be the easiest as Dwoo was a fork of Smarty back in the past and so much of the template content would not change.

Action: Cecilia to review Dwoo and see what we want to swap to after the 20.10 release

JQuery UI Touchpunch library

Talked about how we might not need these extra libraries any more if core juery can do similar things.

Action: Someone to review jQueru UI / touchpunch to see if core jQuery syntax can do the things we need rather than using the extra libraries

Progress on Mahara 20.10

Chatted about Evonne's mega design change patch and how she made font changes for accessibility. Also mentioned that she has developed a new theme called 'Maroon' that uses some more modern css tricks.

The 20.10 release is on track and looking good, but there are still some open bugs for the upcoming release that need reviewing and merging. However, one of the things we wanted to get in, the plugin by Alexander Del Ponte, has been held over until version 21.04

Other businesses

No other business

Next meeting and Chair

Tuesday, 3 November 2020 at 7:30 UTC
Chair: Robert Lyon
Minutes: Kristina Hoeppner