Developer Area/Developer Meetings/91

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Revision as of 19:21, 14 September 2022 by Doristam (talk | contribs) (→‎Agenda)

Agenda for the 91st Mahara developer meeting on Tuesday, 13 September 2022 at 22:00:00 UTC

We will meet online using Big Blue Button (A Catalyst staff member will initiate the call).

Our #Mahara channel on Matrix will be our backup in case there are problems with the web conferencing tool and we'll need to chat to resolve it. You can connect to our Matrix channel also using the #mahara channel on Freenode IRC.

  • Chair: Kristina Hoeppner
  • Minute taker: Doris Tam

Chair and minute taker duties explained


Items from previous meetings

  • Robert: Change to makefile to add some basic security checks
  • Update coding and code review guidelines to add words around security

New items

  • PHP 8.1 progress
  • Mahara 22.10 (Kristina)
  • Secret project, not so secret anymore once we have the meeting ;-) (Kristina)

General items

  • Any other business
  • Next meeting and chair



  • Attendees:
    • Kristina Hoeppner (Wellington, NZ), Mahara project lead
    • Robert Lyon (Wellington, NZ) - Mahara tech lead
    • Doris Tam (Wellington, NZ) - Mahara developer
    • Adam (Texas, US), LearnOpenTech co-founder
    • Beck (Texas, US), LearnOpenTech co-founder
  • Making changes to Makefile for additional security checks 🔒
    • The plan is to flag patch sets as private when they involve user input as parameters.
    • Ensure checking for security holes before making patch sets public and remind people to check for potential security issues.
  • Update coding and code review guidelines to add words around security 💡
    • Still to do.
    • Include the Makefile changes once those have been implemented and merged.
  • PHP 8.1 progress 🚧
    • Gold is making lots of progress! See Mahara progress to PHP 8 charts .
    • The bulk of Behat tests are passing. Focus has been mainly on PHPStan as Phan wasn't providing helpful insights.
  • Mahara 22.10 🚩 (Mahara 22.10 is not recommended for live testing yet)
    • Features in 22.10:  Come and help us test/code review.
    • Notable features:
      • Modern FontAwesome icons
      • PHP8.1 support
      • Mahara Mobile security updates and other internal /infrastructure-related items too.
      • LTI 1.3 update -> LTI Advantage (future goal)
    • Ubuntu comes with PHP8.1 in the latest LTS, so we aim for people to upgrade without having to downgrade their PHP.
    • PHP 7.4 is running out of security support in November this year.
    • We want to become PHP 8.1 supported as soon as possible.
    • We will work to cover more edge cases and to have a stable PHP 8.1 version available in April 2023.
    • The upstream for Debian should support PHP7 as Ubuntu 20.04 is an LTS supported until 2025.
    • Mahara Docker patch allowing the switching of PHP 7 and 8 is available.
    • More new functionality to come in 2023, thanks to some exciting plans. Watch this space!
  • Mahara podcast: Create. Share. Engage. 🎉
    • We quietly launched the podcast 'Create. Share. Engage' today! An incredible milestone for the project.
    • The theme is on how organisations use Mahara. It will include talks with academics, researchers, practitioners, learning designers, and students.
    • The podcast will tell stories of the community and how people use Mahara in many different contexts, e.g. at schools, universities, home-schooling, and other possibilities.
    • OpenSource will be a future topic where we'll delve into how features get into Mahara, the process, and how people can get involved.
    • We shall invite people from the wider community to share their practices, e.g. the AABEL digital ethics task force and 'Learn Open Tech', as well as other concepts relevant for portfolio practice.
  • Other questions
    • When developing (a security fix in Makefile), do you testing locally first, or is there development server?
      • The issue is when we push things to our review system, it automatically publicises patch sets.
      • We don't want some things to be public by default.
      • We test small developmental items can locally.
      • If an item requires integration tests, e.g. LTI, MNET, and SSO, we have dedicated test sites with the right environment.
    • I want to make a Grade-book plugin, how to start?
      • Depends if the feature will be interaction, general module, authentication-related, or artefact-related?
      • It is possible to copy and extend existing things, e.g. The third-party CPD plugin is an extension of our plans artefact where a community member wanted a more customised version.
      • You can find a similar area of Mahara and extend/copy/tinker with it.
      • There are no templates to build a module/plugin template.
      • Check the parent classes to see the requirements and possible extensions.
      • For a custom block, the PluginBlocktypeText plugin is a place to start.
      • For a custom artefact, the ArtefactTypeImage artefact is a good starting spot.
      • Something similar to a Grade book might be the webservices PluginBlocktypeCourseinfo plugin
    • What mock up tools do you use?
      • An Open-source software called 'Pencil' - Kristina likes to edit live CSS, take a screenshot, and add more items to create a mock-up.
      • Consider what it will look like for a student/teacher with accessibility in mind.
      • Beck: Grade book (proprietary software unknown), PenPot, Figma.
    • What is 'LearnOpenTech'
      • LearnOpenTech enables students (no matter what type of learning, to have a central location where they can store their work.
      • It will allow them to get peer reviews, use the same portfolio for later studies, and to establish and grow a community of learners.
  • Next developer meeting: