Useful Tools and Resources for Moodle Developers

Here is a list of resources that helped me get started in Moodle development. I’ve even put together a few articles of my own to share covering topics like Getting Started in Moodle, Git for Moodle Developers in Windows and Upgrading Moodle packages for Windows (XAMPP Control Panel, PHP, phpMyAdmin, Apache, MySQL) [Updated: This is an updated version of an article that was originally published on October 25, 2013] Moodle Development Environment Moodle XAMPP installation for Windows or Mac OS X. Moodle Reset OPCache plugin — Allows you to instantly reset you PHP OPCache from within Moodle,,, for those times when nothing seems to change. Moodle Code-Checker … Continue reading

Setting Up a WordPress Website

Note: Originally published May 4, 2012 — updated August 28, 2016. Web Hosting Step 1. Get Web Hosting Sign up for Web Hosting, preferably with a company that offers a cPanel, Panelbox, 1-Click or Fantastico from a Web Hosting company such as HostPapa, Funio or HostGator (NOT GoDaddy!). If the company offers domain registration, simplify your life and take it. That way it will all be integrated and working for you. Otherwise, you can get domains from places like GoDaddy (but not web hosting!), HostGator, or NameCheap.com. What’s the issue with GoDaddy? Although they have a great Domain registration service, their web hosting … Continue reading

Which Web Development Programming Languages Should I Learn?

I am often asked this question by other Web developers. In fact, I regularly need to figure decide which web programming languages and technologies I need to learn next as part of my life long learning. Start with Web Browser Technologies Did you know? Even after over 20 years of mainstream web technology, web browsers only natively understand 3 things: HTML, CSS and JavaScript. That’s it, that’s all! There actually used to be a fourth, vbScript, but it was only available in Internet Explorer and Microsoft finally deprecated it as of IE11. Anything more and it is usually an add-on, plugin or … Continue reading

Shopping for the best laptop for web developement

As a developer with a diverse background in IT and web development, I prefer to purchase a solid laptop that will serve me for 5-7 years rather than replace it every 1-2 years. This is because it takes me over a week to install and configure all the software, tweaking the registry and getting things working just the way I need it. It’s been getting better since I discovered Ninite and Chocolatey but I still prefer not to do it any more than I have to. Another advantage is that, by the time I am through with a laptop and ready to replace … Continue reading

Creating Linux dot files in Windows

Ever tried creating a file Linux style dot file like .htaccess or .gitignore in Windows Explorer? It gives you a “You must type a file name.” error message. This might lead people to think that Windows doesn’t support these file names. If you use a command line, you know that this is definitely possible in Windows. In fact, you can even create dot files in Windows Explorer quite easily with this little know trick. To create a filename that start with a period “.” but has no extension, like .txt, simply add a period to the end of the filename. For … Continue reading

Useful WordPress Contact Form 7 Field Definition Templates

Here are some useful field definitions for use in WordPress Contact Form 7 that are useful when collecting mailing addresses. Canadian Provinces (English / 2 characters ) <p><label for=”province”>Province (required)</label><br> [select* province id:province include_blank “AB” “BC” “MB” “NB” “NL” “NS” “NT” “NU” “ON” “PE” “QC” “SK” “YT”]</p> Canadian Provinces (French / 2 characters ) <p><label for=”province”>Province (required)</label><br> [select* province id:province include_blank “AB” “BC” “MB” “NB” “NL” “NS” “NT” “NU” “ON” “PE” “QC” “SK” “YT”]</p> Canadian Provinces (English / Full names) <p><label for=”province”>Province (required)</label><br> [select* province id:province include_blank “Alberta|AB” “British Columbia|BC” “Manitoba|MB” “New Brunswick|NB” “Newfoundland and Labrador|NL” “Nova Scotia|NS” “Northwest Territories|NT” “Nunavut|NU” “Ontario|ON” … Continue reading

Bug in Chrome Renders WordPress Admin Menu Incorrectly (fix included!)

Do you work in WordPress using Chrome? If so, you may have recently noticed that the sidebar admin menu gets messed up bit when you hover over menu items or just work in it for a few minutes. I haven’t noticed if this bug affects other websites. The Problem Notice that there are menu items overlapping others, menu items missing and as you hover over them, they may fix themselves temporarily or move on you. This is a bug specific to Chrome which first appeared in v45 (the current version). The Chrome team has has discovered that the problem is … Continue reading

Creating Multilingual Moodle Content With mlang Tags

My experience with the Moodle LMS has involved dealing mostly with multilingual sites. Unfortunately there are still many core Moodle plugins and third party plugins and themes that still do not support multilingual content. However the situation is improving with each code release. One Moodle plugin which has made life a lot easier when implementing multilingual courses is the Multi-linugual Content (multilangsecond) filter by Vanyo Georgiev. Unlike the core HTML based Multi-language Content filter plugin that comes bundled with Moodle, multilangsecond has a non-HTML syntax that enables you to wrap your content in plain text language markup tags like {mlang en}Hello{mlang}{mlang fr}Bonjour{mlang}. Entering these tags require no knowledge … Continue reading

About Moodle Forums

The News Forum is a special Moodle forum for general announcements relating individual courses. One of these is automatically included when you create a new course. By default, only teachers and administrators can post in. Students can only read posts in this forum and won’t see see any button to post or reply. Unlike News Forums, Forum activities in a course are actually interactive. Everyone including students and teachers in the course can post new topics and reply to posts by other people.For more information, see the Moodle Forum FAQ. By the way, you can rename these forums to whatever suits … Continue reading

Integrating PuTTY and KiTTY into WinSCP

Whether you are doing web development or just need to manage a Linux server, PuTTY and its enhanced fork KiTTY are both great tools to use when you need to connect to a Linux shell command line. While PuTTY is the original and updated more often, KiTTY isn’t that far behind, offering several useful enhancements to make your work day a little easier. The following instructions assume you already have WinSCP installed and configured to connect to your Linux server using SFTP over SSH. Here is how you can integrate one of these two into WinSCP: In Windows, download PuTTY or KiTTY — main … Continue reading