Moodle Changes its Approach to Mobile

Moodle for Mobile
Moodle for Mobile

I haven’t been blogging much about Moodle lately, but this news excited me very much, so I’ll do a quick write-up.

Moodle HQ has decided to move away from native mobile Moodle app development and will switch to developing with HTML 5 and the open source mobile development framework Phonegap. This will allow developers to work on a single codebase and compile a release for all mobile platforms simultaneously. The important part in the news item is this:

The app will be highly modular, and allow the community to contribute to development just like Moodle itself. [..] Although we will lose a little speed and smoothness in the interface when moving to HTML5, I think the idea of building up community effort around a cross-platform mobile client will far outweigh that and sets us up better for the long term. [..] The app will be licensed under the GPL. You are allowed to fork it and build your own custom apps if you wish. (Institutions may want to rebrand it and modify it for their own purposes).

This is the first open source project that I know of that has taken this approach. I’ve always found the way that the mobile space fragments development efforts irksome. I’ve also seen very few true open source projects targeting mobile technology. This masterstroke of Martin Dougiamas solves both of these problems. Once again he is at the vanguard of community based software development. His has my attention!

You can read more about the app here or check out its roadmap.

Update: I’ve now learned that this approach towards mobile started at CV&A Consulting, a Moodle partner in Spain. Kudos to Juan Leyva for coming up with Unofficial Moodle Mobile which will now drop the “unofficial” part!

4 thoughts on “Moodle Changes its Approach to Mobile

  1. Hi Hans,
    Indeed a very interesting and bold move by Martin and Moodle HQ which preserves and leverages the strengths of Open source.
    I think that the other move Moodle HQ made of having set dates for a major version release every 6 months (and seeing which features fit in in time for the release) seems to be proving it self (I haven’t seen that too in any other open source project). At first it seemed a strange move to me but it is working well – developers, QA and the entire community are more focused and motivated to get things done by the time of the next release. I think this has made moodle development move forward a lot over the past months.

    1. Thank you for your comment Amir. Many large Linux distributions use a 6 month release schedule. I hadn’t thought of how that affected Moodle.

  2. Thanks for the above information by giving a brief description and letting the customer know about the Moodle for Mobile.

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