DrupalEd Is Ready For Download

4 min read

DrupalEd is now ready to go --

From the home page that ships with the site:

This site can be used as an informal learning site where all users have comparable permissions, or as a more hierarchical learning environment with students, teachers, classes, and working groups.

Some of the functionality within this site includes:

  • a personal workspace;
  • a group workspace;
  • the ability for site members to create informal working groups;
  • the ability to create formal class spaces;
  • a podcasting platform;
  • a WYSIWYG text editor;
  • wiki functionality;
  • personal and class blogs;
  • rss feeds for the entire site, individual courses, individual terms, and individual users;
  • personal image galleries;
  • personal file repositories;
  • the ability to create private, invitation-only groups;
  • social bookmarking, with searching within bookmark descriptions;
  • spam protection;
  • assignment calendars by course;
  • event calendars for site-wide events;
  • configurable user profiles with searchable text descriptions;
  • the ability to create lists of "friends" among site members;
  • the ability to find the missing sock in the dryer.

The goal of this site is to create a flexible framework that allows for users to set up a social learning environment or a more traditional learning environment depending on the needs of the learners within the site. With this current framework, both approaches are supported.

The site comes pre-configured with some users, roles, a small amount of sample data, and some light Getting Started documentation.

To install the site, you will need to have access to a web server with MySQL and PHP installed. We also recommend Apache for the web server, and Linux as the operating system. We did most of our testing on MySQL 5.0.27 and PHP 5.2.0, but we also did test installs using PHP 4.4.x and MySQL 4.1.

To get started, download the DrupalEd codebase. This core code is Drupal, with selected contributed modules, and two third-party libraries. All of the code used in this installation is available under the GPL or the LGPL. The download includes installation instructions in addition to the core code.

We wanted to get this code out as quickly as possible, but we will be continuing to develop functionality in this install. While this site is pretty full featured, we will be working with the Drupal community to add additional features over time. One of our more immediate priorities for this package is a simpler, more configurable install process. To get involved, join the working group over at groups.drupal.org. The working group is also the best place to provide feedback on the profile.

Finally, many people have contributed to this project in the form of feedback, support, bug squashing, and beer and/or coffee runs. First off, the core Drupal developers made all this possible; without the solid codebase and ongoing improvements none of this would be happening. Trevor Twining has added some useful modifications to the Zen theme that ships with this profile. Dave Cormier provided some great feedback and bug-squashing, and Jeff Lebow was very generous with his screencasting skills and in inviting me on to Worldbridges. Chris Lehmann and Bud Hunt both gave some great feedback on the user interface and functionality. Paul Allison and Susan Ettenheim at Teachers Teaching Teachers contributed an educators' perspective to the site design, and Lee Baber helped with feedback on the design in the early stages. Evan O'Donnell of Teaching Matters gave useful feedback on ways of organizing content in the site, and Martin Buck provided some ideas on simplifying the admin interface that made their way into the final version. Lynne Wolters provided input on the demo version that helped inform some of the final revisions. From down under, Rob Fitzgerald helped identify some trouble spots with installs in different hosted environments, and Jennifer Jones helped with feedback to streamline the user experience.

So, to all who have helped out to get this out the door, thanks. We're excited for this first release, and looking forward to building more functionality out over time.

Bill and Marc