Saturday, 11 April 2009

The WikiEducator environment

WikiEducator is where the Commonwealth of Learning has an excellent project for free e-learning content; I rate it as best of breed. As the Commonwealth of Nations consists of many countries in all parts of the world, WikiEducator has to take into account the many different cultures in order to provide quality education.

WikiEducator has invested in the development of its Open Source educational environment and this makes it a challenge to build an environment in the Wikiation Extension Testing Environment.

Many of the MediaWiki extensions are not in a code repository system. They are included as a text in a Wiki, sometimes they are just available to be downloaded. This has several drawbacks;
  • the installer cannot load the code
  • the code is not internationalised and localised at
  • it is not clear if there have been modifications to the code in the past
Even though it is not that hard to create a new extension in the WMF SVN, it is best when this is done either by the developers or by the people behind WikiEducator. When asked typically there is a positive response.

A special case is the LiquidThreads extension. This extension is broken in its latest revision. The testing environment makes it really easy to establish this or to find what effect other extensions have. The COL and Unicef are collaborating, it is fairly trivial to install and test the Uniwiki extensions in a combined environment as well.

The current incarnation of the WikiEducator testing environment can be found here.

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