Interview with David Monllaó, Developer of Moodle Flavours #GSOC

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The Moodle Flavours project is one that I’m currently watching with much anticipation.  As a Google Summer of Code Project this is development work that Moodle is receiving in exchange for providing mentorship to a student (the student is paid through a Google stipend, learn more about the GSOC here).  Michael de Raadt is acting as mentor for one student, David Monllaó who is developing Moodle Flavours.  I’ve posted about Flavours before, but to briefly explain: it’s a way to export and import pre-defined settings, language packs, themes and modules (“ingredients”) into a Moodle site.  At the least it would create a very efficient administration tool for rapid setup and deployment of new sites sharing the same traits.

WIRIS

David was nice enough to answer a few questions about his experience with Moodle development and Flavours so far.  You can check out the interview Q&A below. It’s always great to get a peek behind the scenes of a cool project.

1. Where/when did you start Moodle development?
I began working on Moodle when I was hired at the Educational Resource Service (SRE) of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Catalonia (Spain), where I’m still working; it was 2006 and they were using Moodle version 1.5.4; since then Moodle has changed a lot and even more with the 2.0 release, we the developers are going to have fun migrating code.

2. Where did the Flavours idea come from?
It came from a 2009 GSOC idea called “XML administration settings export/import”, I thought that it was a good idea but if we add other stuff like modules or themes it becomes a powerful tool to create Moodle distributions, like GNU/Linux: the linux kernel and the GNU tools are common, but it’s not the same to use backtrack than edubuntu, it depends on the use (universities, language teaching, as any other CMS… more examples on http://docs.moodle.org/en/Development:Moodle_flavours#Examples) Another point, Moodle has grown a lot and it could be used for different purposes, a newbie administrator will probably get lost with all the possibilities it brings, with flavours that barrier does not exists. About the “flavours” name, is the result of a summer with Maven & appfuse, and frankly, because I love to eat. There is another cooking reference on the project: an ingredient, is one of the flavours components, a language pack, a theme…

3. What other projects would you like to work on?
In September I will start my end of degree capstone and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to work on something that will end in up in a drawer so I am looking for projects that will meet a demand/need, I’ve got proposals but I haven’t decided anything… One attractive idea is the technology used by the real-time collaborative assignment to synchronize data between users, I don’t know about other open sourced technologies like that to compare, but there are a lot of possible uses.

4. What would you like to see Moodle accomplish in the next year, decade?
I hope that this and the next year will consolidate Moodle 2.0 as the real HEAD version for users, and for the next decade I would like to see Moodle eating the lunch of all the non open source VLEs 🙂

Thanks, David!