Incubating Plugins Review: AnalyST For Lightning Fast Moodle Search

AnalyST allows you to manage a large number of results fast. To do this, it applies AngularJS, a popular JavaScript framework developed by Google. Angular is most favored for its ability to create dynamic, single page apps, using only JavaScript. It can manipulate all elements and track all changes of a page, resulting in an “expressive” experience.

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With AnalyST you can access lists of courses with descriptions and students, faster than the default Moodle search options. In the case of users, you can search for enrollment methods, activity and performance.

To interact with the PHP core of Moodle, AnalyST uses Slim. Slim is a “micro PHP framework” that gets data in JSON format, readable for JavaScript. AnalyST also employs Google Charts to display results.

AnalyST is maintained by Steffen Pegenau, and is currently incubating. Incubating plugins are those who have not fulfilled some of the guidelines established for contributions to Moodle. In this case it has to do with their dependency on JavaScript to work. One of the basic development premises for JavaScript in Moodle is that “Moodle must be usable without JavaScript“. Because of the dependency on Angular, AnalyST cannot provide a JavaScript-free alternative to functionality, as other plugins can. Steffen is aware of this, as he chose speed to be the defining quality of the plugin and Angular has no match in this area. Other plugins that use JavaScript adhere to “Unobtrusive JavaScript“, an approach that promotes modularity. This in turns facilitates maintaining code. AnalyST is regularly one of the most used Incubating plugins.

Check the Moodle page for AnalyST here.

Check the GitHub repo here.

Moonami LogoThis Moodle Technology related post is made possible by: Moonami a company that provides a full range of Moodle services that combine the flexibility, scalability, and power of Amazon’s world-leading cloud platform (AWS) with fanatical Moodle support. Click here to learn more.

What is your experience with incubating plugins? Tell us in the comments!


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