Life coach and PHM (Particularly Helpful Moodler) Michael Milette, developer of the plugins Moodle eMail Test, Contact Form, FilterCodes and the Training theme, shares with the community his “do”s and “don’t”s when it comes to Moodle development.
#1 Do: Turn on Developer Debugging mode. Don’t: Disregard warning messages.
Moodle offers a series of developer tools, of which one of the most useful is Debugging. It helps developers identify issues with codes that can later be looked up or discussed in the forums. The messages can be displayed, recorded, or sent to email.
#2 Do: Browse the Moodle Plugin Directory for Inspiration. Don’t: Paste Non-validated HTML.
If you are building a site or plugin using HTML from different sources, their markup might have some differences. Milette recommends parsing your HTML with a validator. You cannot go wrong with the W3C Markup Validation Service, the web’s official standards organism.
#3 Do: Make it langpack compatible. Don’t: Mix function and language strings.
To make sure your development can be useful to any Moodler all over the world, Milette recommends testing for multilingual support. Make sure the text displayed to the user always come from strings on a langpack and test your work with many languages.
#4 Do: Enable Text Filters. Don’t: Disregard User Experience (UX) and Accessibility.
Making teachers or students want to use your plugin is just as important as having a robust solution. Text Filters are a great way to make your functionality readily available from a button on the Moodle text editor. Likewise, good practices and universal access standards, such as WCAG, mean no one will be needlessly prevented from making good use of your development.