In December last year, two Liip employees Brian King & I (Penny Leach) went to the Czech Republic for a week, for the first ever concentrated Moodle Developer Conference. There were 16 attendees from around the world, participating in an intense week of discussion about the upcoming Moodle 2.0 release, with a lot of decisions being made and work being planned. The session notes are now online.
After that, I had a 6 week secondment to Moodle HQ, working on improving the Moodle Networking feature for Moodle 2.0. This was my second secondment to Moodle HQ, the first was in 2008, to work on the Portfolio API. Moodle HQ is based in Perth Australia, but there are employees working all around the world in different timezones, so communication largely happens on our jabber development chat, and bug tracker, with the occasional skype video chat.
The first step was to evaluate the current state of MNet, which was added to Moodle 1.8, but needed a lot of work to bring it up to Moodle 2.0 compliance. I created a metabug with a number of subtasks representing the different areas that need work, and then linked all the existing MNet bugs to those. Then I created a whole lot more bugs for a lot of refactoring that needed to happen. Then I rolled up my sleeves and started work. I closed many bugs, some of which affected the stable 1.9 version of Moodle as well, and will be in the next stable point release.
Unfortunately there was more needing to be done than I had time to do, but MNet is now in a much better state to be able to be maintained by more people. I will be doing a handover meeting with David Mudrák soon, and also of course continue to help with bug triage and fixing during the Moodle 2.0 beta period.
Technically, I was tracking Moodle cvs with git, making branches for each bug I was working on, committing to git and then eventually rebasing and using git-cvsexportcommit to land the work into the relevant Moodle branch. This is a workflow that David has recently described in more detail, and works very well for me, a long time thoroughly convinced git user.
Working with Moodle HQ directly is always a great experience, although doing it in a European timezone, as I did in 2008, works better than doing it from New Zealand, which is where I was this time. Even so, I had as always great support from the other core team, testing and doing code review. I hope MNet users will be happy with the improvements in Moodle 2.0.