edX Heads Towards a More Modular Platform, with more APIs


EdX’s engineers have started to perform architectural improvements on the Open edX platform. “We are heading towards a more modular system, where we will have smaller, focused applications that work together”, explained Ned Batchelder, edX architect, during the 2015 Conference. [Watch his talk in the video below].

“We are looking to breaking Open edX into smaller pieces, as separated repositories and applications, so they can be tested and deployed independently. Most notably we are splitting the LMS and the CMS, so, for example, you will have one studio that feeds four LMSs”, added. 

“We are also very interested in extension points: APIs, XBlocks, OLXs.” This will allow to increase the surface area of application without having to change the inside.

Dogwood, which is the name of the release that will be coming out at the end of this year, will include a new theming system that allows to keep the look-and-feel as users upgrade the system. It will also include Otto, a separated deployable e-commerce application, as well as an upgrade into Django 1.8 (now, Open edX is using Django 1.4).

In addition to these areas, edX’s and Open edX’s engineering team is pushing toward accessibility, in order to lead this area within online education. There is also a working group exploring “adaptive learning”.

The next version, called Eucalyptus, is scheduled for March 2016.

Progress on features as well as the next challenges are shown in the official Feature Roadmap web page.

“Anyone doing online education should be thinking about using Open edX”, said Ned Batchelder.