EdX has decided to create a series of named releases of the Open edX codebase as a way to capture code at stable points in time which is ready for production after it has been battle-tested. In addition, by using names, it is easier to identify installations and therefore share knowledge within the community.
Well, the first instance, released on October 29th, is called Aspen. Its codebase –which “was frozen at a stable point in time (mid-September 2014)”, according to the edX engineering blog–will not change even as the developer community continues to improve the code. “All releases will receive extensive testing both from edX, which will use the release to support millions of users, as well as by organizations within the Open edX community, where the release will have been run and tested in many different configurations”, edX said. [Update: David Baumgold, an edX engineer, disclosed recently that the Aspen release is based on the Sept 4 version].
The next release, named Birch, will arrive “in a few months”. The third one will be “Cypress”.
ENHANCEMENTS: E-COMMERCE, AUTO-ENROLLMENTS, ANALYTICS
On the other hand, there has been some significant code enhancements in the edX community in the last days:
- edX has redesigned the e-commerce functionality allowing organizations to purchase many seats in a course for its employees/members and then to distribute the codes for redemption. How does it work? When more than one seat is purchased, ‘registration codes’ as generated and downloaded as CSV files.
- Another enhancement in the platform is the new auto-signup/enrollment functionality. An administrator or staff member can create new accounts and enroll students in a course simply by uploading a CSV file which contains a list of students (with the following columns: email, username, full name, country…).
- The edX analytics pipeline has been open sourced along with the course analytics dashboard. The analytics pipeline consists of several repos.
OPEN EDX CONFERENCE AND HACKATON
All of these issues will be discussed in the Open edX November 18-19 conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This gathering will be followed by a two-day hackathon at edX’s headquarters in Cambridge.