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In the past 2 years, the e-Learning market has been exploding. Online Learning Management Systems (LMS) have become very popular, to build e-learning platforms.

They not only offer text based content, quizzes, assignment management, course evaluation, social features, but also allow the integration of video, audio and other linked content.  Many support SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model), allowing the exchange of learning content and results.

THE LMS UNIVERSE

Over the past few years, I have been helping clients to build or transform their e-learning platforms.  Sometimes its better to build a customized LMS solution from scratch :), than tweak or customize an offered solution. It all depends on the features you want to see integrated and on the budget available ;)

In this article I want to share current solutions offered for WordPress.

I will divide them into themes and plugins for now. In the future I plan do some feature comparison as well :

  • Theme based or Standalone Plugin (standalone might be preferred)
  • Course functionality (course, units, quizzes sections …)
  • Course linking / Course Groups / Exclusive courses
  • Course categories
  • Course Evaluation
  • Course curriculum
  • Course timeline
  • Course reviews & ratings
  • Course Stats
  • Free courses
  • Variable pricing
  • Course notes / Comments
  • Course Admin area
  • Course Frontend creation
  • Assignment functionality
  • Certificates
  • Messaging
  • Custom Email Templates
  • Course Events
  • BuddyPress Integration
  • BBPress Integration
  • WooCommerce integration
  • Import & Export functionality
  • Login
  • Student profiles
  • Instructor frontend interface

 

PLUGINS

These are standalone plugins, that provide LMS functionality and integrate into your WordPress themes. Ease of integration and options differ.

  1. LearnDash
  2. Sensei
  3. LearnPress  (new – 2015)
  4. WP Courseware
  5. LifterLMS
  6. Namaste! LMS
  7. CoursePress

THEMES

These themes mostly dependent on one of the plugins above or offer only a simple subset of LMS functionality.

  1. eLearning WP (new – 2015 / LearnPress)
  2. Derrick
  3. Guru
  4. Academy
  5. LMS
  6. Clever Course
  7. LMS Press
  8. EduLMS
  9. Skillfully
  10. iKnow
  11. University
  12. Invent
  13. Sensei themes
  14. Clever Course

THEME & PLUGIN

Integrated solutions,  that are supposed to offer a tight integration of WordPress, theme and its own plugins.

  1. WPLMS (started the revolution at Envato)
    One thing that sets WPLMS apart from many of the above is the frontend interface. So instructor tasks happen on the frontend not in the WP Admin. Also when it comes to assignments, WPLMS is currently the best solution. Even if the assignment management is not yet perfect, its better than what many of the other solutions offer.

Enjoy coding …

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IoT is the current buzz word and I will be doing some more tinkering with current solutions this year. I have done projects with ArduinoRaspberry Pi and looking into relayr / Wunderbar right now.

relayr provides a tech stack with Wunderbar, that easily connects included sensors with the cloud. They provide a wide range of API endpoints to collect data and even integrate hardware solutions like Arduino orRaspberry Pi.

“The WunderBar is built for software developers. It is a powerful rapid prototyping and product development tool that enables developers to immediately start creating products and solutions that utilise the Internet of Things, without any prior hardware knowledge. No soldering or electronic engineering experience is needed. Just choose what sensors you need for your project and start coding.”

relayrWunderbar

Starterkit should arrive next week …

Enjoy coding …

 

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CSS Crush is a standards inspired CSS pre-processor that is written in PHP from scratch.

MAIN FEATURES

  1. Auto-prefixing
  2. Variables
  3. Direct @import
  4. Nesting
  5. Rule inheritance
  6. Abstract rules
  7. Functions
  8. Selector grouping
  9. Selector aliases
  10. Mixins
  11. Fragments

For a current project I am adding CSS Crush side by side to Sass. Lets see which of them sticks around in the end :)  Might be keeping them both, as CSS Crush provides some nice options.

CSS Crush @ Github

Enjoy coding …

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Hybridauth enables developers to easily build social applications and tools to engage websites visitors and customers on a social level by implementing social sign-in, social sharing, users profiles, friends list, activities stream, status updates and more.

The main goal of Hybridauth is to act as an abstract API between your application and various social apis and identities providers such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.”

Hybridauth 2.x was the best option for nicely aggregated social logins so far, but some of the social “Providers” are outdated or no longer working. Version 3.0 is still in development, but providing a complete rewrite.

Hybridauth 3.0 Remake @ Github

For Facebook , Twitter and Google+ I still use my own little wrappers, but if you want more this is the way to go in the future :)

Enjoy coding …

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18. November 2015

PHP & API Documentation

Currently refreshing my list of options to document projects and APIs.

I will use this page to keep a list of possible tools & solutions.

PHP DOCUMENTATION

  1. PHPDocumentor
  2. phpDox – The PHP Documentation Generator
  3. Sami: an API documentation generator
  4. apigen (PHP 5.4+)
  5. Doxygen
  6. Dexy

API DOCUMENTATION

  1. JSDoc
  2. API Blueprint
  3. Swagger.io
  4. apiary – API Design Stack
  5. APIDOC – RESTful web APIs
  6. ESDoc – JavaScript(ES6)
  7. doxx – Generic, template based, HTML output for Dox documentation generator
  8. documentation.js – raw documentation as JSON, beautiful, customizable HTML, or Markdown that fits perfectly into an API.md or README.md

Enjoy coding …

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Really cool interface to test and debug Regex. The website also includes a nice regex library.

regex101.com

 

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“WP-CLI is a set of command-line tools for managing WordPress installations”

 

WP-CLI

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Using WordPress as a headless system, is nothing new. You can easily build out your own REST API or use the long available HTTP REST API 1.0+ for WordPress.

But with the new HTTP REST API 2.0+ its getting really easy to build out your own REST API Namespace and assign routes for all your JSON needs.

The new REST API will make its appearance in WordPress 4.4, but you can start now by adding the plugin to your system. When the plugin detects 4.4+ it will only load functionality not already present in the core.

A ROUTE

A route tells the API to respond to a given request with a specific function (endpoint). This adds the permalink structure to WordPress so that your functionality can be accessed via an url like this: http://yourdoman.com/wp-json/yourplugin/v1/myfunction/your_parameter 

THE ENDPOINT

The Endpoint is the callback handled by the route. Each endpoint can have additional parameters attached:

  1. custom permissions
  2. default values
  3. sanitization callback
  4. validation callback
  5. field requirements and more

RETURN VALUE

The return values from the endpoint are converted into JSON. You can use the WP_REST_Response object , this wraps normal body data and allows you to return a custom status code.

Really powerful stuff, that makes it easy to detach WordPress and the actual client using the data provided by it.

You can read more about it here.

Enjoy coding …

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Some options to get those translatable strings out of your templates. I will be adding new things, as I discover them :)

  1. xgettext-templateHandlebars & Swig
  2. gettext-twig – {% trans “string here” %}
  3. rtwix – Ruby based TWIG translations extractor
  4. twig-po – Extract translation keys from twig templates and move them to PO
  5. Twig-Gettext-Extractor –  tool which extracts translations from twig templates

Enjoy coding …

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Flarum is new elegant next-generation forum software. It provides a touch optimized two pane layout with floating composer.

The backend runs on PHP/MySQL.

Flarum

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