Moodle Developers: Contribution guide for beginners

In a recent post on Moodle forums one of the new developer asked about help regarding the contribution guide for beginners. Many fellow moodlers posted a lot of useful tips out of which I am sharing few useful ones:

  • To start with the development process, you can go through with this developer docs: Believe me guys, this is an excellent way to start learning about contributing to the Moodle community.
  • Apart from the above you can choose to search for all Moodle bugs which are marked as easy in the Moodle tracker and you can try closing some of the issues. Find out the current open bugs here.
  • Start by browsing through the list of 3rd party plugins and choose a plugin that is of interest to you and update it for Moodle 2.7 or 2.8 and it is a great way to get started on your way to learning how Moodle works.
  • Test and fix any errors. Just turn on Developer debugging mode, check the box to display error and then see if there are any error messages that show up. They will often, but not always appear at the top of the HTML source code. I am always amazed at how many developers don’t do this resulting in things like un-initialized variables.
  • Test and fix any HTML issues from HTML generated by the plugin. You can just view the HTML source code and paste it into the W3C Validation. Just be sure to test your Front Page before you get started to make sure it’s not a problem with the theme you are using.
Contributing to Moodle Community
Ways of Contributing to Moodle Community
  • Test and fix multilingual support issues. This is pretty easy to do, even if you don’t personally don’t speak other languages. Just install a language pack other than English and then switch between English and that other language. I recommend choosing one of the more common languages because a lot of plugins haven’t been translated so it might be a good idea to check the files in moodledata/lang/xx/ to make sure that a translation is available before you assume it’s not working. These will obviously not end up in the right language even if there is a language pack available. Another way to do it is to just read through the source code and identify any hard coded language strings. Move these into the language files and use the get_string() function to retrieve it.
  • Test and fix the plugins to enable Moodle filter support.
  • If you have any experience with WCAG 2.0, you could also test the plugins to make sure that they meet these accessibility guidelines, preferably at Level AA, from a students perspective. Not all plugins can be made accessible.
  • Adopt a plugin which is not actively maintained now by the original developer. You can find such kind of plugins here.

Hope all these tips will be any help to any new Moodle developer who is just starting his journey in this beautiful world of Moodle.

Happy Moodling!!!



Jaswinder Singh

Jaswinder Singh, passionate about using Moodle in improving the Indian Education System and reaching the students in far flung areas where still education seems to be a impossible prospect of life. He is the author of the popular Moodle Book "How to use Moodle 2.7". In October 2016, Jaswinder was elected as the Moodle User's Association Committee member - the first to make it from India.

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