Week of 18 July 2016

The following information summarizes what is new in the edX platform this week.

The edX engineering wiki Release Pages provide detailed information about every change made to the edx-platform GitHub repository. If you are interested in additional information about every change in a release, create a user account for the wiki and review the dated release pages.

Studio

  • To improve accessibility and readability by increasing contrast, edX has adjusted some colors in Studio and the LMS. The change is most noticeable for buttons that appear in green or blue. For example, the following image shows the options for new components in Studio before and after this change. (AC-517)

    Options for a problem component in Studio using the lower-contrast colors followed by the higher-contrast colors.
  • The edX tabbed component has been updated to follow World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendations and to be more accessible. Learners can navigate the individual tabs with the arrow keys, while the Enter and Spacebar keys activate the tab, and the Tab key enters the tab panel content. This tabbed component is currently used in the teams feature and the learner profile, and will be added to more areas of the edX platform. (AC-486)

LMS

  • To improve accessibility and readability by increasing contrast, edX has adjusted some colors in Studio and the LMS. The change is most noticeable for buttons that appear in green or blue. For example, the following image shows the options for new components in Studio before and after this change. (AC-517)

    Options for a problem component in Studio using the lower-contrast colors followed by the higher-contrast colors.
  • The edX tabbed component has been updated to follow World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendations and to be more accessible. Learners can navigate the individual tabs with the arrow keys, while the Enter and Spacebar keys activate the tab, and the Tab key enters the tab panel content. This tabbed component is currently used in the teams feature and the learner profile, and will be added to more areas of the edX platform. (AC-486)

Mobile

Version 2.5.1 of the edX app for the Android platform and version 2.5.0 of the edX app for the iOS platform are now available. These versions add video player improvements as well as discussion features, such as the ability to access discussion topics in the body of the course and view discussions in landscape mode.

You and your enrolled learners can download these versions of the free edX mobile app from Google Play or the App Store.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the mobile app, see the If You Use the edX Mobile App section in the EdX Learner’s Guide, or, for Open edX installations, see the If You Use the edX Mobile App section in the Open edX Learner’s Guide.

Open edX

  • EdX has improved the overall performance of computing grades, which results in a 75% performance improvement in loading the learner Progress page. The Eucalyptus release will include these performance changes.

  • For coupons, validation during the coupon creation process has been improved. This release also includes small improvements to the coupon creation user interface.

  • The XBlockDisableConfig model and the ENABLE_DISABLING_XBLOCK_TYPES, DEPRECATED_BLOCK_TYPES, and DEPRECATED_ADVANCED_COMPONENT_TYPES settings are being transitioned to the new XBlockConfiguration and XBlockStudioConfiguration models. The Studio deprecation and LMS disabling functionality have already transitioned. In the near future, metadata about XBlock state will also transition, and the XBlockDisableConfig model and associated settings will be deleted.

    The Eucalyptus release will not include these changes.

Documentation

A new section in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide describes how to configure an Open edX instance to serve course assets from a content delivery network (CDN) instead of directly from your Open edX instance. Using a CDN offloads the work required to deliver assets from your Open edX instance. For more information, see Enabling a CDN for Course Assets.