Open edX

The following information summarizes what is new in Open edX.

Week of 10 February 2017

An initial version of the web fragments framework was merged. This architectural improvement should enable greater flexibility in changes to the LMS user interface moving forward. As part of this effort a python package was created and a separate repository was set up for the initial release as well. (TNL-6168)

Week of 7 November 2016

EdX has updated Django, the web framework that edX uses to develop Studio and the LMS, from version 1.8.15 to version 1.8.16. This update reflects a Django security release and does not result in any user-visible changes. For more information about Django versions, see https://www.djangoproject.com/weblog/2016/nov/01/security-releases/.

Week of 3 October 2016

Third party authentication providers are now configured by site. You can now configure each of the sites that are set up for your Open edX installation to use a different third party authentication identity provider.

If you have configured your Open edX installation to act as a SAML service provider, when you upgrade to this release all configuration settings apply only to the default site. You must now configure each of your other sites separately. For more information, see Enabling Third Party Authentication.

Week of 5 September 2016

  • Several minor problems that were causing errors in the coupon creation process have been fixed.
  • The downloadable .csv file for coupons has been updated to improve reporting accuracy.

Week of 29 August 2016

For sites that are running an Open edX instance, the Eucalyptus release is now available. Eucalyptus, the fifth release of the Open edX platform, contains new features for learners, course teams, and developers. For more information, see the release notes for the Open edX Eucalyptus Release or this Eucalyptus release blog post on the Open edX portal.

Week of 15 August 2016

A new --settings parameter is now available for the i18n_dummy task. Previously, this task always used the devstack settings file, and as a result could not be used on fullstack instances.

Week of 8 August 2016

The edX UX Pattern Library has been updated with various enhancements, including color options and contrast, and button styling. For a complete list of updates, see https://github.com/edx/ux-pattern-library/blob/master/CHANGELOG.md

Week of 18 July 2016

  • 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.

Week of 27 June 2016

Open edX platform users who have installed the E-Commerce service can now create coupons to give their learners discounts on courses that have fees. Coupons can be single-user or multi-user and can be valid for just one course or for multiple courses.

For more information, see Create and Manage Coupons in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.

Week of 30 May 2016

The jQuery JavaScript library has been updated from version 1.7.2 to version 2.2.0. To support legacy API calls, this update also adds the JQuery Migrate library.

Week of 23 May 2016

This release includes a new process for enabling or disabling the bulk email feature. You now use the Django administration console to change a setting, rather than editing different configuration files.

As a result of this change, the bulk email feature is disabled for any site that is closely following the master version of edx-platform until you manually re-enable it.

For more information, see Enabling the Bulk Email Feature.

Week of 16 May 2016

The Open edX Platform APIs guide has been updated with documentation for the courses API.

Week of 9 May 2016

On 5 May 2016, a change to the courseware_studentmodulehistory database table was released to the edx-platform repository. This change requires a new database configuration and offers an optional data migration. The change affects all Open edX installations that follow master. If you are responsible for maintaining an Open edX instance, including a devstack, fullstack, or production installation, you must prepare for this change before you upgrade to the 5 May 2016 version of master.

Note

No changes are required or supported at this time for Open edX installations that use the Dogwood release.

For information about the change to the courseware_studentmodulehistory database table and the options for completing the required and optional procedures, see Replacing the courseware_studentmodulehistory Table.

Week of 2 May 2016

  • The JavaScript Backbone.js library has been upgraded from version 1.0.0 to version 1.3.2. For more information, see the change log for the Backbone.js library.
  • The ENABLE_JWT_AUTH feature flag has been removed.

Week of 18 April 2016

Settings for Querystring Authentication

You can now choose whether to use querystring authentication for assets served from AWS S3. To disable querystring authentication, you define two new settings. You set AWS_QUERYSTRING_AUTH to False, and then set AWS_S3_CUSTOM_DOMAIN to your S3 domain value. If you disable querystring authentication, the URLs for course assets no longer include the S3 query strings, and are significantly reduced in length.

Updates to Dogwood

The Dogwood.2 patch release is now available. This release includes fixes for several security and installation issues, updates Django to version 1.8.12, and adds a control for discontinuing audit certificates.

For more information, see the Open edX release notes for Dogwood.

Week of 11 April 2016

Badges for Custom Course Events

In addition to offering badges for course completion, Open edX instances can now award badges to learners for customized course events. Examples of course events are: enrolling in a certain number of courses, completing a certain number of courses, or completing a specific list of courses. For more information, see Create Course Event Badges for Your Open edX Instance and Enable or Disable Badges for Your Course.

Deprecated REST APIs

The mobile, course structure, and profile images REST web services are deprecated.

  • Use the /api/courses/v1/courses/ web service instead of the deprecated mobile and course structure web services.
  • Use the /api/user/v1/accounts/ web service instead of the deprecated profile image web service.

For more information about supported and deprecated web services, see Open edX Platform APIs.

Week of 21 March 2016

  • The LMS now supports internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n) of static user interface text in XBlocks. You use the GNU gettext Portable Object (PO) file format to provide translated text strings for an XBlock’s “chrome” or “labels”. For more information, see EdX Learning Management System as an XBlock Runtime in the Open edX XBlock Tutorial.

Week of 14 March 2016

Packaging Change for Dogwood

A patch to Open edX Dogwood was released on 9 March 2016. This patch only corrected a problem in the packaging of the release. If you have already installed Dogwood, there is no need to reinstall it.

CourseTalk for Course Reviews

Installations running the latest version of Open edX can now add the CourseTalk widget to their instances of Open edX. The CourseTalk widget allows learners to post course ratings and reviews that then appear on the course’s About page. When you add the CourseTalk widget to an Open edX instance, the widget is enabled for every course on that instance.

Updates to E-Commerce Checkout

For installations running the latest version of Open edX, this release includes updates to the user interface on the Checkout page that is presented by the the edX e-commerce service. The functionality of this page has not changed, and learners can continue to check out using their credit cards or PayPal.

For more information about the edX e-commerce service, see Adding E-Commerce to the Open edX Platform in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.

Other Changes

Previously, the course About page included an unnecessary heading labeled overview. This release removes the overview heading. (OSPR-1146)

Week of 15 February 2016

  • For sites that are running an Open edX instance, the Dogwood release is now available. Dogwood, the fourth release of the Open edX platform, contains new features for learners, course teams, and developers. For more information, see the Open edX Dogwood Release or this Dogwood blog post on the Open edX portal.
  • The OAuth 2.0 provider library has been updated to version 0.5.0. This update includes support for the client credentials grant.
  • In this release, Ruby has been removed from the edx-platform repository. As a result, the prereqs paver command no longer installs the prerequisite environment for Ruby, and the edxapp user on new instances of Devstack will no longer have rbenv in the search path. However, discussion forums use Ruby, and the forums user continues to have rbenv in the search path.
  • An error that prevented the Django admin GlobalStatusMessage view from displaying a list of status messages has been corrected. ConfigurationModelAdmin.get_readonly_fields now returns coursemessage_set as a field name. (TNL-4048)

Week of 11 January 2016

System administrators can now add custom fields to the registration page for their Open edX instances. Fields can be of different types, including drop-down and text entry. For more information, see Adding Custom Fields to the Registration Page.

16 December 2015

  • A problem that caused the platform name or “All rights reserved” text to render incorrectly for some certificates has been fixed. (OSPR-1011)
  • Several unused and deprecated items have been removed from the edX Platform, including several Django elements. The following list includes some of these items.
    • The first version of open response assessments (ORA 1). Courses that used ORA 1 continue to have access to associated data.
    • The Checklist page previously available from the Studio Tools menu.
    • The FoldIt protein simulator XModule.
    • The Psychometrics Django app.
    • The Licenses Django app.
    • The “legacy” Instructor Dashboard, including a Django admin dashboard for analytics reports, which were available by view from the legacy Instructor Dashboard.

8 December 2015

Initial Version of Comprehensive Theming

This release introduces the initial version of comprehensive theming, which gives sites that are running Open edX the ability to create and use themes to change how their sites look.

Using the comprehensive theming system, Open edX site administrators can change the default branding of the system to present their own brand. Logos, page headers and footers, and other templates and assets that control the way a site looks are now organized into specifically named directories and files that can be replaced easily and without coding changes.

For more information, see Changing the Appearance of Open edX Sites in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.

1 December 2015

TPA Sign In Without Account Activation

Learners who register and sign in to the edX site with valid campus or institutional credentials, or with a Google or Facebook account, are no longer prevented from signing in until after they activate their accounts. They are now able to sign in and enroll in courses even before they follow the activation link that is sent by email. A reminder message now appears on the learner dashboard until account activation takes place.

A learner who enters an incorrect email address, and who therefore does not receive the activation email message, can correct the email address by selecting the menu next to his username, and then selecting Account.

Command Change for SAML Testing

The recent edX platform upgrade to Django 1.8 required a change to the management command used when installation:testing an enabled SAML identity provider. This command now uses the syntax lms saml --pull instead of lms saml pull.

Upgrade to Django 1.8.7

As a follow up to the upgrade of the edX platform to Django 1.8.5, this release upgrades the edX platform to Django 1.8.7.

For more information, see the Django release notes for 1.8.6 and 1.8.7.

17 November 2015

EdX has just completed an upgrade from Django 1.4 to Django 1.8.

Django 1.8 Upgrade

This upgrade includes the following changes as well as several additional changes. For more information, see the Django 1.8 Upgrade Release Notes page on the edX wiki or the Django 1.8 pull request in GitHub.

Transactions

  • For Django 1.8, edX recommends that you use the transaction.atomic decorator to start transactions for the code. For more information, see the Database Transactions page on the Django website.

  • The commit_on_success decorator is no longer available. You can use the new outer_atomic decorator instead.

  • To avoid exceptions when you create models, edX recommends that you use the following pattern.

    if need_to_create_model:
       try:
           with transaction.atomic():
               MyFancyModel.create(**kwargs)
       except IntegrityError:
           # Model has already been created.
           log.warning("Something...")
    

Pip

  • The egg_name value in each GitHub-based requirements.txt line must match the name value in the setup.py file of the repository.
  • To avoid errors, you must always specify a version number in a URL-based requirements file line.
  • New dependencies should use the “editable” (-e) prefix only when necessary.

Model Migrations

  • All Django Python South schema migrations have been incorporated into each initial “0001” Django schema migration.
  • Data migrations that seed data are now idempotent. All other data migrations have been discarded.

Model Meta Classes

  • The app_label attribute has been added to several different models. For more information, see app_label on the Django website.

More Information

To view the release notes for Django versions 1.5—1.8, see the following resources.

27 October 2015

  • On the dashboard for custom courses on the edX platform (CCX), the Download student grades option on the Student Admin pages caused the learner grade information to appear in the browser instead of creating a .csv file. This problem has been fixed.

  • The configuration process for transmitting event data to Segment has been updated. You now add a single key:value pair to the lms.auth.json file, SEGMENT_KEY and your valid Segment API key. If you previously configured the SEGMENT_IO_LMS feature flag and the SEGMENT_IO_LMS_KEY key in the lms.auth.json file, you must replace these settings.

    For more information, see Analytics.

16 September 2015

Developers who are interested in extending Open edX Insights can now set up a separate development environment, the Open edX Analytics Developer stack, to support analytics development. This environment, known as the Analytics Devstack, includes the edX Analytics Data API and Open edX Insights, as well as all of the components needed to run the Open edX Analytics Pipeline.

For more information, see Installing Open edX Analytics Devstack in the Installing, Configuring, and Running the Open edX Platform guide.

9 September 2015

When you install the Open edX developer stack, the search feature is now enabled by default. For more information about how you can configure this feature, see Enabling Open edX Search. For more information about how learners can use this feature, see Searching the Course.

Note

The search feature is not currently available on edx.org or Edge.

19 August 2015

For sites that are running an Open edX instance, Cypress is now available. Cypress, the third release of the Open edX platform, contains new features for learners, course teams, and developers. For more information, see the Open edX Cypress Release.

22 April 2015

  • Two response fields (course_start and course_end) were added to the course enrollment API. (ECOM-1411)
  • The course enrollment API now returns an absolute URL in the user_message_URL field. Previously, only the path was returned, which could result in errors. (ECOM-1430)

5 March 2015

The Open edX portal has launched! The portal offers the Open edX community a one-stop destination for all publicly available edX content, from blogs and webinars to technical documentation and our product features roadmap. We hope you’ll check it out!

All users can view content on the Open edX portal. Members of the edX Partners community can access additional content on the edX Partner portal.

2 March 2015

Accessibility Enhancements

In the course About pages, <fieldset> elements now have <legend> elements for screen readers. (TNL-1371)

23 February 2015

In implementations that have the ENABLE_COSMETIC_PRICE setting and the shopping cart enabled, an error caused free courses to be added to the shopping cart with a cost of $0.00. This issue is now resolved. (OSPR-396)

28 January 2015

As part of an accelerating effort to better support Open edX and packaged releases, we have moved the source files for the Open edX Developer’s Guide from the edx-platform repository to the edX- documentation repository.