The Mahara was designed to be a fully featured open source electronic portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking system, connecting users and creating online communities.
Mahara is designed to provide users with the tools to demonstrate their life-long learning, skills and development over time to selected audiences.
Meaning ‘think’ or ‘thought’ in Te Reo M�ori, the name reflects the project’s dedication to creating a user-centred life-long learning and development application as well as the belief that technology solutions cannot be developed outside the considerations of pedagogy and policy.
ePortfolio owners create Views using a 4 step process and Views have the following features:
· ePortfolio owners can receive public or private feedback on their View and Artefacts within that View.
· Users accessing a View can report any objectionable material directly to the Site Administrator.
· Users can add Views and Artefacts within a View to their Watchlist and receive automated notifications of any changes or updates.
· ePortfolio owners can Submit a View for Assessment by a tutor or teacher allowing for a snapshot of the View and associated Artefacts on a certain date.
Other Features of Mahara
· File Repository
Mahara includes a file repository which allows users to:
Create folder and sub folders structures
Upload multiple files quickly and efficiently
Give each file a Name and Description
Manage their file allocation Quota
When uploading a file users must agree to a configurable Copyright disclaimer.
A comprehensive blogging tool is provided in Mahara, where blogs and blog postings are considered Artefacts and may be added to a View.
The blogging tool allows users to:
Create blog posts using a WYSIWYG editor
Attach files to posts
Embed images into postings
Configure whether or not Comments may be received on their blog
Create draft postings for later publishing
· Social Networking
Mahara provides a social networking facility where users can create and maintain a list of Friends within the system. ePortfolio owners choose whether other users can add them to their Friends list automatically or by request and approval.
An ePortfolio owner’s Friends lists shows those Views to which they have been assigned access.
· Resume Builder
Mahara includes a r�sum� builder which allows users to create digital CV’s by entering information into a variety of optional fields including:
Contact and personal information
Employment and education history
Certifications, accreditations and awards
Books and publications, professional memberships
Personal, academic and work skills and
Personal, academic and career goals
· Profile Information
Within Mahara users are able to share details through a variety of optional profile information fields including:
Postal address and contact phone numbers
Skype, MSN, Yahoo & Yabber name
Profile Icons images
All Artefacts have metadata which includes:
Date of creation
Date of last modification
File size or number of posts (blogs)
Mahara also provides user defined, searchable tags on all Artefacts.
Administrators are able to customise Mahara via a number of configuration settings which include:
Language packages and themes
Session and account lifetimes
Core page editor
Main Menu editor
In addition with the Modular plugin structure of Mahara, Artefact types may be configured, disabled or enabled, according to the organisation’s requirements.
· Interface with Moodle
Mahara provides a single-sign on capability that allows users, at the option of the administrator, to be automatically logged in to both their Mahara and Moodle accounts by providing a username and password at only one of these sites.
The user can sign on at Mahara, and click on a link to her Moodle account, or sign on at Moodle, and click on a link to her Mahara account.
The single-sign-on feature runs over an encrypted transport, and the user’s passwords do not have to be shared between sites.
Mahara has been designed as a web application with a plug-in architecture. This means it is possible to scale the application up by separating hardware for search, database, file storage and web servers.
It is also possible to replicate each of these operational components to further scale the system upwards. In addition Mahara is designed to:
· be load balanced across several web servers
· have a share file data from a centralised file server
· and have a separate database server.
· This hosting set-up has proven scalability for similar systems like Moodle.
Mahara automatically detects system settings that a pose security threat.
Session key handling code has been tightly integrated with the core form/request APIs.
Provides database abstraction that prevents any database injection attacks and input validation that prevents script injection attacks.
User authentication can be tied to external systems such as student management systems or other databases such as their Student ID number.
Mahara is built using PHP web scripting language and leverages PHP5’s OO features.
All plug-ins follow a consistent structure and inherit from a common base class (core functions of plug-ins are implemented once)
Mahara currently supports plug-ins for Artefacts, Authentication and Search. Therefore interoperating with an existing product simply requires the development of a plug-in.
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â€¢ a web site dedicated to providing an electronic portfolio
â€¢ a blogging platform to track and publish work
â€¢ a CRM system for managing contacts, events, interactions and journeys
â€¢ a social networking tool to monitor feedback and communicate in a networked environment
â€¢ a content management system to manage users and their views
â€¢ a mentor management system to manage mentors and mentees
â€¢ a file repository to upload, share and retrieve files
Mahara is programmed to run on a variety of operating systems including:
â€¢ Windows (both 32bit and 64bit)
â€¢ Mac OSX
Mahara is designed to work with heterogeneous computing environments. It has been tested on a variety of operating systems including a variety of web servers (Davax, Litespeed, Xerra etc.) as well as file servers (NFS, CIFS etc.).
Mahara has been tested to work in a variety of different web browsers and over a range of broadband connections.
Mahara is available as:
â€¢ A downloadable application
â€¢ A series of online self-managed web applications (offline)
â€¢ A live version on Internet hosting sites, including:
â€¢ A series of stand alone Mahara Apps
â€¢ A Modular plugin based structure, with plug-ins for authentication, Artefacts, Blogs, Metadata, Resume, Social Networking and search
â€¢ Allows multiple systems to work with a single Mahara installation.
Status & Further Development
Mahara is in the final stages of completion and is currently free. We plan to continue development to make it a best-in-class, open source, flexible, ePortfolio system.
In project management, the concept of an integrated development strategy is the first level of decomposition.
A user story is the second level of decomposition. That is to say, the user story is a small atomic function or software artifact. User stories are used in agile methodologies such as scrum. In agile development, user stories are the version of a feature or a user story is a technical version of a user story.
We use DFD in our agile
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Mahara is an open source system which allows users to create ePortfolios and digital CV’s. It provides a feature rich yet user-friendly experience and bridges the gap between electronic portfolios and traditional paper-based solutions. Mahara aims to create a tool and mechanism for its users to showcase who they are, what they have learnt and what they want to achieve.
Teachers can use Mahara as an assessor tool for their students, providing a safe audit-like experience with built-in assessment, reports and error messages.
A user’s local configuration is saved within their Profile and stored in Mahara’s secure database servers and therefore can not be lost or removed. All user information including feedback, comments, grades etc are also stored within the same location and therefore not susceptible to removal from the system by rogue administrators or hackers.
Mahara and its plug-ins are under continuous development by a volunteer community of users and developers. By contributing to the development and maintenance of Mahara you can help ensure the system will continue to evolve.
Development Status and Version Control
The development of Mahara is a volunteer community-based project. Developers have the ability to comment, as well as their own blog and they also have the ability to create a patch to contribute a feature or fix a bug.
The Mahara development team meets for a conference call every four weeks to discuss any issues, progress and new features with the Mahara community. Issues are registered on issues.mahara.org and worked through in a transparent manner.
The current development status of Mahara is:
Views – Released 2.0.0
Status: Public Beta
Status: Public Beta
Status: Public Beta
Reporting an issue
Mahara is built using PHPo v0.12 and therefore users must ensure that PHP’s php.ini configuration file is up-to-date.
If you would like to report a bug or discuss
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A scaleable, open-source e-portfolio
Would be a good choice if you want to keep yourself posted on all the e-portfolio systems out there
** Bug bounty program – Introduction **
Kickstarter is just a big business. Kickstarter is just a huge business. We want to create a more sustainable way of creating the future.
The **bug bounty** program is to get the bugs fixed and flagged up to the development team. A team of 2 or 3 people can also use this bounty program to fix a bug and then inform us. This will be accepted after sometime and maybe paid, as the company can afford to pay for some bounties.
This is a revenue stream for us – we can create some credits and use those credits on new features and bug fixes.
How it works:
We need at least 5 credits to be able to start a bounty (3 for the developers and 2 for someone else to help us) – we are currently at 21 credits.
So we have to process the credits, get the bug reports (if any) and then go out and re-create that so people don’t exploit it. We do not plan to sell the credits – they just exist as a program.
In order to get the credits we will need people to create a ticket on our project management system – (This is also our online community management portal so you will need to be able to get an account there!)
We are not using the platform – just making sure it works!
If you get a bounty, you’ll get your credits in your account after 24 hours of notifying us.
If you get a 100% fixed ticket, we’ll get the bug report through the ticket management system.
If you get a bug report through the ticket management system, you’ll get your credits in your account after 48 hours of providing the info through the ticket management system.
If you get a bug report and then don’t care about your credits, no problem – we’ll only take a small fee for each bug. We are still figuring out how much it’ll cost.
** What we’re doing **
What’s New in the Mahara?
This is the Mahara Technology and Training section
Sharing with You
In order to develop and test Mahara we’d like to show you how it works, and the issues you can encounter. In this instance we will be focusing on the ‘Search’ plug-in, but a similar process is followed for all plug-ins.
Before you start developing you must select whether or not the development environment will be incorporated with your site. This depends on whether you will be developing in Moodle’s plugins directory or in your local directory.
To begin developing you must register an account with Google, to complete this step you will need to:
· generate a moodle.com account.
· copy/paste your moodle.com account username and password into your localhost’s authentication/user manager for moodle.
On behalf of the Google Theme, we’d like to take the chance to wish you many productive and successful learning years ahead.
Installing and Adding a plug-in
Once you have logged into Moodle, your next step is to save an instance of your site. This will provide a template for developing new Artefacts.
You will be prompted to save your site when you login. To do so select ‘Site’ from the File Manager and click on ‘Save Site As’ and save this file to your filesystem.
Development with a local copy of a Mahara plugin is very similar, however you must be the site owner and cannot login as the administrator in Moodle.
Create a new folder within the plugins directory (or copy/paste it) and copy/paste your localcopy of the Mahara_search_plugin.php file from the Moodle_components directory into this new directory. This will create a new plug-in for your site.
Remember to rename the directory name from the example to something more descriptive.
That’s it, you have now installed a plug-in to your site.
Booting the Searcher
The bootloader for the Searcher loads from your plug-in’s main class, classes and files after your site is successfully saved.
You must ensure that the SearchService and my_local_class files are loading before the class file is registered.
The SearchService is automatically bundled into your plug-in and should be registered by your bootloader.
Included in the bootloader will be a check that the SearchService file exists before registering the local class file.
Registering the Search Service
The Bootloader does
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Minimum Processor: Intel® Pentium® D Processor
Minimum RAM: 2GB
Video Memory: 1024 MB
Minimum Disk Space: 800 MB
Recommended RAM: 2GB
Recommended Hard Disk Space: 1GB
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Spore is a digital life simulation game where you can grow and evolve an entire universe of creatures. Grow your own species to design a world and its many inhabitants. Then create your own species to grow and