Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Interview with Wayne Mackintosh

Wayne Mackintosh has been interviewed by the Penn State World Campus blog Terra Incognita. Penn State World Campus delivers more than 50 distance education programs to learners around the world, and has been delivering distance education programs for over a century.

Wayne's original vision with eXe was always motivated by a strong desire to provide a tool that could be used in low bandwidth communities, particularly in developing societies, and to enable teachers to author content that could be easily shared and contextualized for different cultural contexts.

As Wayne states in the interview:

"The lack of financial resources, limited infrastructure and exorbitant connectivity costs amplify the resolve of the free software and free content community working in the developing world. For example, the total cost of ownership of free software (which includes the support and maintenance costs) are lower than their non-free equivalents. The implementation of free software solutions promotes growth of local business and local income generation for support services rather than relying on expensive offshore alternatives."
Read the full article, here: Interview with upcoming presenter Wayne Mackintosh

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Inserting YouTube video into eXe

You can now include the HTML code to insert YouTube (or Google) Videos into eXe content. This will display videos from either of these sites inside your content when it is published online.

To insert the code, first locate the video you wish to include and select the embed HTML from the YouTube page.

Then, using any iDevice in eXe select the HTML button from the editing toolbar.

and paste the code you have copied from YouTube into the HTML editing window. Click on the Update button to insert the YouTube code into eXe.

The code that you have inserted does not display in the editing environment but your video will appear in preview mode if you are authoring while online. If you are offline it will only display when exported and put online or inside your favourite LMS. You can still enter text and other formatting around the video, it's just a little tricky to figure out where the video is in relation to your entered text. Looking at the HTML view is an easy way to do some simple formatting to get your video to appear where you would like.

Monday, November 27, 2006

eXe 0.19 released

eXe 0.19 has been released and includes the following features and fixes:
  • MP3 iDevice - you can now embed and play mp3 files from inside eXe with a flash mp3 player.
  • Scorm Quiz has had a some fixes to make it work better with Internet Explorer in Moodle.
  • Safer saving options have been added.
  • Strong emphasis option has been removed.
  • German language improvements.
  • Attachment iDevice opens without first opening a blank window.
There is a nice demo site of some content generated by eXe that shows a lot of the iDevices in action, here:

We are also now using the WikiEducator site for our user manual, which is here:

And I suppose since you're here you've noticed our new web site makeover. We're now using a themed version of the wiki MoinMoin for our site. Oh, and Auckland.Wiki is back up ;-)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hitting the ground running

It's amazing what you achieve with a fresh set of eyes and some different perspectives. Jim and Remo's induction to the project was to be whisked off to Waiheke and shut in a room with the rest of the eXe team to first nut out how critical (or not) a change in architecture might be and then to get their hands really dirty by sifting through the Trac to get a feel for the extent of the work that has to be done and the tasks that will get 1.0 . (I wondered if at this stage they may have been wondering what they'd let themselves in for.) It was hard work (brains left on the floor at the end of the 2 day stint) but I think we achieved a lot and got a feel for the strengths and abilities we have within the team, something that might have taken a little longer to get to grips with if we had not done this exercise. More team bonding was done over fantastic pizza at Cafe de Stefano's on Thursday night and again at a BBQ dinner at Brent and Michelle's on Friday. Hey thanks Michelle!

eXe welcomes two new programmers

The eXe team has greatly expanded its capacity with the recent addition of two new programmers. Jim Tittsler and Remo Williams have joined the team and will be working on eXe from the Gisborne node, located at Tairawhiti Polytechnic in Gisborne. Jim comes to eXe after extended discussions with the existing team on IRC over the last 6 months; he has already contributed the Mac OS X versions of eXe before relocating from Japan. Remo is joining eXe from the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Lab . The welcome addition of two experienced programmers to the project will allow us to streamline and ramp up our releases towards a long awaited 1.0 version of the editor.