Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Moodle Wall just got better - My Christmas gift to the Moodle community. Merry Christmas!

The Moodle Wall just got better - My Christmas 2014 gift to the Moodle community. Merry Christmas!


The Moodle Wall for Moodle 2.x just got better. Much better. And the best part is that, in the spirit of Christmas and Open Source, I am giving away the prized source code to all Moodle developers and students. For free. You are free to modify the source code as long as you give credit to two persons: Srivinas Tamada of India, and Frankie Kam of Malaysia. And as long as you fulfil a list of requirements from me. More on that list at the end of this post.

For now let me take you on a tour of the FIVE improvements of the Wall.

So what's so great about this version then?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Improving the Moodle Folder resource by making the folder description appear bold

Image from:

This post is about how to make the Moodle 2.7.2's Folder resource more aesthetic. By default, the Moodle Folder resource's description is shown in the same font as the filename contents. This happens when you choose to display a folder's contents as "inline on a course page".

Here's what it looks like.

As you can see there is no font differentiation between the "My Files" folder description and the filenames which are the contents of the folder.

To solve this, you need to do two things:
(1) hack the mod/folder/renderer.php file

In Moodle 2.7.2, remark line 107.
Then add this line below it:

html_writer::tag('span', s($subdir['dirname']), array('class' => 'fp-filename-bold'));

(2) add this piece of CSS to your theme's general.css file.

.fp-filename-bold {font-weight:bold; font-size: 15px;}

Here's the end-result:

Hope you like this hack. If you find this useful, please spread the word. As I type this words, Carlsen-Anand World Chess Championship Match 2014 is taking place in Sochi, India. I am personally rooting for the 'old man' to win the championship, but the youthful model/soccer player may yet retain his World title. Either way it turns out, let's hope for some great battles over the board!

Frankie Kam

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wall for Moodle 2.x has been enhanced with easier Youtube and TED video embeds

Photo by Troy Tolley

I had last blogged about the Moodle Wall here in 2013.  That was a long time ago. I recently decided to update the Wall for Moodle 2.x. So on a rainy day on 12th October 2014, I set out to make it a little bit better. Hope you like the changes that follow.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Chess Engines that play positional moves and speculative sacrifices like Mikhail Tal and Rashid Nezhmetdinov

Mikhail Tal. the famed 'Magician of Riga'.
Soviet-Latvian chess Grandmaster and the eighth World Chess Champion (from 1960 to 1961)(Source:

hess is art. Chess players who make speculative sacrifices are pure artists. Ever wanted to make your chess engine play like Mikhail Tal or Rashid Nezhmetdinov? In this short post, I will show you some commercial chess engines with aggressive personalities that allow you to do just that. I will also introduce to you what I think is the best free chess engine, ever! I'm not talking about a 2014-ish free chess engine. Instead this baby came out in 2004, more than a decade ago! More on it later.

To tell you the truth, this post has nothing to do with Moodle. The only link I can give you between Moodle and chess is that both are educational in nature. Another motive for this post is that I would also like to see Malaysia produce its first chess Grandmaster. One way as I see it is to revive the interest in chess in Malaysia. Chess needs to be made exciting and artistic. A good way for Malaysian juniors is to emulate the play of past chess heroes and to play adventurously, bravely, speculatively, and, dare I say it, Tal-like.

This post is divided into 3 parts. Well, let's get on with it shall we?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Soup up your Moodle Quiz with Javascript, CSS and JQuery magic (Frankie Kam, iMoot 2014, Super Session - South East Asia)

Here's my presentation at iMoot 2014. "How I enhanced the look and feel of the standard Moodle quiz to create a feature-rich quiz by using Javascript, CSS and a dose of JQuery".

Screenshot only.
Image shows the Main Title Screen.

This was my first iMoot. Had a hair-raising peroid when preparing my slides before the start of the online Conference (iMoot). My Moodle site's JQuery refused to work. Praise God, I managed to sort the problem only ten days before my session was due. It was a great experience presenting live to a global audience.

Screenshot only.
Me presenting live. Unplugged. With less hair on the top than Tintin,
and with more 'hair' on the sides than Princess Leia.

Here's my iMoot 2014 Video Presentation. Enjoy!

Many thanks to Wendi Kirwan-Elliott and Vinny Stocker of Pukunui for the invite. My presentation contains a visual joke at page 57. You have been warned. Total pages is 135 (only!). Note: The PowerPoint Presentation was temporarily taken offline, and is now online again. The last page of the presentation contains a Youtube demonstration of the souped up Moodle Quiz. You can view the Youtube video here:

Presented by Frankie Kam at iMoot2014, on 18th May 2014.

The first two slides of the presentation were taken from a science-fiction movie starring Sigourney Weaver. If  you know the movie name, that would betray your age-range. :-)

Keep on Moodlin'
Frankie Kam

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