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This document summarises the various development processes used in developing Moodle. There are four main processes that overlap.


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The Moodle tracker keeps track of the status of all bug fixes and new features.

We use a workflow that ensures that new code receives multiple reviews by different people before it is included into the core Moodle code.

A number of roles make this work:

Users report bugs and make feature requests directly in the tracker, by creating new issues with a summary and a description.

Developers work on the issues in the tracker to specify solutions and write code that implements these solutions. They will often ask other developers to "peer review" their code in the early stages to avoid problems later on.

While many of the developers work for, a large number are part of the global development community around Moodle. If you're interested in becoming a recognised developer, see Tracker groups and permissions .

CiBoT is not a person but a bot who monitors the tracker and performs the Automated code review when issue is submitted for Peer review or when developer added cime label.

Component leads are developers with some responsibility for particular components (plugins or modules) in Moodle. They have authority to decide that a particular fix is suitable and complete enough to be considered for integration in Moodle core and should be called upon to complete peer reviews for code in their components. Note that, apart from that, every component also has some HQ Component leads that will specifically work on associated issues, triaging, monitoring, reviewing, fixing them.

On Monday and Tuesday of each week, the integration team (a small team of senior developers employed by Moodle HQ) conducts a code-level review of all issues in the integration queue. This is often called the "pull" process. If the fix is judged appropriate they will integrate the code into our git integration repository for further testing and it gets added to the testing queue.

If they find problems they reject the issue and send it back to the developer for further work.

On Wednesday each week, testers look at all the issues in the testing queue, trying each fix and feature to make sure that it does actually fix the problem it was supposed to, and that there are no regressions.

If they find problems they reject the issue and integrators may remove it from the integration repository and push it back to the developer for further work.

See Testing of integrated issues for more details.

But bias and poor observation skills are things that we can eliminate or improve. Sherlock’s real secret is that he isn’t stingy with his cognitive economy.

In the 1980s, social science researchers looking to quantify the way we communicate came up with a theory of information processing, or a theory about how much effort we spend on understanding information and how that information sticks with us. The “Heuristic-Systematic Model,” developed by psychologist Shelly Chaiken, was one dominant theory in this field, and it split our thinking in two . One way of thinking, so the model said, is heuristic –a quick and dirty approach to processing information. Heuristic thinking uses rules and cues to make snap judgments, and therefore doesn’t take much mental effort. When you are cooking, for example, you don’t need to perform a microscopic analysis of green, foul-smelling meat to see if it is full of bacteria, the smell is enough. That is a heuristic judgement.

The other style of thinking, systematic , requires much more time and mental energy, but it also is a much deeper analysis and forms longer lasting beliefs. Nobody uses one style exclusively, but we do happen to prefer the easier of the two. We are all cognitive misers. Our brains do not expend mental resources thoroughly examining problems when snap judgments will do. But Sherlock is no such cerebral Scrooge. He seems to have an incredible capacity to think deeply about everything, resources be damned.

Of course, trying to think systematically about everything all the time comes with drawbacks. If you stopped to consider every possible permutation of what you could have for breakfast, you would be paralyzed with analysis. Sherlock appears to avoid this, but he does suffer from long bouts of depression/boredom, regularly drives away almost everyone that is close to him, and is unable to perform simple tasks by himself.

Despite the flaws, we want to think like Sherlock Holmes, we want to be a superhero of the mind. Why? Why has Holmes endured for so long in the public’s own thinking? Why can everyone, not just the nerdy, embrace the movies and TV shows that feature the detective? I think it’s because Sherlock Holmes is the most realistic superhero of them all.

It takes a lot of assumptions, suspensions of reality, and magic to make most superheroes work. Some of their creators have done better jobs than others. Thor–and the mechanics that drive his flight– is surprisingly plausible ; so is the way a dragon from The Hobbit could breathe fire . But heroes like Thor or even Superman are still magical. That’s why for a long time (until I wrote this post actually) my favorite superhero was Iron Man. Tony Stark–the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist–doesn’t have a magical hammer or the ability to turn sunlight into laser-eyes. He is simply an amazing engineer and scientist. He discovered new sources of energy and put them to work. His suit, the very thing that makes him “super,” is a product of blood, sweat, and martinis, not magic. Through sheer brilliance, Stark can save the world. But you will never be Tony Stark, you will never build a Mark V suit, and that’s the problem.

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