[Xerte-dev] Re: page type tweaks & possibly new page types for Maths project...

Kemp Johnathan johnathan.kemp at ntlworld.com
Wed Mar 20 09:35:29 GMT 2013

 don't have any experience of altering page type functionality or adding
page types to the wizard but if someone else can do that (or point me in
the general direction of how to)

In XOT and pageTemplates type projects there is a single xwd file that
contains the details for the wizard forms for all the available pages.

In Xerte each page type has its own xwd file to define the wizard form for
that page type. Tom wrote a script that builds the single xwd file that XOT
uses from the individual page xwds.

So part of the process of adding a new page type is to create an xwd file
for that page. You can find all the individual xwd files in the xerte svn
in the

runtime / pages / wizards / en-GB folder

or in a Xerte install in the xerte installation folder \ pages \ wizards \
en-GB folder.

If you open up a few of the xwd files you will soon see how they relate to
the wizard forms that they create and to the xerte / XOT menu system.

Before modularisation Xerte did not have individual page templates so there
was no problem with several pages having an element with the same name e.g.
the mcq page and the quiz page both have an <option> element - see the
newNodes section for each of these page types. In the XOT xwd file the
option element is defined once for all page types that use it. However in
the individual page xwds the option element is defined in each xwd file
that uses it. So it was important at the time to make sure that each
individual page xwd that had an option element defined it with the same

This is a legacy thing. For new page types it is better to ensure that all
the elements they use are unique to that page type. This will avoid any
risk of having the same element name used in two different page xwds but
defined with different attributes in each page type. This would work fine
in Xerte but could cause problems once the individual xwds are combined
into a single xwd for use in XOT.

Incidentally whilst you want to keep element names unique, it is OK for the
attribute names to duplicate. If you compare the xwd files mcq.xwd and
cMcq.xwd (The multiple choice question wizard and the multiple choice
question connector page wizard) you will get a feel for what I am saying
here. I built the multiple choice connector page off the multiple choice

If you want to add new attributes to an existing page you have to be

Each page at the start of the xwd file has a newNodes section that is used
to build the initial xml data for the page.. There needs to be an entry in
this for each attribute of the element that is not optional. If you add a
new non-optional element to an existing page, then I believe that this can
cause problems for XOT projects that have used this page before the new
element was introduced, as their xml data will be missing this attribute.
The safest way to add new attributes to an existing page definition is to
make them optional, as this will avoid the above issue.

Its the HTML5 / jQuery stuff I am trying to get up to speed on. But if I
can help you to get your head around the xwd side of things please ask away

Kind regards


On 18 March 2013 12:07, Smith, John <J.J.Smith at gcu.ac.uk> wrote:

> Hi Ron
> Sorry meant to respond earlier - don't have any experience of altering
> page type functionality or adding page types to the wizard but if someone
> else can do that (or point me in the general direction of how to) then I'll
> be happy to work on the html side of it... Id rather know how to do the
> full thing though as we have some ideas for page types also...
> As far as adding options to the wizard then i was going to ask the same
> question - i was assuming that as long as it doesn't break old LOs then it
> would be ok??
> Regards
> John Smith
> Learning Technologist
> School of Health and Life Sciences
> Sent from Samsung Galaxy SII
> Ron Mitchell <ronm at mitchellmedia.co.uk> wrote:
> Hi all
> my messages seem to be taking an age to get through to this list again not
> sure why but anyway I'm hoping this gets through relatively quickly...
> On behalf of JISC Techdis I've recently been supporting a Maths project
> and those involved have been testing if XOT is suitable for what they want
> to achieve. There is a mix of experience amongst the group but no real
> developer skills etc
> Prior to going on holiday last week I sent them some possible solutions to
> interactions they were trying to achieve most of which involve wishing to
> drag images to images etc I showed them how/where they could add img src
> etc to load images where the page type only has text options but obviously
> this is not ideal and doesn't fully suit their needs. Here's some examples
> of this:
> possible drag and drop solutions
> http://vle.jisctechdis.ac.uk/xerte/play_html5_221
> Patterns
> http://vle.jisctechdis.ac.uk/xerte/play_html5_237
> Timings
> http://vle.jisctechdis.ac.uk/xerte/play_html5_241
> The more recent example I received from them was the need for a coin
> interaction attached and in advance of a f2f meeting yesterday I created a
> quick demo of this via Xerte and uploaded as an rlm to xot:
> coins interaction
> http://vle.jisctechdis.ac.uk/xerte/play_262
> Obviously that's Flash only, isn't a page type, isn't editable in xot etc
> which brings me to the real point of this message:
> The result of the f2f meeting yesterday is that they ideally want some
> additional functionality developed and I think this is likely to fall into
> two categories:
> 1. Adding additional options for adding images to existing page types e.g.
> those that involve dragging and dropping
> 2. Creating 1 or more new page types tat allow creation of interactions
> similar to the coins example
> The end results must work via HTML 5 if not both Flash and HTML 5
> I've said that I would discuss all this via the dev list first of all to
> see what you think about changes to existing page types and also new page
> types and just as importantly to check if any or all are interested in
> working on this?
> This isn't the first time the wish for drag and drop image to image etc
> has cropped up and could result in additions to benefit all. BUT they need
> to have developed and tested pilot content by June so it's a very short
> timescale and although I'm involved I don't think I have the time or skills
> to help them with this without extra help. They will pay for development
> but the first step is to identify if anyone is interested in helping with
> this and then at some point we will need to estimate time and costs etc.
> What are your thoughts?
> First point relevant to us all is would we agree to include additions to
> current page types or new page types when there isn't yet parity between
> existing Flash and HTML 5 etc? It's a non-starter if we don't.
> Second point who's willing and able to help?
> Contact me on or off list if you are interested.
> Cheers
> Ron
> Glasgow Caledonian University is a registered Scottish charity, number
> SC021474
> Winner: Times Higher Education’s Widening Participation Initiative of the
> Year 2009 and Herald Society’s Education Initiative of the Year 2009.
> http://www.gcu.ac.uk/newsevents/news/bycategory/theuniversity/1/name,6219,en.html
> Winner: Times Higher Education’s Outstanding Support for Early Career
> Researchers of the Year 2010, GCU as a lead with Universities Scotland
> partners.
> http://www.gcu.ac.uk/newsevents/news/bycategory/theuniversity/1/name,15691,en.html
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