Release notes for WeBWorK 2.0

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This article has been retained as a historical document. It is not up-to-date and the formatting may be lacking. Use the information herein with caution.


The WeBWorKTeam is pleased to announce the final release of WeBWorK 2.0. After two years of work, WeBWorK 2 is stable and ready for general use. The WeBWorK 1.x series has been end-of-lifed, and we recommend that all users upgrade to WeBWorK 2.

This release includes almost all of the functionality of WeBWorK 1.9, and contains new functionality beyond what it possible with 1.9. New feature since WeBWorK 1.9 include:

  • An improved database system.
    • Problem sets can be manipulated in the abstract without being assigned to students.
    • Sets can be easily assigned and unassigned
    • Problem set defaults are stored once, making it easy to change defaults without distubing values overridden for particular students.
    • Support for both WeBWorK 1.x databases and SQL databases.
  • A more consistent and easier to use user interface.
    • Breadcrumbs show your current location in the system relative to the root.
    • Login message indicates who you are logged in as and who you are acting as.
    • Links bar allows quick access to many featuers of the system.
    • Siblings list allows one-click access to other problems in the same set or other sets in the same course.
  • Look of pages is fully-customizeable look due to HTML template system and CSS support.
  • Global Act As feature allowing instructors to view the system from the point of view of a student.
  • Web-based course administration tools.
    • Create and delete courses.
    • Export course databases to standard XML format, import exported databases.
  • Architectural improvements make it easy to add features to the system.
    • Object-based content generation system enables addition of new components easy.
    • Table-driven virtual heirarchy of system components allows for customization of system URLs.
    • Modular database layer enables support for additional database backends.

New features since PreviewRelease4 include:

  • New display modes: jsMath and ASCIIMathML (DavideCervone).
  • Support for problem library metadata database (JohnJones).
  • Improved Statistics and Student Progress functionality.
  • Improved Apache configuration and CourseEnvironment seeding.
  • Lockdown of authorization system.
  • Behavior of interactive problem processor customizable.
  • Published flag for problem sets.
  • Hmwk Set Editor updated to match UI of Classlist Editor.
  • User interface improvements.
  • Set Maker improvements (JohnJones).
  • dvipng baseline support for equation images (JohnJones).
  • Automatic upgrading of databases from WeBWorK 1.x courses.
  • Improved sorting of problem sets (WilliamWheeler).
  • Enable upload/download/delete problem files.

(Contributiors: please feel free to add anything I've forgotten.)


The complete system is distributed as two tarballs. One for the WeBWorK system itself, and one for the PG system, including a standard set of PG modules and macro files. Files are available on our SourceForge project page:

Installation directly from CVS is also possible. Refer to the InstallationManualV2pt0 for more information.


Documentation on installing and configuring WeBWorK is available in the InstallationManualV2pt0. Instructions on CourseCreation and CourseUpgrade are also available.

Upgrading SQL course databases

The structure of SQL databases changed slightly with this release. As a result, you must modify any SQL course databases that were created with an earlier version of WeBWorK 2. Specifically, you must change the name of the problem_header field to hardcopy_header. If you are using MySQL, you can use the following tiny script:

echo "ALTER TABLE set_not_a_keyword CHANGE COLUMN problem_header hardcopy_header TEXT;" \
"ALTER TABLE set_user CHANGE COLUMN problem_header hardcopy_header TEXT;" |
mysql -u root -p webwork_CourseID

Replace CourseID with the name of the course you want to modify.


If you need help installing or using WeBWorK 2.0, visit the WeBWorK discussion group and post your question there. The developers monitor this forum.

Bug Reports & Feature Requests

Submit bug reports and feature requests at We can't fix bugs and add features if you don't tell us about them!


While we welcome patches of any sort, by patching against the latest CVS code, you save us and yourself time. A bug in this release may be fixed in CVS, and we can more easily handle patches against the latest code. Check out the latest development version from CVS and patch against that. Consult the WeBWorKCVS topic for more information.

-- Main.SamHathaway - 16 Jul 2004