## WeBWorK News

### Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Nathan Wallach -
Number of replies: 16
The release team is working on finalizing the release of WW 2.15.

The preliminary code is in the WeBWorK 2.15 branch (there is also a 2.15 branch of PG). See: https://github.com/openwebwork/webwork2/pull/948

There are still some "small" changes planned, but the core features are all essentially frozen, except for some remaining PRs under review to polish things off.

The big changes are:
1. UTF-8 / internationalization support (several production sites have been using the current code or earlier versions already),
2. Support for use of MathQuill as an alternative to MathView and WirisEditor as a math input and preview tool.
People are invited to test out WW 2.15 using Docker or a non-production server and to contribute to the pre-release testing in the coming few weeks.
• Testers should pay attention to the setting of $ENABLE_UTF8MB4 in site.conf (see site.conf.dist). • We recommend it be set to 1 (on) unless you are testing outside Docker on a system with an old mysql which does not support utf8mb4. • Testing on a system with existing course database tables will require upgrading the tables (admin tables with the bin/upgrade_admin_db.pl script and courses using the admin interface). Users of foreign languages are encouraged to help create a hard-copy theme for their language with the appropriate LaTeX headers for their language using either pdflatex + babel and/or xelatex + polyglossia. (Including a note about fonts needed and how to install them, both in the hard-copy theme file and in the pull request would be helpful.) Moving a production site to WW 2.15 will require database table updates, and more "small" DB changes are under consideration to head off that requirement for WW 2.16, if possible. So, upgrading production sites before the formal release may require upgrading your tables again. Patience is recommended for production servers, especially on a server with many courses. In reply to Nathan Wallach ### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful by Sean Fitzpatrick - One note so far: I was already on the 2.15 branch, and pulled today to update. The MathQuill commit meant I had to upgrade databases; no problem there. Doing apachectl --graceful threw an error though: Email::Address::XS is now required. Installing that via CPAN has me back up and running. OK, one more note: 2.15 introduces a bug for PreTeXt users: the change from 0x85 to 0x1F in pg/lib/Value/String.pm for \verb delimiters breaks WeBWorK compilation, since 0x1F is not a valid XML character. No problem, just change it back. I think Alex will be able to come up with a workaround on the PreTeXt side. (We recently determined that the set of characters that (a) won't cause problems with UTF-8, (b) are valid in XML, and (c) are unlikely to be typed as an answer, is the empty set.) In reply to Sean Fitzpatrick ### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful by Sean Fitzpatrick - Wondering if I'm missing something with the MathQuill support. I've updated webwork2 and pg, and I've merged updates in all the conf files in webwork2/conf. In localOverrides.conf I set the line enabling MathView to 0, and the line for MathQuill to 1. However, I'm not able to see this editor. And switching back to MathView didn't enable it again. (I also notice that the option to turn the equation editor on/off no longer appears in User Settings.) So there must be some other conf file that I'm missing, or I've done something wrong. In reply to Sean Fitzpatrick ### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful by Michael Gage - Did you check the options in the Course Configuration page? There should be options there to turn on or off MathQuill or MathView. (don't use them both at the same time.) In reply to Michael Gage ### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful by Sean Fitzpatrick - I didn't. That was the first thing I checked, but I was looking for the wrong thing. Looking more carefully now, I realize that this is under "Assist the student with the answer entry process." (It's a drop-down, so I can't select both. I remember that's a thing I was able to do once in the past with bad results.) I was looking for equation editor or something like that. However, with$options{PGMathQuill} = 1; set in localOverrides.conf and MathQuill selected from the drop-down in Course Configuration, there still is no equation editor that I can see. Same is true if I go back to MathView.

The only place I see an equation editor is in the Edit 3 for editing a problem. There, I can see a little pencil icon that produces an equation editor.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Sean Fitzpatrick -
Ahh, that's because the setting in localOverrides turns on the MathView or MathQuill for the editor, not for students!
MathQuill does not seem to work there, despite being given as an option. MathView works though.

I'm still not able to get either one to show up in a problem after turning it on in course configuration.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Andrew Parker -
There is no need to edit localOverrides.conf in the process of activating MathQuill.

The MathQuill feature is enabled by selecting "MathQuill" in the dropdown menu under Course Config -> PG Options -> "Assist with student answer entry"

The MathQuill feature will change the way answer entry boxes appear, and as you type content into them, the math will be rendered as you type it. (e.g. try typing "sqrt 6" or a fraction)

Can you confirm that you've:
1. turned on MathQuill under Course Configuration/PG Options,
2. removed any references to MathQuill from localOverrides.conf,
3. visited a problem page with an entry blank, and
4. entered a math expression?

Did you experience any unexpected behavior through these steps?

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Sean Fitzpatrick -
It works now.
Apparently enough changed in the last couple of commits to the 2.15 branch that restarting Apache after pulling was not enough.
Rebooting the whole machine got everything working again.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Sean Fitzpatrick -
I've come across a bug (or rather, a student did) using MathQuill when there are units involved.
It seems MathQuill is overzealous when it comes to inserting parentheses.

Among the orientation problems is a question asking for the area of a 4ft by 5ft rectangle.

With MathQuill off, you can type 20ft^2 and all is well. With it on, this becomes 20(ft)^(2) and WeBWorK gives the message "this doesn't look like a number with units".

Adding a space before the unit gives MathQuill input of 20 ft^(2) and the same error message.

Maybe there needs to be an update to allow parentheses for units? That seems like an easier fix than changing MathQuill.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Glenn Rice -
In order to enter units, you need to use the Text (Tt) button on the toolbar (or just type " to enter a text block). Type the number 20, then the text button, and then type ft^2 and it will parse correctly.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Sean Fitzpatrick -
Ah, I see that now.
But I didn't at first, and neither did my students.
It seems like this makes answer entry more complicated, even if it looks prettier.
(In five years of running WeBWorK for a couple hundred students per semester and no equation editor help I've had maybe a handful of students contact me for help entering something. With MathQuill I've had several support calls one week into term, which suggests I might want to turn it off.)

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Glenn Rice -
That is why it is optional for the course. You will have to decide what is best for your course.

Andrew Parker and I have been using the MathQuill answer boxes in some of our courses, and have seen the opposite. Our students have found answer entry more natural with the MathQuill answer boxes.

What works best may largely depend on the type of problems utilized. If you have problems that expect units, you will probably need to teach students how to enter them, or not use MathQuill. The same is probably true if you use set builder problems. I am sure there are some other cases of this sort of thing as well.

In time we will probably make more adaptations to the implementation of the MathQuill answer boxes to hopefully make some of these things more natural.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Sean Fitzpatrick -
One other minor quirk with MathQuill: it breaks expected behaviour for scaffolded (multi-part) problems.
If a problem has parts A, B, C, D, a student needs to answer A before getting to B, and so on. But they shouldn't click submit for A -- they should just hit Enter, and if it's right, they move on.

The problem is that hitting Enter is a shortcut for Preview My Answer, and since MathQuill is already previewing for you, hitting Enter is disabled.

You can still scroll down to the bottom to find the Preview My Answer button and click that to move on to the next part, but it means that instructions for existing scaffolded problems need to be rewritten to no longer recommend hitting Enter. Otherwise the problem just appears to be broken for students.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Glenn Rice -
Technically the reason that the enter button does not work is not because it is disabled as a result of the MathQuill answer box already previewing for you. In fact the enter button working in the first place is a built in feature of html forms. If the enter button is pressed inside a text input of an html form then the first submit button of the form is triggered. In this case the first submit button is the Preview Answers button. The thing is that a MathQuill answer box is not a text input of the form. It isn't part of the form at all, and is implemented using JavaScript, and so the enter button does not trigger the first submit button. It would be possible to add an event handler that does trigger Preview Answers button when enter is pressed.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Andrew Parker -

This would be desirable, as I have many scaffolded problems - and students are incentivized (via the achievements feature) to minimize their number of incorrect attempts. Having the enter key function as "preview answers" serves to advance scaffolded problems without incrementing the number of incorrect attempts.

### Re: Release of WW 2.15 approaching - additional pre-release testing would be helpful

by Thomas Wong -
Hi,

The IT team at my institution are interested in upgrading to 2.15 (from 2.14).

I am wondering if there are any documentation about the upgrade process that I can direct them to?

So far, I have managed to locate: http://webwork.maa.org/wiki/Release_notes_for_WeBWorK_2.15#.Xd2uRuj7RPY