The name is strange but it’s still the same good old browser we know: Mozilla Firebird’s got a new release and a new name. Mozilla Firefox 0.8 has been released with a bunch of new features and a much more optimized interface. I confess I didn’t like the new name, which was changed because of a series of legal problems over the old name, but I guess I’ll have to get used to it.
Anyway, the new version seems a lot better then the previous one and I’m sure the browser will benefit a lot from having a new name with a clear branding strategy behind it.
Now, go get it!
The long-waited new SCORM version, previously referred to as 1.3 and now renamed to SCORM 2004, was released in the last January 30th. It’s basically what had been promised with a few last-minute changes.
Of all changes, the most significant is the inclusion of the sequencing and navigation models. Those changes were among the most requested by users and will certainly help to improve the quality and flexibility of courses running under any SCORM-compliant LMS.
Sequencing, as the name itself says, is about the behavior of a course; about the way progress is defined on it. Sequencing delineates the requisites and constraints placed on each learning object allowing the course creator to impose a logical order between them so that all users can execute the course in the same consistent way.
Navigation, on the other hand, allows a course to initiate navigation events as they are being executed, in response to user actions. It follows the constraints placed by the course’s sequencing model, however.
Both sequencing and navigation add to the range of run-time options available for SCORM-complaint courses, even though, as remarked in the standard specification itself, they are not full-blown systems, able to provide for all the needs of a course. The specification is meant to create a simple, albeit usable, ways to courses improve on their communication with users.
All other changes in the specification, whether in the run-time environment or in the content model, are merely evolutionary. New elements were added and some others were changed to allow for a better interaction between a course and its SCORM host, but they don’t change the way the standard works. On the other hand, the specification itself was reformulated to clarify some existing doubts about the way some elements and methods in the run-time should be implemented, and that’s a huge benefit by itself.
On the whole, this version was intended to evolve rather than to revolutionize the standard. The standard’s existing flaws are still there, and much of what’s needed to really make it useful at large (at least, in my opinion) are far from being implemented. Nonetheless, this new version at least signals that the standard will continue to go forward, and I hope future versions will bring more significant changes to it.
If you’re seen this entry, you’re seeing this blog in its new server. As far as I know, everything is here. If you experience any problems, please let me know. I believe I didn’t lose any comments, but I’ve wrong before.
Anyway, the new machine feels snappier than the previous one. I hope I won’t run into trouble with my current provider again — at least, not until I move the site to a dedicated server I’m planning to rent together with a couple of friends.