A Mahara blocktype that adds a helpful animated helper to your portfolio pages
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A Mahara blocktype that adds a helpful animated helper to your portfolio pages.


Coming out of the 2014 NZ Mahara Hui, one of the main things I heard from Mahara's users was concerns about usability. They wanted Mahara to be easier to learn, and more fun to use, especially for kids.

So, I checked up on what the kids are into these days. And it seems like they like brightly colored, irreverent animated characters. I looked around and found the great Clippy.js library provides exactly that functionality.

And now I've brought it to Mahara! You're welcome!


Mahara 1.9

Just drag it into the blocktype directory like any other block plugin.

Mahara 1.8

In addition to dragging it into the blocktype directory, you'll need to add this to your config.php to preload the required CSS stylesheet:

$cfg->additionalhtmlhead = "<link rel=\"stylesheet\" type=\"text/css\" href=\"{$cfg->wwwroot}blocktype/clippy/theme/raw/static/style/style.css\" media=\"all\">";
Mahara 1.7 and earlier

You'll need to find some other way to put the required CSS stylesheet into the page header. Maybe customizing your theme? Or copy the contents of clippy's style.css into the theme's master style.css. The possibilities are endless!


Just add a Clippy block to one of the pages in your Portfolio, and select the animated helper you want. They'll appear and provide you with helpful advice while you're working on that page. They'll also provide helpful advice to visitors to your page.


Q: Can I make the helper agent appear on every page, instead of just specific portfolio pages?

A: Nope! I mean, you could, but not with this plugin! You'd need to make Clippy into a sideblock, and that's not an installable plugin type just yet. Alternately, in Mahara 1.8 or later you could probably write Clippy into the $cfg->additionalhtmlhead setting.

Q: Is this for real?

A: It is a real, fully functional Mahara plugin that adds an animated paper clip to your portfolio pages, yes.

Q: How much time did this take?

A: A couple of hours on a weekend. It was a labor of love.

Q: What font works best with Clippy?

A: My usability experts recommend Comic Sans.

Q: What day is today?

A: It's April 1, 2014. Does that date have some kind of significance?

License & Copyright

Copyright (C) 2014 Aaron Wells

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, version 3 or later of the License.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

THE ABOVE LICENSE IS FOR THE PROGRAM CODE IN THIS PLUGIN ONLY All Microsoft agents, including agent names, the Clippy brand and all resources are the property of Microsoft and their respective owners.