Release of VPL 3.0

The development team of Virtual Programming Laboratory (VPL) is proud to present the 3.0 version of this module for Moodle. This version involves significant changes centered on removing the dependence of the Java applet technology and the replacement of the network architecture.

News and improvements in version 3.0

  • The editor and console based on Java applet has been replaced by software that uses JavaScriipt, Ajax, HTML5 and WebSocket
  • The new editor supports syntax highlighting for many languages.
  • Use graphical environment for executing Java and C# applications that require it.
  • Can be used directories on the required files, execution files or the files submitted by students
  • Now ddd is the default debugger for C, C++ and Java.
  • Has been removed the need to open ports on the Moodle server, allowing to use the VPL module without changes on the host system.
  • The new system supports clusters of servers without any special configuration.
  • The control of the execution is now asynchronous, reducing drastically the server workload.
  • It is possible to run graphical applications using an integrated VNC client.
  • It is possible to use encrypted connections (https and wss) with execution servers (jail servers)
  • Improved the way that is limited the memory used in executions.
  • Removed the use of xinetd.

Compatibility and Update

The module is compatible with Moodle 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 2.6. VPL version 3.0 is compatible at data level and backups, with the 2.X versions of VPL. This new version requires execution servers with vpl-jail-system 2.0. To update the module follow the usual steps when updating a module in Moodle. For execution servers it is recommended to reinstall from scratch.

Requirements

A basic system that allows editing and execution of programs required a Moodle server with VPL module installed and at least one execution server (jail server) with vpl-jail-system 2.0.
Editing code and execution on client requires a browser that supports HTML5 and WebSocket. The module has been successfully tested on the latest versions of IExplorer, Chrome, FireFox, Opera and Safari.
The service of execution (vpl-jail-system 2.0) is compatible with the latest versions of Ubuntu and CentOS and has been tested on Ubuntu 10.x, 12.x 13.xy in CentOS 6.5, both 32 and 64 bits.

Known Issues

• The encrypted connection with self-signed certificates don't work in IExplorer and Safari.
• In tablets and phones, although editing and execution of textual and graphical programs are possible, text input during execution is unavailable because the keyboard is not displayed.