Chamilo Mobile

Project opened in May 2013.
Project coordinator: Roberto González Cardenete
Project coordinator's e-mail:

Project 1: Chamilo LMS & LCMS Mobile Web App

Short and medium-term project to build an Android mobile web app for the Chamilo platform. To be more precise, it will not be a web app but a hybrid app. That is, an Android application with an embedded browser (webview), a native wrapper, and extra functionalities for ease of use (e.g. login manager, Chamilo sites' manager), so that it has a proper presence in mobile markets (for example, Google Play) and a good usability in mobile devices. Compatible with Android 2.3+ & 4.0+ smartphones and tablets.

Later, an Apache Cordova/Adobe Phonegap reimplementation might be developed, to build a similar web app with presence in other mobile ecosystems (iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, etc.)

Chamilo LMS 1.10 now includes the possibility to switch to another template from the admin section: http://unstable.chamilo.org/main/admin/settings.php?category=Stylesheets
Using the value jquery_mobile in there, you can switch to the use of a jquery mobile template.

Chamilo LCMS 3.1 adaptive/responsive capabilities have to be tested and reported, because they are needed in order to comply with this hybrid app project.

Project 2: Chamilo LMS Mobile App for Android

There are two reasons to begin developing a native mobile application for Android. First, Android is the mobile operating system with the major market share in the world so that it looks interesting to create a native Chamilo mobile application for Android; Second, in Latin America and Spain, the regions of the world with more users of Chamilo, Android is also the most used mobile operating system.

This project will be initially supported by Promise a research workgroup of the Software Engineering Lab of Carlos III University of Madrid with an initial effort made by Paulo Cesar Guerra, a Computer Science Engineering student at UC3M and Arturo Mora-Soto Member of the Board of Chamilo Association (Marketing Coordinator) and Teaching Assistant at UC3M. The idea behind this initial effort is to develop a basic mobile application to allow students to access to the courses where they are enrolled in a virtual campus implemented using Chamilo LMS. The result of this initial mobile application will be released to the Chamilo Community as an open source software under the GNU General Public License.

Minimally Viable Product (MVP)

In order to start with "something", we have hand-picked a series of features that we consider essential in order to offer the Chamilo Application as something useful. All of the following options are provided without editing options (only list and view)
  • multi-campus: it must be possible to connect to different campuses from the same application, saving user and password inside the application
  • it must be possible to see the courses list inside the campus
  • inside the course, it must be possible to:
    • see the course introduction (HTML) as an "unfold" option
    • see the "documents" icon
    • see the "learning paths" icon
    • see the "forum" icon

These should be enough to have something working.

Progressive improvements

The direct next steps to the MVP are as follow:
  • implement messaging/invitations and social network (see Messaging)
  • implement exercises taking (only non-image, non-open, non-audio questions)
  • implement assignments tool
  • implement own progress tracking (for student)

Possible time-saving elements

OpenFL, PhoneGap and JQuery Mobile are muli-platform mobile development frameworks (see http://www.trendleaks.com/2013/05/multi-platform-mobile-development-frameworks/).
Following a lot of sources, although HTML5 makes it possible to develop an application usable by all devices, it is considerably slower than native applications, at least for Android. As such, frameworks like PhoneGap and OpenFL should be preferred (but they imply non-php development).

Additional resources

For more information on web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps, take a look at:
[[http://www.businessinsider.com/html5-vs-native-apps-for-mobile-2013-4?op=1]]
[[http://mobithinking.com/native-or-web-app]]
[[http://mashable.com/2012/09/12/web-vs-native-apps/]]
[[http://daringfireball.net/2013/04/web_apps_native_apps]]
[[http://www.forbes.com/sites/ciocentral/2013/01/23/html5-vs-native-mobile-apps-myths-and-misconceptions/]]