End of Life Policy for 1.9 has some Moodlers Worried

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The “official” (but undocumented) end-of-life cycle for Moodle versions was clarified in the forums this weekend by lead developer and Moodle Founder, Martin Dougiamas.  According to Martin,  Moodle’s long standing policy has been to support only the two most recent releases of the software.  This would mean the version 1.9 (arguably the most stable and widely adopted version ever released) would have it’s support discontinued with the release of Moodle 2.1 (due out in June 2011 [link]).

However due to the popularity of 1.9 and the timing of 2.0’s releases Martin has mentioned that support for 1.9 will continue, but only through the end of 2011,

This would normally mean that we would stop supporting 1.9 when 2.1 comes out, but given that it’s such a big jump to 2.x, and the release timing was bad for the north hemisphere, I plan to keep putting resources into supporting 1.9.x until December 2011.  I doubt we can stretch beyond that, because it’s getting harder and harder for our developers to remember how to write code for 1.9 [emphasis is original, link]

11 months is a short duration for planning a major transition for some institutions, no doubt many will start planning now for the future of their LMS.

That said, there’s a major case to be made for continuing the development of Moodle 1.9 beyond Moodle HQ’s “end of life” cycle.  As a quality LMS for schools, businesses and other organizations the 1.9 release may find “new” life in continued community support for years beyond (one of the many benefits of open source). Moodle 1.9 was first released in March 2008 [link].

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