6. Open edX Ficus Release
This page lists the highlights of the Ficus release.
The Open edX Ficus release includes the following updates.
- New Next and Previous buttons allow learners to navigate more
intuitively through courses.
- The Progress page loads significantly faster.
- For course problems, the Check and Final Check buttons are now
combined in one Submit button, and less frequently used actions (such as
Save and Show Answer) have been moved to the side.
- Learners can quickly see whether problems are graded or ungraded.
- A post listing view that shows not only post titles, but also the first line
of each post, is now available on the Discussions and Teams pages and
in inline discussions.
- Improvements to the discussions UI include a new header area, a more intuitive topic
list, and an enhanced UI that indicates unread posts, comments, and
responses. You can also now sort discussions by votes.
- Insights now offers per-learner data and a new “Participated in Discussions
Last Week” metric.
- Five grading events have been added:
In keeping with edX’s commitment to creating accessible content for everyone,
everywhere, the Open edX Ficus release contains numerous accessibility
enhancements and improvements to readability and navigability.
- Improved video player controls make downloading videos, transcripts, and
- For learners who use screen readers or keyboards only, core CAPA problem
types, including checkbox and text input problems, have been updated to make
identifying and responding to these problems easier.
- Navigating among questions and reviewing survey results in the survey
tool is now easier.
- The contrast has been increased on the sign-in page for Open edX sites.
- In Insights, the <title> element on learner pages now indicates the correct
view when you switch between learner roster view and learner view.
- The HTML structure of the Progress page has been reorganized to be more
- The course Home page now uses heading levels 1-5 in a way that screen readers
can more easily process.
that helps orient non-visual learners.
- The video playback and volume sliders are now visible when learners view
videos in high contrast mode.
- Made the visual chart on the Progress page more accessible to learners who
use keyboards and screen readers.
- Administrators can now configure third party authentication differently for
each of their sites.
- With Ficus, the operating system for the Open edX platform changes from
Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubuntu 16.04, the latest long-term support (LTS) version of
Ubuntu. Ubuntu 12.04 reaches its end of life in April of this year.
Unfortunately, upgrading Open edX from Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubunbu 16.04 is not
possible. If your existing installation of Open edX is based on Ubuntu 12.04,
we recommend that you build a new system.
The edX Release Notes contain a summary of changes that are deployed to
edx.org. Those changes are part of the master branch of the edX Platform in
GitHub. You can also find release announcements on the open.edx.org
Changes listed for 10 January 2017 and before are included in the Ficus release
of Open edX. Changes after that point will be in future Open edX releases.
6.6.1. 29 March 2017: Ficus.2
- If you used the password randomization step during installation, a database
user named “edxapp_replica001” is created. This username is invalid because
it is too long. This issue is now fixed: the randomization step no longer
creates a separate user for the replica database.
- The certificates process was restarting constantly, due to not being able to
communicate with XQueue. This issue has been fixed.
- The help links in LMS and Studio now display the Ficus version of the docs,
rather than the latest version.
- Fixes to some automated tests.
6.6.2. 21 April 2017: Ficus.3
- In edx-platform, Django was upgraded from 1.8.17 to 1.8.18.
- MathJax announced that its distribution point for the MathJax library
will be shutting down at the end of April. MathJax is now loaded from cdnjs
- The Analytics applications, including the analytics devstack, have been
updated for Ubuntu 16.04.
- To address a connection pooling issue in Ubuntu 16.04, we’ve changed how we
launch new gunicorn web server processes.
6.6.3. 10 August 2017: Ficus.4
- In edx-platform and edx-analytics-dashboard, the python-social-auth library
was updated to apply migrations. This library is changing significantly in
the Ginkgo release. These migrations make it possible to update Ficus
installations to Ginkgo.
- A security fix was applied to prevent an attacker from poisoning a header and
causing Open edX installations to send password reset emails where the reset
link had been modified to a domain the attacker controls.