Moodle (acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is a free software e-learning platform, also known as a Learning Management System, or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). As of June 2013 it had a user base of 83,008 registered and verified sites, serving 70,696,570 users in 7.5+ million courses with 1.2+ million teachers.
Moodle has several features considered typical of an e-learning platform, plus some original innovations (like its filtering system). It is very similar to a learning management system. Moodle can be used in many types of environments such as in education, training and development, and business settings.
Some typical features are:
- Assignment submission
- Assignment submission
- Discussion forum
- Files download
- Moodle instant messages
- Online calendar
- Online news and announcement (College and course level)
- Online quiz
Developers can extend Moodle's modular construction by creating plugins for specific new functionality. Moodle's infrastructure supports many types of plug-ins:
- activities (including word and math games)
- resource types
- question types (multiple choice, true and false, fill in the blank, etc.)
- data field types (for the database activity)
- graphical themes
- authentication methods (can require username and password accessibility)
- enrollment methods
- content filters
Many freely available third-party Moodle plugins make use of this infrastructure.
Moodle users can use PHP to write and contribute new modules. Moodle's development has been assisted by the work of open source programmers. This has contributed towards its rapid development and rapid bug fixes.
Joomla is written in PHP, uses object-oriented programming (OOP) techniques (since version 1.5) and software design patterns, stores data in a MySQL, MS SQL (since version 2.5), or PostgreSQL (since version 3.0) database, and includes features such as page caching, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, search, and support for language internationalization.
As of July 2013, Joomla has been downloaded over 35 million times. Over 6,000 free and commercial extensions are available from the official Joomla! Extension Directory, and more are available from other sources. It is estimated to be the second most used CMS on the Internet after WordPress.
Drupal is a free and open-source content management framework (CMF) written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It is used as a back-end system for at least 2.1% of all websites worldwide ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.
The standard release of Drupal, known as Drupal core, contains basic features common to content management systems. These include user account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS feeds, page layout customization, and system administration. The Drupal core installation can be used as a simple website, a single- or multi-user blog, an Internet forum, or a community website providing for user-generated content.
As of August 2013, there are more than 22,900 free community-contributed addons, known as contributed modules, available to alter and extend Drupal's core capabilities and add new features or customize Drupal's behavior and appearance. Because of this plug-in extensibility and modular design, Drupal is described as a content management framework. Drupal is also described as a web application framework, as it meets the generally accepted feature requirements for such frameworks
Drupal core includes optional modules that can be enabled by the administrator to extend the functionality of the core website.
The core Drupal distribution provides a number of features, including:
- Access statistics and logging
- Advanced search
- Blogs, books, comments, forums, and polls
- Caching and feature throttling for improved performancev
- Descriptive URLs
- Multi-level menu system
- Multi-site support
- Multi-user content creation and editing
- OpenID support
- RSS feed and feed aggregator
- Security and new release update notification
- User profiles
- Various access control restrictions (user roles, IP addresses, email)
- Workflow tools (triggers and actions)