How to resolve IE crashes when playing AP content in Moodle?

Articulate presenter '09 content published for SCORM 1.2 often hangs IE in Moodle 1.9.12+. It starts to load and wehn loader shows about 50% it stops.  Browser stops to respond and can't be closed in next 1-2 minutes except through the task manager. The issue occures in different combinations of IE versions, Flash player versions and Moodle versions. The only constant is Articulate Presenter '09 content.This issue doesn't happen every time. It happens very randomly, in about 1 out of 10 started lessons. When the issue happens, user kills IE through Task manager, restarts the browser and starts the same lesson again, it works without the problem.

About 20% of users reported the problem so far.

We already contacted Articulate support and they suggested clearing browser cache, reseting IE Internet options to defaults and similar stuff that I can't ask all of my users to do. Further more, they suggested that the problem is with LMS because this doesn't happen in other LMS systems. I already tried but couldn't reproduce the issue on SCORM cloud. But why is this happening in AP '09 content only? We have a lot of Captivate content and this doesn't happen in those lessons.

This is difficult to solve because it happens so randomly. I tested few configurations and concluded the following:

 The issue exists in theese combinations (and probably in some other):

  • Moodle 1.9.12+, IE9, FP10
  • Moodle 1.9.12+, IE7, FP11
  • Moodle 2.1.2+, IE 7, FP7
  • Moodle 2.1.2+, IE7, FP11

I couldn't reproduce the issue in Moodle 2.1.2+, IE9, FP10 but this is not the sollution because a  lot of my users have WinXP and IE 8 is maximum on Win XP.

Some Moodle  users on Moodle.org are talking about some new browser window issue and suggesting upgrade of Moodle which can be costly and it doesn't help users on WinXP. What to modify in AP's HTML/javascipt after publish to avoid theese issues? Modifying elearning content could be cheaper and easier sollution.

Any ideas why is this happening and how to resolve by managing the content, not the LMS?

4 Replies
Phil Mayor

Looking at your list of issues though if all users on XP upgraded to 8 you would not have a problem

We dont get any hangs using IE and moodle (IE, 6,7,8, 9), I would get the users to upgrade their flash  this normally fixes most issues, and it is probably best if you also post this in the moodle forums, as its intermittent I wonder if its your server or moodle implementation. 

Dan Marsden

I'm guessing are you using the "new window" option in Moodle? - the IE 7 issue is likely this one:

http://danmarsden.com/blog/2011/07/13/ie7-and-xmlhttprequest/
(which is fixed in 2.0.5 and 2.1.2 but not the 1.9 branch)

workaround for 1.9 branch is to use "current window" option only.

The IE 9 issue could be this one:

http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-29213

hope that helps.

Zoran Jancic

I'm not using Moodle's new window option. I set Presenter to open lesson in a new window so Presenter's javascript opens new window. I have to display lesson in a new window because a lot of users have small screen size. Can this still be the same issue for IE7? if this is correct, is there any other solution besides upgrading Moodle to 2.0.5/2.1.2? It would be one big and expensive upgrade.

Dan Marsden

If it's only IE7 users that are having issues then it's definitely possible you're running into the same IE 7 bug.

you could write a handler that blocked access to IE 7 users and told them to upgrade or use an alternative browser - "expensive" is always relative - it usually takes me approx 2 days to upgrade a basic site from latest 1.9stable to 2.x with a few small extra 3rd party plugins -(including testing/e-mails/correspondance etc)  it can take a lot more if you've heavily customised the codebase

On top of that - if you want a "custom" theme upgraded to 2.0 you'll need to get that costed out as well.

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