swf interactive animation wont open in a new window

Hello. I have inherited some education modules that were first built with Studio 09. They contain a number of swf animations some of which are interactive and some just play straight through to the end.  I have rebuilt one of the modules in Storyline 2 and added in the old swf files.  When I publish the module to Moodle the ones that are not interactive work perfectly and open in a new window but the ones that are interactive wont play.  I have set them to open in a new window and instead of the animation playing I am sent back to my Moodle home screen that displays this message:  No valid arguments supplied, path does not start with slash!  I contacted Moodle for help but the issue seems to be with my SCORM package.  Can you help?  I have tried inserting the swf file as a video file and as a flsh file but I get the same result.

9 Replies
Dan Marsden

How did you "contact Moodle" ? - I can't see any posts in the moodle.org community from you related to this? - Are you hosting your site with a certified Moodle Partner?

Could you try the same package on a free https://moodlecloud.com/ site?

I suspect you may be running into this issue because your Moodle server/configuration does not support something called "slasharguments" but this is hard to diagnose without further information.

Jenny Prentice

Hi Ashley and Dan

Thank you for the responses. 

Ashley, I just tried the SCORM package in SCORM cloud and the swf files open and are fully interactive so everything is working. 

Dan, we host our site with Pukunui and I contacted their support team for help.  I have just uploaded the SCORM package to moodle cloud and I get this same error meassage "No valid arguments supplied, path does not start with slash!"

My predecessor uploaded the original SCORM packages to our moodle site and the swf files are all working well so I feel like it is something I am not doing rather than there being an error with the files.  These are Studio 09 SCORM packages. Some of the text is outdated and we have also changed our company name so I have rebuilt everything in Storyline 2.  Eventually we will rebuild the swf files too but at the moment we dont have the time or money.

Any help is very much appreciated.

Dan Marsden

cool - probably not an issue with slashargs if you are hosting with Pukunui and you get the same issue on a moodlecloud site. Seems strange that it works on the SCORM Cloud but not in Moodle too.

Flick me a private message with a link to your SCORM package and I'll see if I can find time to take a quick look.  (typically I don't provide private support for free, but I know the team at Pukunui quite well) :-)

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Susannah,

Just an FYI that responding here via email include your signature here so you're welcome to edit the post to remove that information.

Glad to hear things worked out in SCORM Cloud for your colleague Jennifer, and that'll be a good thing to use with your LMS team to back up the assertion that it's something when the content is hosted in the LMS. 

Dan Marsden

Susannah sent me a copy of the SCORM package with the issue and I've managed to reproduce the problem.

The issue relates to the way the flash file triggers the load of the video.

The flash file has a link like this:

swf.html?file=video_.swf

The problem with this is that Moodle treats the "file" parameter in links in a special way and tries to use that to locate the file - but Moodle should be "ignoring" that parameter completely in this case.

If there's a way to rename that parameter in Articulate to something else that would help and probably be the easiest solution. Another option would be to modify Moodle code - in lib/weblib.php the function "get_file_argument()" - replacing the line:
$relativepath = optional_param('file', false, PARAM_PATH);
with:
$relativepath = false;

Technical/Historical detail.
Moodle provides support for web servers that do not support slash arguments and uses the "file" param within the url to obtain user-uploaded files. But - all modern web servers now support slash arguments (although some default web-server configuration need changing to support it.) SCORM in Moodle requires relative linking (slash arguments) to be working and functional.

Because some sites would have been created prior to setting up slash arguments the server needs to support the "old" method using the file param and the slash arguments method as there may be hard-coded urls using the "old" url linking method. For new sites that have always supported slash-arguments it is unlikely there are any remaining links using the older "file" param so it should be safe to disable the file param handling in the core get_file_handling() function. (but it would be best to test this)