Making A Few Changes To Gibbon

Hi Ross,

There are some changes I like to see in Gibbon. These changes will be useful for not only me but also every other Gibbon user.

First is the email blast sent to parents. Currently, the blast has to be done by running a cli command. Now, I will like to have this blast run directly from within the browser with the click of a button. Besides, the blast should be flexible to run, not just on weekly basis but also on monthly basis or at the end of the term or session/year.

Second, I will like to be able to change password from within the panel itself. Currently, I could not see any way by which the administrator or other users can change their passwords within the panel.

Third, I want to know if the records of previous years still remain within the system (database) or they get deleted on roll-over. Records such as student, staff, facilities, year groups, results, roll groups, assessment, etc. I want to write a code that will be able to generate student transcripts. This code will work by pulling out the results of a student since he has been enrolled in the school. Now, if previous data are deleted on roll-over, then there is no way this code will work. Moreover, the school I want to use it for wants to enter the data of its students and staff since it was founded in 1991. By so doing, any student who graduated from there can get their transcripts with the click of a few buttons. Also, any data about the school can be retrieved within a few seconds.

Thanks Ross as I will be expecting your reply soon.

Okay Ross,

I have installed the extension and I am still exploring it. Thanks.


Some answers for you:

a) the email blast you are referring to is just for homework. For other emails out to all parents (or other flexible groupings) check out Other > Messenger in the main menu.

b) you can change passwords under Admin > User Admin in the main menu and then Manager Users in the sidebar. Look for the padlock icon against each user (it will say Change Password) if you hover over it.

c) when you do the rollover, records do not disappear, they are just not on display. If you are interested in transcripts, I would suggest you use the new Internal Assessment part of the Formal Assessment module in v11 to collect end of year grades. You could export the grades to a spreadsheet and then mail merge into a transcript, or get in touch with Rapid36 (who have a new open source reporting module, which they are willing to customise for schools, commercially).

I hope this helps.


Sorry, it took a little long before I responded. Internet is bad for quite some days now and I couldn’t go online.

a) Yes, I know that the automated email is for homework. I also know that there are other emails avilable under Other > Messenger in the main menu. But then, those other emails are generic emails. i.e. it is the same email content to all of the recipients that are chosen. The email sent to parents contains different contents per individual. For example, if Mr John and Mr Stephen both have children in the same school and you send the email, Mr John will receive the email for the homework of his child while Mr Stephen will receive the email for the homework of his own child. It is just a single operation, but recipients get different contents. What I’m saying, therefore, is this: let the email that sends children daily homework be able to send weekly report, monthly continuous assessment report, end of year report and other customized (peculiar) emails to parents, staff, etc. Also, let it be possible to send this email(s) with the click of a button(s) on the GUI.

b) I’m sorry for asking this question. I think I was actually blind not to have seen it all this while. Probably, I overworked myself and I couldn’t identify what is on the screen again. Thanks anyway. It’s perfect.

c) I am glad that you now have the internal assessment module. How can I get to use it? What file (or files) on your github project am I to choose and where in the gibbon folder am I to include it? As for Rapid36, I visited their website,but I saw no information on it. It was just a webpage with a blue lake background. No product/service information, no contact iformation, no hyperlink, nothing.

Thank you for taking the time to go through this post, Ross, as I wait earnestly for your response.


a) I can see the need for this, but at the moment we don’t have the resources for this. Perhaps in a future version, but not for v11. Sorry!

b) no worries, it is a big system, and these details are easy to miss.

c) the best bet with Rapid36 is just to email them. However, they have very generously donated a simplified, open source version of their solution, which you can download from It is called Reporting. Try it, and let them know what you think? They can make changes for a fee, if you need more.

c again) for Internal Assessment, I would not try and back port this to v10, as when you eventually update from v10 to v11, it will mess up. If you want to start playing it, I would set up a separate install with the development code, just to test it out and see what you will get when you eventually update to v11 (which will be released on the 20th of January).

In future can you try and put these into separate threads? It makes searching for other users easier.



Hey Ross, you replied quickly. You must be online then. Thanks for your reply.

a) I understand. I will definitely look for a way to work around this like I do for every open source application I use. I will inform you when I update so that others who need it will be able to make use of it.

b) Cheers man! You are welcome!

c) Rapid36’s website did not provide their email address. It provided nothing. But, I will download the extension from the gibbon extension page like you said to.

As for the internal assessment/ formal assessment, I understand that the code can get messed up during update. But don’t worry about, I will work around this. I always update Gibbon by manually replacing the files. When I used the version9 on my computer, I made change to the core files: index, main style sheet and functions. But when I needed to update to version 10, I only observed those areas carefully and I made the appropriate changes without having any problems in the program design or functionality. You, don’t worry, just tell me the codes to copy, where they are on github and where to put them in the gibbon core.

Finally, I will try and put different sections into different threads as you suggested. Noted.

Thanks Ross.


Seeing as you seem to know what you are doing…the commits for Formal Assessment (which is the new name for External Assessment, now that it contains Internal Assessment) are:

There will be some SQL code to run: make sure you don’t run them again when you update to v11!


Thanks Ross. I will inform you of the effectiveness of the codes.

Hi Ross,

I downloaded the codes from github and put each of them in the folder they belong. I removed the folder “External Assessment” and replaced it with the folder “Formal assessment”. I also replaced the files “changedb” and"changelog" with the new ones from github. Then I ran the following sql codes in phpmyadmin to update the appropriate tables:

UPDATE gibbonModule SET name=‘Formal Assessment’ WHERE name=‘External Assessment’;end
UPDATE gibbonAction SET category=‘External Assessment’ WHERE gibbonModuleID=(SELECT gibbonModuleID FROM gibbonModule WHERE name=‘Formal Assessment’);end
And then I logged in to gibbon to observe the new changes. I saw the following:

and this

I did not see anywhere to use the internal assessment or the transcript features therein. Please, help look into this.



This is the danger of mixing versions. There should be many more SQL statements that you need to run, including some to do with gibbonAction, gibbonPermissions, etc. Sadly we do not have the resources to deal with such requests, and the knock on issues that might come from them.

We really recommend either a) running production code or b) running cutting edge/dev code but not c) mixing both. If you are happy to run the risk of running cutting edge code in order to get the latest features, then that would be easier. My two schools ( runs cutting edge code in production, so any issues usually get fixed pretty quickly.

Hope this helps.


Okay. I will reverse all of those changes then and find a way out.

Mind you, I used the codes because in your early reply to me, you wrote:
If you are interested in transcripts, I would suggest you use the new Internal Assessment part of the Formal Assessment module in v11 to collect end of year grades. You could export the grades to a spreadsheet and then mail merge into a transcript.
I know you would be wondering why I did not mention anything about the extension from Rapid36. I downloaded the extension and I read the documentation that comes along with it. The documentation says “this extension will surely have a lot of bugs to be fixed”. After reading that line, I decided not to install it again so that it won’t spoil the whole system.

All the same, thanks for your immense work.



Regarding my comment, I meant to wait until v11 came out, but I can see how my language might have been misleading. Sorry!

That comment from Rapid36 is partly in jest (the developer is a funny guy). He has released 5 sub-versions to fix certain issues, but it seems to have stabilised now. Why not give the latest version a go?