LM-Light: A New E-Learning Standard
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Introduction to LMS Development

Here are 2 suggested (but not mandatory) approaches to implementing the LM-Light standard in a learning management system (LMS) - there may well be others. Note that we're not going to talk about the more general topic of developing an LMS including authentication, student registration, curriculum administration ...

Here are the 2 approaches.

  Strict Approach PHP Approach
How It Works Course files are parsed for the 'strict' forms of the LM-Light tags as defined [here]. Only these tags are processed on the server side, and nothing else. You don't need to use PHP, although PHP can be used. Course files are parsed as PHP files, and all PHP statements are executed. This is a quick and easy way to do things, but it's also potentially dangerous because it allows course developers to include their own PHP code, and that could be a security risk.
Use This If 1. You don't mind taking a little longer over the development process.
2. You can't use, or don't want to use PHP.
3. You don't want to allow execution of arbitrary server-side PHP code.
1. You need a quick, cheap solution.
2. You already use, or can use, PHP.
3. You want to execute PHP code embedded in courses, or you don't mind executing PHP code that's included in the courses, or you can be certain that there isn't any.


  1. PHP is available for most modern operating systems including Windows, Linux, AS/400, Mac OS X, Novell NetWare, OS/2, RISC OS, SGI IRIX 6.5.x, Solaris (SPARC, Intel), and Solaris OpenCSW packages. For more details, please refer to the PHP website.

  2. If you choose to develop an LMS using the PHP Approach, you should remind course developers that courses developed with additional PHP won't meet the 'strict' LM-Light specification and therefore you can't be certain that you can transfer them to another LMS. This might or might not be important to you.


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