Ilias SCORM 2004 can’t read timestamp

If you’re working with Ilias LMS you might run into this issue as well, so I’ll share this here.

We’re using SCORM 2004 with it’s cmi.comments_from_learner but it turned out that it wasn’t possible to read a previously set timestamp value during the next SCO visit. Did nobody ever read a timestamp again? Anyway, since we strongly needed this functionality I had to figure out where the problem was. After making definitely sure it wasn’t our mistake I downloaded a fresh copy of the latest stable Ilias version (4.1.7) and tried to investigate how this system works.

A timestamp value yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss.msZ was stored using MySQL datetime and therefore read back as yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss. Time zone designator and 2 digits accuracy are SCORM 2004 optional, but the missing ‘T’ separator killed the data conversion.

So let’s have a look at the related original JavaScript function:

function setItemValue (key, dest, source, destkey) 
{
	if (source && source.hasOwnProperty(key)) 
	{
		var d = source[key];
		var temp=d;
		if (!isNaN(parseFloat(d)) && !(/[A-Za-z]/.test(d))) {
			d = Number(d);
		} else if (d==="true") {
			d = true;
		} else if (d==="false") {
			d = false;
		}
		//special handling for titles - no conversion
		if (key == "title") {
			d=temp;
		}
		dest[destkey ? destkey : key] = d;
	}
}

And here is my temporary fix:

function setItemValue (key, dest, source, destkey)
{
    if (source && source.hasOwnProperty(key))
    {
        var d = String( source[key] );
 
        if ( destkey === "timestamp" )
        {
            // Fixed timestamp casting to NaN!
            // 26.09.2011 - derRaab - http://blog.derRaab.com
            //
            // a) No conversion
            // b) Ilias delivers date string without 'T': yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss -> yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss
            if ( d.length > 10 && d.charAt( 10 ) === " ")
            {
                d = d.split( " " ).join( "T" );
            }
        }
        else if ( key === "title" )
        {
            //special handling for titles - no conversion
        }
        else
        {
            // 26.09.2011 - derRaab - http://blog.derRaab.com
            // Use Number() instead of parseFloat()
            if (!isNaN(Number(d)) && !(/[A-Za-z]/.test(d)))
            {
                d = Number(d);
            }
            else if (d==="true")
            {
                d = true;
 
            } else if (d==="false")
            {
                d = false;
            }
        }
        dest[destkey ? destkey : key] = d;
    }
}

Please note that I replaced the use of parseFloat() with Number() – I’m investigating another problem with the cmi.location characterstring – but that’s fixed for now.

I reported these issues to the Ilias development team and they fixed at least the ‘T’ separator problem for Ilias 4.2.0:
http://www.ilias.de/mantis/view.php?id=7846
http://www.ilias.de/mantis/view.php?id=7847

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>