Moodle administration interfaces

Adding settings interfaces to Moodle is a little cryptic.

From my short foray into doing so I have determined that the settings are defined in the settings.php file in the base directory of your module/plugin.

Admin menu entries

Adding a new entry into the “Site Administration” menu is done by instantiating a new settings page object and attaching it to the tree through the global $ADMIN object.

// Instantiate new settings page with the internal name 'local_examplecom_plugin'
// and the menu display name ' Plugin'
$settings = new admin_settingpage('local_examplecom_plugin', ' Plugin');
// Add the new settings page to the settings tree under the 'localplugins' branch
// which is located in 'Site administration->Plugins->Local plugins'
$ADMIN->add('localplugins', $settings);
// Add controls here

For local plugins the tree location value is ‘localplugins’ but other values can be substituted and they are not consistent as the below snippet shows:

'appearance' -> 'Site administration->Appearance'
'themes' -> 'Site administration->Appearance->Themes'
'modsettings' -> 'Site administration->Plugins->Activity modules'
'authsettings' -> 'Site administration->Plugins->Authentication'
'enrolments' -> 'Site administration->Plugins->Enrolments'

Admin menu categories

You can also define new collapsible menu items by instantiating a new admin_category object and then use its internal name to attach items underneath it.

$ADMIN->add('localplugin', new admin_category('internal_category_name', ''));
$settings = new admin_settingpage('local_examplecom_plugin_settings1', 'Some settings');
$ADMIN->add('internal_category_name', $settings);
// Add controls here
$settings = new admin_settingpage('local_examplecom_plugin_settings2', 'Some more settings');
$ADMIN->add('internal_category_name', $settings);
// Add controls here

Settings form controls

There are a variety of different controls that can be added but they all follow a fairly common format:

new admin_setting_config*($setting_internal_name, $setting_title, $setting_description, $default_value, $validation_type);
*can be any of a variety of control types including but not limited to htmleditor, text, checkbox etc.

$setting_internal_name and $setting_title seem to be the only mandatory ones.
$setting_internal_name should be either ‘plugin_name/setting_name’ for plugin only settings and just ‘setting_name’ for global $CFG related settings.

Adding a control to the form requires that you instantiate the control and add it to the admin_settingpage by calling the add method:

// See previous examples for where this fits in.
// Add controls here
$settings->add(new admin_setting_confightmleditor('local_examplecom/setting_one',
    'Setting title', 'Setting one description', 'this is the default value'));
$settings->add(new admin_setting_confightmleditor('local_examplecom/eats_grass',
    'Grass preference', 'What type of grass does it prefer'));
$settings->add(new admin_setting_confightmleditor('a_global_setting',
    'Not plugin specific', 'This is accessed through $CFG->a_global_setting'));


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