[DG: Open Forum] Sakai OAE
daveadams at gmail.com
Sun Sep 9 10:33:25 PDT 2012
Just to clarify my thoughts, I certainly agree that the 2.9 release is
the top priority. But part of the trouble in finding resources for
ongoing 2.x work is that there's a perception out there that the CLE
is a dead-end product. I remember not too long ago hearing a lot of
surprise that a 2.9 was even in the works, since 2.8 had at various
points been referred to as the final CLE release. Given the relentless
marketing focus on OAE over the years and the delays in getting 2.9
out the door, the idea that CLE is not a product worth investing in is
If the OAE project is going to continue, then it's all the more
important that the Sakai Board makes it clear that there is a
long-term commitment to the continued existence and improvement of the
CLE. There are already plans being sketched out for what changes will
be part of 2.10. My proposal is then that the decision-makers rename
the current 2.10 release to "CLE 3.0" and with that announcement
release a list of architectural and technical debt that will be
addressed in 3.x releases to make it clear that this isn't just
another small-scale patch to keep things working while OAE gets
polished up, but rather a beginning of a new strategic direction for
CLE, a going concern with a clear vision for future development.
Maybe announcing a CLE 3.0 or brainstorming ways to generate more
interest in committing resources to the CLE is the wrong approach, but
I think there's a desperate need out here for some clarity about the
long-term future of the CLE. Taking it
release-by-resource-starved-release with the overhanging promise of
the OAE has failed thus far to generate confidence. Kicking the can
down the road to next summer will only give confused institutions
asking themselves why Indiana appears to be on a four year plan to
move off the CLE and why OAE supporters are dropping like flies one
more reason to start looking elsewhere.
On Sat, Sep 8, 2012 at 7:39 PM, Charles Severance <csev at umich.edu> wrote:
> While all this brainstorming is fine, we need not to get too carried away.
> Here are a couple of simple points:
> - OAE is not going away - the announcement is simply a reduction of
> resources. There remains a core set of stakeholders in OAE that will move
> it forward. As resources are further reduce or used up, the OAE governance
> will become less managed and more community centered. New resources may
> appear to extend the managed project. All this is completely natural.
> Sakai CLE went through a similar process going from a managed process to a
> community process.
> - It is very premature to talk about any kind of "Sakai CLE 3" - Sakai 2.9
> is six months behind. We are getting closer to finishing Sakai CLE 2.9 but
> lets not make the mistake of getting too excited about what we might be
> doing in a year or two and then lose focus on what we need to do in the next
> month or two.
> The problem that led to an underinvestment in the CLE over the past few
> years was actually not so much the *existence* of the OAE. The existence
> of uPortal does not take away from the CLE. The problem was that the OAE
> was represented as a "perfect solution" and "completely replacement" that
> made the CLE obsolete that would be finished and production-ready "in a few
> months". For four years, since the "next great great hope" was eternally
> "a few months away" - and if you believe the "a few months away" message
> there was no logical reason to invest in our "current product". People were
> making "logical" decisions based on inaccurate information.
> I just don't want to make the mistake again where we start talking too much
> about a grand and glorious future and it ends up diffusing the focus on the
> present. If we don't tend to the present - getting excited about a future
> is pretty pointless. It *is* always more fun to talk about the future than
> do QA or fix bugs in the present.
> I do think that by the next June meeting, a lot of things will be in good
> shape for us to *start* a good set of strategic discussions as an entire
> community. Sakai 2.9 will be out and installed and work on Sakai 2.10 will
> be well underway, Sakai OAE will have started a transition to a more
> community-based approach from a managed approach, the merger should be done
> - and then it would be *great* to brainstorm a bit - as long as we execute
> on the plans we already have in place. Lets work hard over the next 9
> months and reward ourself at the next conference with some sessions that are
> indeed forward-looking. Being together and having beer always makes these
> conversations more productive.
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