dinsdag, november 28, 2006

Sakai: measuring against Educause

Charles Severance wrote an interesting post on his weblog. He reflects on the status of Sakai (the product, the community, the maturity etc), in relation to the attention that was given to Sakai during the last three annual Educause conferences.
In essence Chuck concludes that we have become just one the options within the playing field. Just saying that Sakai is opensource doesn't win any contract any more. Check out Dr. Chuck's Web Log: Status Update: "So I take the occasion of Educause to reflect on things to make sure that I remain grounded in what we are doing and why we are all here."
Here is my little reflection on the status of Sakai. The time is now to indeed change some things: more emphasis on communication (or 'marketing') is one of the things that is on the top of my mind. But also the pure product information on Sakai (what is available? in which version of Sakai?) should be readily available. Quite a few of the questions that were asked during my presentation and demo (text is in Dutch, but presentation is in English) at the Tilburg University yesterday were exactly of this nature. For example: "There is no versioning capability within the Resources tool? How can we then seriously consider Sakai? Blackboard already has versioning, and this is a requirement for us!" Fortunately I could answer that in Sakai 2.4 we will have versioning. But how sure is this answer?
I guess, maybe, just maybe, we should have some sort of product manager role within the community that really can take responsibility for the product releases... My impression is that we still let releases happen too much dependant on the availability of developer resources. Just my 2 cents...
If you have some more spare time, then I would recommend to start reading the great conversation developing on the Sakai dev list on the 'need' for a 'community roadmap'. Check out the public version of this thread.

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