Keynote Address: Strategic Perspectives on an Exciting Future with Sakai


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Keynote Address: Strategic Perspectives on an Exciting Future with Sakai

Michael Korcuska, Executive Director, Sakai Foundation

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  • Four components: Product, Community, Code and Foundation
    Before this, a brief history of Sakai.
    How many have not heard of Sakai?
  • Why not work together to build a common system?
  • The convergence of technology and services is at the heart of Sakai’s product vision.
  • 5 de la top 10 Universités utiliser Sakai. Aussi numéro onze. L’annee prochaine je pourrais peut-être vous dire 6 des 10 meilleurs. Grâce à L’université Yale!
  • ECL: Limitations are few: preservation of the copyright notice & disclaimer required; name & trademarks of copyright holder(s) may NOT be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to the Original or Derivative Works without specific, written prior permission. It is very similar to the Apache 2.0 License
    The GPL copyleft: The GPL does not give the licensee unlimited redistribution rights. The right to redistribute is granted only if the licensee includes the source code (or a legally-binding offer to provide the source code), including any modifications made. Furthermore, the distributed copies, including the modifications, must also be licensed under the terms of the GPL.This requirement is known as copyleft, & it gets its legal teeth from the fact that the program is copyrighted. Because it is copyrighted, a licensee has no right to modify or redistribute it (barring fair use), except under the terms of the copyleft.
  • In summary, the time is ripe for getting Open Educational Resources, both content and technology, introduced on your campus. The technology is proven and innovation is occurring quickly. And that innovation is happening on campus.
    Your campus can have the same courseware management capabilities as Stanford, Yale, UC Berkeley and Cambridge University. More than that, you can work with them to define what the future brings.
  • Very similar to what was presented at Newport Beach
  • R&D: Is it applicable. Is it strategic—is it worth putting it into incubation?
    Product Council: Needs ability to self-adapt (add members) to some degree
    Insert a slide about the product council.
    Stephen: council resolves tensions between product coherence and project work
  • Users expect more based on their experience with so-called Web 2.0 applications.
    Project sites in Sakai 2 have been incredibly successful. So successful that the demands on these capabilities have grown and we need to respond to our users.
    The emergence of new technologies allow us to use best-of-breed open source solutions where we previously had custom code.
    We can also open Sakai development to developers who don’t know Java. An important step in our long-term goal of making Sakai a platform for innovation accessible to faculty and students.
  • Hundreds of campuses and millions of users are being successful with Sakai around the world.
    Sakai 2.6 is out the door. Plans are being finalized for Sakai 2.7.
    There are no questions about the sustainability of the community.
    We have the luxury of deliberatively creating something based on years of learning and an increasingly diverse set of use cases.
  • I’ll talk about this in three different areas. Changes for the end user of Sakai. Changes for those developing applications on top of Sakai. And, finally, changes in the Sakai community itself.
  • Sakai 3 is being constructed with 6 major themes in mind
  • I used the term “learning space” because it is generally more evocative, but we’re really talking about academic collaboration spaces in general.
    We want the owner of the space to have overall of the content/functionality that is presented. We at the same time want to embrace the fact that education is participatory—many users will contribute content, individually and collaboratively.
    We also know a lot about *why* people are using our tools and these functions need to be easily surfaced.
  • Academic space creation starts by providing simple, wiki-like content authoring capabilities and putting them front and center in the user interface.
    Google docs and WYSIWYG wiki-editing are good examples of what we mean.
    But to this we need to add functionality useful inside and even specific to the academic context. For example, interactive widgets that provide information about upcoming assignments and an easy way for users to provide feedback on each other’s work.
  • We tend to think of content as files to be shared. But our definition should be broader. We use the catch phrase “Everything is content” to remind ourselves of this. Each bit of content should be something that can be tagged, searched, linked to and shared
    Everything goes into a unified repository, which I’ll say more about in a minute.
    Sakai is not trying to compete with Drupal. We won’t have complex approval workflows or layout capabilities. Sakai is designed for everyone to be an author and typically that’s not true in traditional CMS designs.
  • In traditional CMS systems, files are added to the system in the context of a site. While it is possible to find items across sites (this is true for Sakai 2), the user interface doesn’t necessarily make that clear. The result is that users find things by first trying to remember what site they were in when they saw it.
  • Users and groups are built in to sites. Two sites with same users and groups requires duplicate effort or complex external provisioning.
  • Keynote Address: Strategic Perspectives on an Exciting Future with Sakai

    1. 1. Sakai Perspectives Michael Korcuska Executive Director Sakai Foundation
    2. 2. Sakai History Courseware Management System Started in 2004 Michigan, Indiana, Stanford, MIT (and Berkeley) Mellon Foundation Grant 2.6 current release
    3. 3. Why Start Sakai? 5 Schools with Homegrown CMS Inefficient to build 5 systems Wanted to maintain control Experts in teaching and learning Desire to work together and share knowledge
    4. 4. Defining Sakai: Product Scope COURSE MANAGEMENT — all the tools of a modern course management system. RESEARCH & COLLABORATION — project sites for research and work group collaboration. SAKAIBRARY — Library-led component to add citations directly into Sakai. PORTFOLIOS — Open Source Portfolio (OSP) is a core part of Sakai. Course Management Portfolios Sakaibrary Research & Collaboration
    5. 5. Defining Sakai: Community 200+ PRODUCTION/PILOT DEPLOYMENTS: From 200 to 200,000 users
    6. 6. Sakai today • 5 of 10 top Universities use Sakai • Stanford • Berkeley • Cambridge • Columbia • Oxford • #11 (Yale) does too!
    7. 7. Defining Sakai: Code OPEN LICENSING — Sakai’s software is made available under the terms of the ECL, a variant of the Apache license. The ECL encourages a wide range of use, including commercial use. NO FEES OR ROYALTIES — Sakai is free to acquire, use, copy, modify, merge, publish, redistribute & sublicense for any purpose provided our copyright notice & disclaimer are included. NO “COPYLEFT” RESTRICTIONS — unlike GPL redistributed derivative works are neither required to adopt the Sakai license nor publish the source code as open- source. EDUCATIONAL COMMUNITY LICENSE (ECL)
    8. 8. Open Source Value Vendor SoftwareVendor Software Local VersionLocal Version New VersionNew Version Customization New VersionNew Version Local VersionLocal Version Customization Again Proprietary Software Brick Wall
    9. 9. Sakai Foundation • MISSION — help coordinate design, development, testing & distribution of software; manage & protect intellectual property; provide basic infrastructure & small staff; champion open source & open standards. • PARTNERS — approximately 100 member organizations contribute $10K per year ($5K for smaller institutions, sliding scale for commercial affiliates). • GOVERNANCE — ten board members elected by member reps to serve three-year terms; Executive Director manages day-to-day operations. • BUDGET — funds 4-6 staffers, admin services, computing infrastructure, project coordination, conferences, Sakai Fellows Program, advocacy & outreach activities. We are not “in charge” of the Sakai Product. We do develop community practices.
    10. 10. Why Sakai? UCT decided to move to open source in 2004, migrating from WebCT& a home-grown system. Open source offers the advantages of flexibility & avoids the risks of vendor lock-in & escalating license costs. We were attracted to Sakai by the size & expertise of the community around it. Stephen Marquard, Learning Technologies Coordinator, University of Cape Town
    12. 12. Sakai Goals • Adoption • Broad & Diverse (significant adoption by different types of organizations) • The top choice for innovators (perhaps not most popular overall) • Product Experience • Cohesive, effective and engaging (end users) • Platform for local innovation (developers) • Easy to deploy/manage (production) • Community • Easy to contribute (for new & experienced members) • Diverse (roles & institutions) • Excellence (recognized as desirable to belong to)
    13. 13. Focus on Quality • August 2007: My first month at Sakai • Sakai release 2.4 going in production • Large institutions spending too much time on troubleshooting & maintenance • Fewer resources for new feature development • Immediate Foundation Goal • Quality, Quality, Quality • Other Issues • Desire to rebuild Sakai UX • (Perception of a) developer-dominated community • Roadmap
    14. 14. Changes & Results • Increased Foundation staff focused on QA • Extended QA Cycle for 2.5 & 2.6 • Formal Beta and Release Candidates • Introduction of Maintenance Releases • Currently on Sakai 2.5.5 • About to release 2.6.1 • Challenge: Managing 2.5, 2.6 & 2.7 releases simultaneously • Not to mention Sakai 3
    15. 15. User Experience Improvement • Project launched in 2008 • Did not make 2.6 release • Not enough work completed in time for code freeze • Many felt design needed happen on tools before they would deploy on campus • 2.7 or 3? • All energy towards Sakai 3
    16. 16. 2009 Challenges • Predictable Roadmap • Good things are happening • When will they emerge into the release? • Action: Sakai Product Manager, Clay Fenlason • Communication • Who is working on what? • Who is interested in the same things I am? • Action: Sakai Communication Manager, Pieter Hartsook • Creating large changes • User Interface Improvement: UX Improvement Project • Major Tool Rewrites • A Completely New Version • Action: New Product Development Process
    17. 17. ProductLifeCycle
    18. 18. MajorProductChanges • Generate new ideas • Try new technologies • Prove desirability • Create dev team/plan • Reduce dev risks • Finish building • Test • Document Community Product Council
    19. 19. Product Council • Authority: • Decide what is in the official release • How: • Based on objective criteria as much as possible • Open process and document decision-making • Also: • Provide guidance to incubation projects who are wondering what they need to do to make the release
    20. 20. Sakai 3: Why? • Changing expectations • Google docs/apps, Social Networking, Web 2.0 • Success of project sites = Sakai beyond courses • Years of hard-won knowledge • New technologies • Standards-based, open source projects • JCR (Jackrabbit) • Open Social (Shindig) • Client-side programming • JavaScript/AJAX • Fluid Project 22
    21. 21. Why Now? The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. John F. Kennedy ProtobyHubertStoffels
    22. 22. What? Technology and Developer Experience Functionality & User Experience Community Practices and Culture PhotosbyHobviasSudoneighm,MassimoValiani,andMathieuPlourde
    23. 23. END USER PERSPECTIVE Sakai 3
    24. 24. Everything is ContentEverything is Content Sakai 3 Themes 26 Learning Space Construction Learning Space Construction Academic NetworkingAcademic Networking Breaking the Site Boundary Breaking the Site Boundary Academic Workflows, not (just) Tools Academic Workflows, not (just) Tools The unSakaiThe unSakai
    25. 25. Learning Space Construction • Really “Academic Space” Construction • Teaching & Learning plus…. • Research, collaboration and portfolios • Principles • Overall control in hands of space owner(s) • Embrace participant content creation • Simple integration of common academic functions PhotosbyCyprienLomas
    26. 26. Academic Spaces: Building Blocks • Simple Content Authoring: • Easy page creation (wiki-like) • WYSIWYG Editing • Versioning • Templates • Page and Site templates • Structure, tools and content • Enhanced with Academic Functionality • Interactive Widgets (e.g. assignments & feedback) 28
    27. 27. Everything is Content • Not just files to share • Classic “resources” tool in Sakai (of course) • Discussion post, user profile, test questions • Taggable, searchable, linkable, portable, shareable • Addressable by URL • Unified content repository • Content not tied to site • Everything in one storage area 29
    28. 28. Sakai2 Site A Site B Users find things by remembering what site they were in when they saw it. Content Management 30 PhotobyDesiréeDelgado
    29. 29. Tags: System, Organizational & User Permissions: Who has access, under what conditions Tags: System, Organizational & User Permissions: Who has access, under what conditions SearchSearch Smart Folders Smart Folders Content Management 31 PhotobyAmyVeeninga Sakai3
    30. 30. Workflow & Architecture 36 KernelKernel Service ServiceService Service ServiceService • Facilitates independent tool development • Resists intuitive workflows • Contributes to inconsistent user experience KernelKernel
    31. 31. Workflow & Architecture 37 KernelKernel Service ServiceService Service ServiceService KernelKernel • Workflows built across services • Encourages presentation & service separation • Services need to respond to more customers • UX oversight is more complicated
    32. 32. Academic Workflow • Beyond Tool Silos • Academic work flows often cross tool boundaries • Anything can be graded! • Anything can be discussed! • This exists in Sakai 2 • But it is too difficult and more needs to be done • Example: Instructor puts into syllabus an assignment to create a discussionpost that will be graded. • 4 tools for both instructors and students! 38 PhotobyZoomZoom
    33. 33. Workflow Example 39 Week Readings Activities & Assignments 1 Course Policies Textbook Chapter 1 2 Textbook Chapter 2 Jackson Article Write a response to Jackson article&post to discussion forum Create Assignment…Create Assignment…Name: Jackson Reading Response Due Date: September 10, 2009 Points: 10 (of 150) Type: Individual Description: Respond to the Jackson article in no more than 500 words. Post that response to the class discussion forum. Link To: Select... CreateCancelAdvanced Options… Select text & click “Create Assignment” Edit Assignment Information Link to Something All Media Images Videos Audio Forums Tests Site Pages Polls ChooseNew… Forums Jackson Response Forum (3 posts) Class Intro Forum (27 posts) Some Other Forum (0 posts)
    34. 34. Student View 40 Week Readings Activities & Assignments 1 Course Policies Textbook Chapter 1 2 Textbook Chapter 2 Jackson Article Write a response to Jackson article&post to discussion forum Assignment: Jackson Reading Response Due Date: September 10, 2009 ( due tomorrow) Status: Not submitted Points: 10 possible (of 150). Description: Respond to the Jackson article in no more than 500 words. Post that response to the class discussion forum. Read more… Link(s): Jackson Response Discussion Forum (Create Post…)
    35. 35. Student View, Graded 41 Week Readings Activities & Assignments 1 Course Policies Textbook Chapter 1 2 Textbook Chapter 2 Jackson Article Write a response to Jackson article&post to discussion forum Assignment: Jackson Reading Response Due Date: September 10, 2009 (due date passed) Status: Submitted and Graded Points: 9/10 (of 150). View feedback Description: Respond to the Jackson article in no more than 500 words. Post that response to the class discussion forum. Read more… Link(s): Jackson Response Discussion Forum (go to Forum now)
    36. 36. The unSakai 42 KernelKernel Service ServiceService Service ServiceService Kerne l Kerne l iGoogle Windows/Mac Widgets Mobile Apps Facebook Documented data feeds allow Sakai to appear anywhere
    37. 37. SAKAI 3 TECHNOLOGY Why Sakai 3?
    38. 38. Sakai 3 Technology Goals • Scalability • Millions of users • Developer Productivity • Faster builds • UX & back-end development separated • Code Quality & Maintenance • Reliance on other open source efforts • Increase unit testing • Easier to install/build • To improve initial experience for new developers 44 PhotobyLuizCastro
    39. 39. JCR as Content Store • Standards-based • JSR 170 • Ships with Apache Jackrabbit, but can be changed • Everything as content • Discussion post, User profile information, etc. • Components put Content into JCR Content store • Sakai Kernel creates relational indices in DB • Component doesn’t need to do anything • Automatic tracking of most events by kernel 45
    40. 40. The Point • Don’t write our own code • Apache Sling is foundation for Sakai 3 • Sling incorporates Jackrabbit & Felix • Criteria: • Functionality • License-compatible open source • Open standard • Approachable community • Ian Boston is committer on Sling and Shindig
    41. 41. JSON • Sakai Kernel supports JSON microformat • Components use REST calls to interact with Kernel • Benefits • Back-end services stay Java-based • UX programmers more often skilled in JavaScript • Easier UX developers can work on Sakai • Tools like GWT can be used for Java-based UI • Components can be written using other languages 47
    43. 43. Community Practices • Functional Leadership • Design First • Minimize Technology Frameworks • Quality Focused • Unit (and other) Tests
    45. 45. Official Releases Timelines 51 Sakai 2.6 Sakai 2.7 Sakai 3.0 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Previews Hybrid Mode Sakai 2.5 Sakai 2.8?