Sakai 11: iFrames are starting to vanish

You have been hearing a bunch about the new responsive Morpheus portal and the removal of the iFrames from Sakai 11. Lots of work has been going on. Last night I committed the first of many changes to the portal code in trunk to start Sakai 11 down the path to being iframe free. The Morpheus effort is already well on the way to making our default portal mobile friendly and responsive.

If you go to the nightly server as of this morning, you will see that there are no more iframes except for the following tools:

Lessons, Samigo, Preferences, Resources, DropBox, and Home

If you want to a fun test, go to:

Make an account, make a site, add the Gradebook and a few other tools to the site – then click the four buttons across the top of Gradebook and then click the Back button four times – watching the URL change. No iframes, real REST looking URLs in the location box and flawless back button.

At this point we have not done anything that is irreversible, all we did was change two property defaults in trunk. You can restore yesterday’s behavior by setting these back to their old defaults:


If you are playing with the morpheus portal, the next time you so an ’svn update’ the same settings and behaviors will be in effect. The morpheus portal is inlining all but the above tools as well.

None of this will be put into Sakai 10 – it will remain in trunk for Sakai 11. We know there will be lots of little issues as we completely rewrite how the portl works underneath our feet and so we really need the next six or so months to colletively test these major UI improvements.

Over the next few weeks, we will be working on tweaking little markup glitches to make it so all tools can be inlined in both the neo and morpheus portals. Lessons, Samigo and Preferences have small issues of markup conflicts, jQuery versions or local CSS bits that should be easily fixed to allow them to be inlined. DropBox and Home use Bootstrap Javascript and CSS and so they have significant markup conflicts between them and the portal – we may need to wait for morpheus to mature some more to get these two tools working in inline mode. Home has four tools on a single page and there is no way to inline more than one tool on a page other than using portlets so the Home page will take some work – or perhaps we just replace it with the Dashboard :).

As we make these changes, every effort will be made to keep the tools working in all variants of the portal (neo with frames, neo with no frames, and morpheus with and without frames). But at some point we will need to change tool markup in a way that it no longer works with the neo portal or works in a diminished mode in neo. By that point, morpheus will have nmatured to the point where it will be the default and only portal that we support for Sakai 11. When that happens there will be plently of communication and announcements and opportunities to do some testing and feedback from the community. So make sure to listen carefully to the developer and user lists in Sakai over the next few months as this bit of “evolution in place” happens.

You can track what is happening at this JIRA:

If you find a problem that appears to be a markup conflict between the portal and tool markup, please file a JIRA and link it to SAK-27774 and we will see what we can do.

Let us know what you think of this on the user and developer lists. One of the benefits of being part of the Sakai community is that we make changes like this in the open and invite broad disucssion about them. It is one of the hallmarks of an open community of developers and users guiding a product forward together.

This is the first of many steps to a state-of-the-art responsive and iframe-free user experience – the journey of a thousand commits starts with a single commit.

Sakai 10 Released – The Magic of Open Source

In this post I am not speaking for University of Michigan, Longsight Inc., or the IMS Global Learning Consortium.

It is always a great feeling for an open source community to finish a release. So much work goes into a release and so many volunteers are involved and work hard – so it is a proud moment for a lot of us. I tend to be involved in more of the up front development and working on crazy next gen stuff. So I am doubly grateful to those who put the finishing touches on these releases and then get them out to the public and put them into production.

Here is the official release notice for Sakai 10. There is a long list of great stuff in that link that I won’t replicate here.

As I said in the The Post-LMS LMS article in Inside Higher Education, the past year has seen a lot of incremental investment in all five of the major LMS systems in the marketplace. In a sense we were all reacting to changes in the market. As we gain experiences with larger sized classes that we hope to run at scale (i.e inspired by MOOCs) there are a number of MOOC-like features that are finding their way into products. Sakai-10’s peer-assessment and improvement of group-submitted are partially inspired by the MOOCs heavy use of peer features. It is not so much that MOOCs were the first to do peer-assessment – more that peer-assessment has gotten a lot of attention in the past two years.

If Sakai end-users feel strongly enough about a feature to bring funding or resources to the table, the features get built and added to the core product and are part of the next release surprisingly quickly. It is that simple – no product marketing layer or sales people to fight through. You find or hire the necessary resources and have a feature in the core product. There is no other product in the LMS marketplace where end-users personally know the core developers of the product on a first name basis.

Another big trend is making sure that LMS systems can function well in cloud environments (i.e. like Amazon). In the past two years, Amazon’s costs have dropped dramatically and their capabilities have grown significantly. The addition of Solid State Disk Drives in many of their offerings is a quantum leap forward in the ability to host “normal” applications in the cloud that was impractical a while back. Simply put, two years ago – you had to be pretty clever to move a large application into the cloud because of the subtle performance tuning that was required – but now Amazon’s cloud resources have very similar performance characteristics to locally-owned hardware – expecially if virtualization is used on that hardware.

Just a quick look at Amazon’s EC2 pricing is pretty amazing – especially the one and three year fixed contract pricing. A m3.medium instance with about 4G RAM, 4G SSD and one CPU is $172 for three years. A bit more capable two CPU, 8G RAM, 32G SSD m3.large server is $343 for three years. Why would I ever run a server under my desk at work with prices like that?

So there is a pull for both self-hosted schools and commercial companies that host LMSs in their own clouds to take advantage of these prices. This is true for all vendors. Based on my rumors and bar conversations, I think that Canvas is the only major hosting company that is mostly using Amazon – but all the other vendors are likely eyeing hosting new work and new expansion in the cloud and as servers get replaced in a company data center it is likely that there will be an urge to use Amazon instead.

But as we move the hosting of these systems into the Amazon cloud, we still want to spend as little money as possible. And if you look at what you are getting in Amazon, the most expensive element of the cost is the RAM followed by I/O. CPU is almost an insignificant concern on most LMS applications. So not surprisingly, if you want to optimize costs in a cloud version of Sakai, you find a way to trade CPU for RAM and database I/O. The solution of course for all applications is a shared cache like memcache or Reddis.

So not surprisingly in the above video you see three Sakai Commercial Affliliates (AshaiNet, Longsight, and Unicon) putting a lot of energy into cloud-tuning Sakai by reducing app server memory footprint and database I/O by adding a shared cache and switching to elastic search.

This kind of cloud tuning goes on for all of the LMS systems. For Moodle, Moodlerooms and RemoteLearner separately tune Moodle to scale for the cloud. Of course Instructure tunes Canvas for the cloud all the time but we never see the source code. Blackboard announced thair plans to host Learn on AWS at BBWorld14 – an impressive step – since I was not in Vegas, I had to settle for screen shots of slides in Twitter DMs.

But the essential difference in the Sakai community is that three competitors saw fit to pool their cloud tuning efforts and put their code into the community release. Even while the code was being built and tested, developers from AsahiNet, Longsight, and Unicon were communicating regularly, checking, testing, and fixing code written by one of their “competitors”. And when it was all done the code ends up in the open source trunk of Sakai. There are no secret repositories with the “magic sauce” – you don’t have to go to the bar and get a drawing on a napkin to find out the clever tuning tricks that are being done to make this possible. Just check out the source code and take a look.

Now while to a proprietary competitor, it might seem crazy to give away the “crown jewels”. But like many crazy plans, it is just so crazy that it might work. First, everyone is running the same code. Vendors don’t need a vendor fork for perfomance tweaks. Self-hosted schools can deploy the same solution as the commercial vendors if they like. If self-hosted schools are a little nervous about switching from the “app server” / “db server” architecture – they can just wait while the commercial Sakai vendors gain experience – but at any time – they have access to the exact same cloud code that the vendors are using in production when they are ready to start saving hardware costs.

The second and more important issue is that cloud performance tuning is a moving target. Amazon will continue to tweak their offerings and performance characteristics. You never really are sure how something will scale until you are running it at scale. Who knows if Unicon, LongSight, or AsahiNet will be the first one to encounter a little bit of code that needs a bit of tweaking as you add the millionth user. But as long as we avoid tweaks in vendor branches and keep the tweaks in the trunk, when the second vendor crosses that million user barrier – the code will be there for them – sitting in trunk and fully tested.

Again it might seem insane for one vendor to commit code that will allow other vendors to match their offerings in the marketplace or allow self-hosted schools to avoid out-sourcing their applications to a vendor because they have 100% access to the same code. But the reality is that it is far less risky to work together than to work separately. There is no single school or commercial vendor in the Sakai ecosystem that can go it alone and ignore everyone else. We are in this together. We sink or swim together.

We will all help each other find our way to the cloud together. That is the power of real open source. That is the magic of real open source.

Even if you run a commercial LMS at your University – you should join us and be part of Apereo. Apereo is not just about Sakai. Apereo is where the next generation of teaching and learning technology will be collectively defined and built. Because what is next will be even more exciting than getting an LMS ready for the cloud.

Current Demographics for My Programming For Everybody Session 2 on Coursera

This blog post is to share some of the demographic data with my students in Programming for everybody on Coursera.

Demographics PR4E#002 (PDF)

Please contact me if you want ot use this in a blog post or some other publication to make sure I get you the most up to date materials.

Dear Google – You Need A Tip Jar So I can Show the Love

Google – Yesterday you saved me $2000 and there is no way to say ‘thank you’. If there were a place to “tip” Google I would certainly give you a nice tip.

Here is my story.

Two days ago, my wife came into the house and wondered why it was so hot even though we had turned the air conditioner on hours earlier. It did seem to be a bit warm so I went out to look at the compressor.

The fan was not spinning but it was hot and making a low hum – not good. Then I used a stick to push the fan to see if it was bad or sticking bearing – the fan spun freely but did not start. Our house was built in 2001 and many of the homes in the neighborhood have been replacing their 15-year old air conditioners. And it was in a series of very hot days so I knew it would take forever to get it fixed – groan. I turned off the power and figured I would use Google Search to do some research on how much this would cost me.

First I just tried to find out how much a new condenser would cost installed – so I googled “AC Condenser price” and “installation cost AC condenser” . There was no clear answer so I figured I would just go get the model number of my existing Carrier condenser and Google it to find the replacement cost of the exact same condenser.

So I started typing ‘carrier 38ckc036340’ and as I was typing – the following screen came up:

I was intrigued by the mention of ‘capacitor’ as I knew that it was pretty common for lots of electronic things to fail because of capacitor failure. So I looked at a few pages and then switched my search to ‘carrier 38ckc036340 fan stopped’ and quickly found this page:

Carrier A/C condenser not working (fan doesn’t come on)

The picture looked pretty easy to interpret so I turned off the power to my AC unit and opened it up. Not only was my capacitor top obviously bulging, I had a stripped wire that I was surprised had not shorted these past 15 years.

A couple of machine screws later I had the capacitor off. A quick motorcycle ride to the appliance parts store and $35.00 later I had a new capacitor. I popped it back in and the AC started working immediately:

So here is the upshot. Google’s type ahead saved me as much as $2K – not only did it save me money but I was able to complete the repair in about the same amount of time it would have take a repair company to call me back.

I know who helped me here and want to share the love. But there is no “tip jar” to drop $5 or $20 into to thank “Google”.

I think that you should make this part of AdWords. Put it in the AdWords rectangle as shown below. I know that I need to show the love to (a) the site with the money-saving knowledge and (b) Google for getting me there – so a profit split from the tip jar would put the right incentives in place for all.

Now in the future as search ads become less and less valuable (especially on the non-video internet) – you might find that a tip jar model is a great source of revenue.

Let me know if this works out for you. You could share a bit of the love for me coming up with such a cool idea by clicking on my little Leave Tip button.

Sakai Value Proposition in Light of the Unizin Announcement

Note: In this blog post I am not speaking for anyone other than myself as a faculty member in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, individual contributor to the Sakai community, and incoming chair of the Sakai Project Management Committee (PMC). I am not in any way involved with the Unizin effort at the University of Michigan. Full disclosure: I do consulting work as the Sakai Chief Strategist for Longsight, Inc. – A leading provider of hosting and development services around Sakai.

Related: Only on Canvas (Unizin) from Inside Higher Education.

There seems to be some confusion as to how the creation of the Unizin effort ( might affect the Sakai community. Those who have not looked at Sakai in some time might assume that as the University of Michigan and Indiana University start to invest resources to support the Canvas LMS that Sakai will be left with no resources. Thankfully this is not the case as over the past ten years Sakai has become a rich and diverse international open source community. The following graph shows the participation levels of the various institutions on the Sakai developer list over the past ten years.

Looking at the graph, you can see how the Sakai project started with about seven schools that contributed the bulk of the initial code and provided essential leadership that helped the community to grow. Building the initial Sakai code base was very labor and capital intensive. But now that Sakai is on par with the other LMS systems in the marketplace the need for large-scale investment from Universities is greatly reduced. In a recent survey, Sakai represents a 9% market share in US higher education based on FTE.

Sakai no longer depends on the founding schools to move the project forward. Schools like Michigan, Stanford, Berkeley, Cambridge, Oxford, Cape Town, Columbia, and Indiana got us started in the early years – but over the past decade the Sakai community has become very rich, diverse, and sustainable. The Sakai community now has contributors from over 100 organizations around the world. Schools like Rutgers, NYU, Stanford, Columbia, Cape Town, Oxford, and others continue to provide community leadership and strong representation from higher education. These direct contributions from higher education institutions are increasingly supplemented by significant investments from successful Sakai Commercial Affiliates. The global nature of the community coupled with the open cooperation between higher education resources and commercial resources working on the same code base leads to a very robust ecosystem that will sustain Sakai for many years.

The Sakai product is a stable, performant and compelling learning and collaboration platform with an exciting and innovative development roadmap. The Sakai 10 release (2Q14) focuses on making Sakai cloud-ready and greatly reduces the hardware requirements to run Sakai. The Sakai 11 release scheduled for 2Q15 adds mobile capabilities and a completely redesigned responsive user interface as well as further improvements to Sakai’s scalability and cloud readiness.

Growing world-wide adoption has also been translated into significant levels of growing worldwide contribution. We’re an open global community supporting globally relevant software. Sakai features more languages than any commercial LMS because open source allows those with an interest to invest in a translation to meet their own needs.

Recall that Sakai was created in part to reintroduce competition into an LMS market space dominated by a single commercial provider. We along with a number of other LMS providers succeeded in reversing the trend towards single provider dominance. We welcome the innovations and competitive spirit that Instructure has brought to the market. The goal of Sakai is to make the entire learning ecosystem better rather than a simple focus on Sakai’s market share. Competition between Sakai and Canvas both in the marketplace and on various campuses will only make both products better to the benefit of teachers and learners regardless of the product they use.

I think that we are going to see larger higher education institutions supporting multiple LMS platforms as a steady-state situation for their campuses going forward. A school already might be actively teaching Sakai, EdX and Coursera – these systems provide capabilities that are “additive”. With the increasing trend toward outsourcing the hosting and maintenance of these systems (including schools that use Sakai) it is less important to only have a single LMS for the entire campus. Campus IT increasingly is maintaining a portfolio of services from multiple vendors to meet the needs of faculty, staff, and students at the university.

Supporting more than one LMS gives faculty a choice in a way that a single one-size fits all LMS has never been able to provide. It also means that faculty can experience unhurried migrations from one product to another since there is no rush to “shut down” an open-source LMS that does not have an annual license. And as the multi-LMS campus becomes the norm, standards and interoperability like those from IMS Global come to the fore. And Sakai is ideally positioned to work with Canvas and others to rapidly innovate around data portability and software interoperability.

TSUGI – An Standards-Based Learning Tool Framework

Over the next few weeks I will be writing some blog posts about my new approach to teaching and learning technology. You can see a few of my recent talks about my ideas on SlideShare.

The overall goal of the TSUGI framework is to make it as simple as possible to write IMS Learning Tools Interoperability™ (LTI)™ tools supporting LTI 1.x (and soon 2.x) and put them into production. The framework hides all the detail of the IMS standards behind an API. The use of this framework does not automatically imply any type of IMS certification. Tools and products that use this framework must still go through the formal certification process through IMS (

My overall goal is to create a learning ecosystem that spans all the LMS systems including Sakai, Moodle, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Canvas, Coursera, EdX, NovoEd, and perhaps even Google Classroom. It is time to move away from the one-off LTI implementations and move towards a shared hosting container for learning tools. With the emergence of IMS standards for Analytics, Grade book, Roster, App Store, and a myriad of other services, we cannot afford to do independent implementations for each of these standards. TSUGI hopes to provide one sharable implementation of all of these standards as they are developed, completed, and approved.

In the long run I expect to develop Java, Ruby, and other variants of TSUGI but I am initially focusing on the PHP version because it allows me to be most agile as we explore architecture choices and engages the widest range of software developers.

In the long run, I hope to make this a formal open source project, but for now it is just my own “Dr. Chuck Labs” effort.
Even in its current form it is very reliable and very scalable but I am not eager to have too many adoptions because I expect the code will see several refactor phases as various communities start to look critically at the code.

If you want to watch this evolve see

Learning Tools Interoperability™ (LTI™) is a trademark of IMS Global Learning Consortium, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. (

Dear Google, Like You, I Just Don’t Care…

As many know, when Google App Engine came out I became immediately enamored with it. I saw it as a way to democratize access to server-hosted code. It meant everyone in the world could have server space at no charge and I hoped it would unleash creativity. I wrote the first book on App Engine (released through O’Reilly and Associates). I switched the course I was teaching from Ruby on Rails to use App Engine and it was taught that way for over 3 years. I started doing more and more server side development in Python. I started moving some of my production stuff from PHP to App Engine to show the faith.

But my enthusiasm and rush to embrace all things App Engine was not to last. I could write a book on went wrong with App Engine but here are a few of the high points. (1) They never would help you with performance problems unless your name is “Sal Khan” – they just were the Honey Badger. (2) Once they used us early adopters to Beta test their code by building free applications – the “free” resource levels went down to force more folks to the pay version. (3) They just decided to break working code as they went to Python 2.7 – no need to support legacy (say like Microsoft does) – again the cries of “foul” fell on the deaf Honey Badger ears.

That is not to say that App Engine had zero value. It motivated companies like Amazon to create truly useful services like EC2 that actually met user’s needs and let users do what they wanted and let users log in to diagnose why their code was running slowly. So App Engine was not quite a Google Wave that never took off. More like a Google Reader that told Yahoo that there was demand for such a service.

Google has done a lot of forcing innovation upon us – like the AJAX revolution through Google Maps and GMail. And I love Chrome (I am using it to write this post).

So I have been recently getting mail that my App Engine and Apps stuff that I built during my post-Google I/O (2008, 2009) high are not active so they will be deleted. I have many opportunities to simply “click this button” to extend the life of these things. But this time, it is my turn to be the Honey Badger. Because you see I simply do not care. I just cannot depend Google for anything other than AdSense, Search, Maps and Mail. You are good at supporting your applications and terrible at supporting my applications. Your developer stuff is so freakishly proprietary and you have no commitment to continuity. I like Amazon a lot – they “get” me – Amazon is my partner – they want me to succeed and get a cut of my success. Google makes me feel like a side of beef – an asset to be managed.

Here is the mail I just got. I am putting it into this blog post so I can gleefully delete it and ignore it – like the Honey Badger would.


There hasn’t been any activity on your Google Apps account for the domain since we sent your termination notice 30 days ago.

Your Google Apps account has been closed.

You can still check or save your data. Just sign in to as in the next 30 days and export your data. If you forgot your username or password, click the “Need help?” link, and we’ll help you access your account.

Your account will be automatically terminated on May 8th 2014. Once your account is terminated, you can no longer access any Google Apps services with this domain name. All of your account data, such as your Gmail messages and contacts, will be permanently deleted to protect your privacy. No one will be able to access your old data by creating a new Google Apps account with this domain name.

Visit the Google Apps Help Center to learn more about closing inactive accounts.

We hope you’ve enjoyed using Google Apps. If you would like to continue using these services, we invite you to create a new Google Apps for Business account.

The Google Apps Team

Altering a UNIQUE Constraint in a MySQL Table

It took me a while to figure out how to drop and recreate a UNIQUE constraint on one of my tables. So I figured I would record the slick little sequence of commands here to help my memory and save me time next time:

CREATE TABLE `t_lti_link` (
`link_id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
`link_sha256` char(64) NOT NULL,
`link_key` varchar(4096) NOT NULL,
`context_id` int(11) NOT NULL,
`title` varchar(2048) DEFAULT NULL,
`json` text,
`created_at` datetime NOT NULL,
`updated_at` datetime NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (`link_id`),
UNIQUE KEY `link_sha256` (`link_sha256`),
KEY `t_lti_link_ibfk_1` (`context_id`),
CONSTRAINT `t_lti_link_ibfk_1` FOREIGN KEY (`context_id`) REFERENCES `t_lti_context` (`context_id`) ON DELETE CASCADE ON UPDATE CASCADE
ALTER TABLE t_lti_link DROP INDEX link_sha256;
SHOW INDEX FROM t_lti_link;
ALTER TABLE t_lti_link ADD UNIQUE(link_sha256, context_id)
SHOW INDEX FROM t_lti_link;
CREATE TABLE `t_lti_link` (
`link_id` int(11) NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
`link_sha256` char(64) NOT NULL,
`link_key` varchar(4096) NOT NULL,
`context_id` int(11) NOT NULL,
`title` varchar(2048) DEFAULT NULL,
`json` text,
`created_at` datetime NOT NULL,
`updated_at` datetime NOT NULL,
PRIMARY KEY (`link_id`),
UNIQUE KEY `link_sha256` (`link_sha256`,`context_id`),
KEY `t_lti_link_ibfk_1` (`context_id`),
CONSTRAINT `t_lti_link_ibfk_1` FOREIGN KEY (`context_id`) REFERENCES `t_lti_context` (`context_id`) ON DELETE CASCADE ON UPDATE CASCADE

Sweet. I am loving that MySQL magic.

Learning Management System – March Madness 2014

I just produced a bracket for March Madness 2014 that breaks it down by which enterprise Learning Management System each campus is running.

LMS March Madness for 2014.

The Final-4 bis set:

Blackboard: 2
Sakai: 1
Desire2Learn: 1

The story line for the Final Four is almost perfect. In the first round it is Blackboard versus Sakai and Blackboard versus Desire2Learn. It could be an all-Blackboard final or Blackboard could have no teams in the final. This is unlike in 2013 where Blackboard was three of the four Final Four teams (Sakai was the fourth) and eventually won it all. If your team is no longer in the playoffs – simple switch to rooting for a team based on their enterprise LMS.

The Sweet-16 box score was:

Blackboard: 8
Sakai: 4
Desire2Learn: 3
Moodle: 1

Check out my blog post from last year!

We shall see who wins the overall LMS March Madness Challenge!

Joining Longsight

March 17, 2014 was my first day as a Longsight employee. I of course am not leaving my full-time faculty position at the University of Michigan School of Information and I will continue to teach my on-campus and Coursera courses. I am joining Longsight as a part-time employee with the title of “Sakai Strategist”. I will also continue doing consulting work for the IMS Global Learning consortium as I have done since 2008.

Being part of Longsight has a number of wonderful benefits for me. First I have financial support to participate in the Sakai community. While the result of free and open source efforts is freedom for the users and adopters of the resulting products, it still costs money to build high-quality open source software like Sakai. My new support will help underwrite a portion of my time working on Sakai as well as cover travel and support costs for my community activities. The second benefit to being part of Longsight is working closely with my new Longsight colleagues. Longsight has emerged as one of the strongest Sakai Commercial Affiliates (SCAs) and Longsight staff are a critical part of the leadership of the Sakai. Even though my efforts will be as a part-time employee, by being part of Longsight, I will be part of a coordinated effort to both improve Sakai and expand its reach.

I think that the LMS marketplace is at an important inflection point. Much like in 2004 when Sakai and Moodle became the disruptive force in the market that ultimately made the commercial providers better, stronger, and more responsive to customer needs, I think that the market is primed to take its next leap forward.

It is time for all the products in the marketplace to move toward a disaggregated architecture for learning platforms and learning tools. The single monolithic LMS will simply not meet the needs of teachers and learners any more. But all of the major products in the marketplace including Sakai, Moodle, Blackboard, Desire2Learn, Canvas and others have been dedicated to building the world’s greatest monolithic LMS. And frankly, what we have all really been doing for the last 15 years is trying to “out do” Blackboard Learn to one degree or another. Learn was the first and most successful product in this market and in many ways established and continues to be the definition of “learning technology”.

I think that Sakai is the only major LMS activity in the marketplace willing to take a risky step backwards to enable a transformative leap forwards. Sakai is the only effort that is supported by a diverse group of commercial and academic participants. This diversity has its challenges – we cannot raise $60 million from venture capitalists on a whim because we won’t surrender our intellectual property to them. But at the same time, we can collectively take risks.

We are a band of committed friends, colleagues and volunteers spread around the world. We work for a diverse set of organizations. Yet we have found a way to develop a product that has garnered between six and ten percent of worldwide market share. Sakai has been able to compete with well-funded enterprises and hold its own with almost no “centrally controlled” resources (we employ a single dedicated full-time employee). It is a testament to how much more efficient the open source model is than any other model of software development and group coordination. It also points out how much more effective each of us can be when we are doing something that we love.

So what is next? You actually don’t have to look much further than the 18-month roadmap for Sakai-11 that was developed by the community in January this year:

This is the first time we have engaged in a collective planning process with an 18-month horizon. We were scoping the release of Sakai-11 six months before we finish Sakai-10. The Sakai-11 goals are bold and will require a lot of work. My support from Longsight will ensure that I can invest the time I need to contribute to that exciting vision of Sakai-11 and beyond.

In addition to the Sakai-11 roadmap, I will be spending time working on other Apereo open source efforts like building a portfolio system completely outside of *any* LMS and integrating it through standard connections. I also plan to be involved in the Apereo effort to build an open source tool for Learning Analytics that will work with *any* LMS and integrate using standards like LTI, xAPI, and IMS Caliper. And there has not been any mention of an open source Apereo learning object repository or App Store projects – but I think that is only a matter of time.

I am running out of space so I will just mention offhand the flight of LMS users to mobile, the emergence of the EPUB3 standard and its impact on learning, the increasing growth of enhanced e-books as the “Entry Point to Learning”. LMS vendors are not likely to have the agility needed to truly explore these complex and emerging trends fully. But since Sakai has so many people and schools already “playing” with these ideas at the edge – it is completely natural for us to be front and center in these transformative trends.

I see amazing synergy between building new standards in IMS, building reference implementations for those standards into Sakai and then building Apereo learning tools outside of Sakai integrated using those standards.

I think that the combination of Apereo/Sakai/IMS will be energizing to the entire marketplace in very good ways. People, companies, and universities need to realize that an investment in Apereo is an investment in the future architecture of the teaching and learning marketplace. I would love to see Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, and Desire2Learn join the Apereo community and contribute to various Apereo efforts. One way or another we are all in this together.

I am looking forward to seeing you all in New Orleans at IMS Learning Impact – May 5-8 and in Miami at the Open Apereo 2014 – June 1-4.