I finished version 0.0.2 of my book titled, “The Battle for Sakai: A Retrospective Diary”. The book is now 230 pages long and covers the time period through December 31, 2006. I am now going to print the book and send copies to a few reviewers for comment and see where I go from there. The book feels much more complete then the 0.0.1 version of the book, even though the last words in the book are “To be continued…”. :)
Writing software that supports teaching, learning and collaboration is far more than just a job. Since teaching and learning are some of the most fundamental human activities, we all have a vested interest in teaching and learning software. Discussions about the design of teaching and learning software can evoke passions from virtually everyone involved in the process. Passions run high and the stakes are high. On most college campuses, the software to support teaching and learning (Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, etc.) is used more often than any other campus software. Student and teacher lives revolve around the software. A significant outage of a course management system in the last few weeks of class is likely to produce howls of anger from students, teachers, and administrators alike.
Building an open source product and community around the Sakai Learning Management System was far from a mere technical activity. In retrospect, the technical problems were relatively mild challenges compared to the challenges of so many people being brought together as a community where we generally made the rules as we went along. This book is about that journey of making open source software and deriving and changing the rules as to how we would make that software as we went along. It is about software developers, managers, designers, and end users all dropped into a crucible and put under pressure to make something great and do so in record time.
This book is about that battle for Sakai.
Ann Arbor, MI, USA
March 6, 2010
Table of Contents
1 Before Sakai 1 2 Forming the Sakai Coalition 11 3 The Sakai Project Begins 19 4 The First Summer of Sakai 31 5 The Big Meeting 39 6 The Little Project That Could 45 7 Framework II - The Sequel 49 8 The Devil is in the Details 59 9 Sakai 2.0: A Star is Born 81 10 Lost in Transition 91 11 The Great Beyond 107 12 Finishing on a High Note 123 13 Beyond the Mellon Grant 133 14 Sakai Foundation Executive Director? 147 15 Onwards, Upwards, and Down Under 155 16 V-Day 173 17 Family “Vacation” Time 179 18 Educational Community License 187 19 U.S. Patent No. 6,988,138 203 20 The Fall 209 21 The Winter 227
If you want more updates on the book, follow me (@drchuck) on Twitter or come back to my blog again. I hope to have the book for sale in both electronic and hard-copy by May of this year.