Daily Archives: July 13, 2011

About: Tattoo

Jeff Longland made a post about Blackboard and mentioned my Tattoo:


Here is my comments.

Jeff – Interesting post. I do agree with your first point – I think that creating a more porous boundary between Blackboard and its community is in their best interest and will happen in time. I disagree with your second point somewhat. Simply calling for the release of source code is kind of pointless. Open Source is just a small part of an overall equation. Companies like Instructure do it from the beginning and that is good – but rest assured that there are plenty of bits that Instructure does not release. MoodleRooms has their secret sauce that does not get released. Simply getting your hands on a ZIP file with some Java code almost means nothing unless it is embedded in an open ecosystem. I am sure that the Atlassian release of their code was just a small step in an overall evolution of their culture that took many small steps. Releasing source is not a step function.

That said, I think that it would be a cool step forward if folks who had proprietary software had forums where they could share their production experiences, good and bad. One thing good about Sakai is that our warts are on display in public lists. When someone has a crisis, we all have it with them and learn together. I understand it is scary to let those kinds of conversations happen in the open – but it is also freeing after you get used to it.

In terms of the Tattoo – it is not just a “Blackboard” Tattoo – the Tatoo has a Sakai logo at the center circled by a ring of smaller Tatoos. The ring is a logo for each Commercial or Open Source LMS that releases a Certified Basic LTI 1.0 support in their core product (i.e. not a patch, building block or add on – part of the core code). I am staging the tattoos so my shoulder is not all healing at the same time. The first two tatoos were an IMS logo and a Blackboard logo. The next logos that will be added in the next few weeks are Desire2Learn, LearningObjects, OLAT, and Jenzabar. As best I know, Instructure has Basic LTI Consumer in their repository but no one has seen it in a release – and it is not yet certified. Also Moodle has a module (basiclti4moodle) but it is not in the core code base so Moodle is not yet eligible for a Tatoo. But we are hopeful Moodle will ship support for BLTI in 2.2 so they too will be on my shoulder.

If Moodle and Instructure release Basic LTI, that will complete my tattoo as there are 8 slots in the “ring of compliance”.

And then of course I will write another book and use that Tattoo as the cover of that next book.


You can see the Sakai Tattoo without Blackboard or IMS on the cover of my current book :)