Daily Archives: December 17, 2011

Book Review: Luke Fernandez

Luke Fernandez of Weber State posted a cool review of my Sakai book:


Here is a quote:

As the Soviet’s used to say (and as historians often still profess), “the future may be certain but the past is always contested territory.” Which is another way of saying that if Chuck has offered up an intriguing story, I hope it doesn’t end up being the authoritative history of Sakai. The sub-title, after all, is a “retrospective diary” rather than a history, which would suggest that many other stories are worth telling.

Here is my reaction:

Luke thanks for such an insightful review of my book. You hit so many of the themes of the book perfectly. I would amplify that I absolutely do not intend for this to be the definitive history of the Sakai project from 2003-2007. Others have completely valid perspectives and I wish others would write their own (perhaps contradictory) views of the events and I would love to be able to let folks assemble he “real” history from all those perspectives. You are also right in that my primary motivation is not simply to “stick it to the man” – the thing I fight for is for the creative types and management types to function as peers rather than the typical structure where management is “above” the creative types. I am fighting for the freedom of the creative types to take part in the decision making.

IMS Basic LTI @ Blackboard DevCon 2011

During my talk at the Blackboard DevCon, I was explaining why the development of standards seems quite dull – but is essential. I likened it to building a sewer system in a new subdivision long before any homes are built and long before any people live in the subdivision. And once the people live there, all the fine workmanship in building the sewer is deeply underground and never seen again (hopefully).

Here was my quote:

“If the toilet does not flush, no one will live in that house. That is why I am so excited about plumbing.”

Here are the slides for the talk:


Here is a video of the Demo/HACK of Blackboard as a Basic LTI Provider:


John Fontaine did most of the work of the demo by hacking up a Basic LTI Provider Building block roughly modeled on the ProviderServlet in Sakai that makes Sakai a Provider. I contributed by checking code into his building block that broke it and triggering John to fix it.

Here is that code on www.oscelot.org :


I must repeat that this is *not* a product direction – it was just a fun five-hour hackathon result.