Monthly Archives: April 2012

Keynote@Sakai Mexico: The University as a Cloud – Trends in Openness in Education

I will be giving a keynote at the first Sakai Mexico Conference Monday April 23 at 12:30 – after lunch.

This will be a lot of fun and for me perfect timing.

I of course will talk about IMS Learning Tools Interoperability, past present, and future. I will look at current and future interoperability strategies from a Sakai CLE, Sakai OAE, IMS, and Blackboard perspective. I will also talk about Massive Open Online Curses (MOOCs) and my course on Internet History, Technology, and Security in particular. I will talk about why I am excited about the pedagogy of MOOCs and in particular why I love the pedagogy of Coursera. I will also talk about where I would like to see Coursera and other MOOC efforts like MITx and Udacity go in terms of a technical and strategic directions. In a sense – what I see as the real impact of MOOCs over the next 5-10 years. I will talk about the next two MOOCs I am planning to develop as well as how I plan to inject technology education into the Liberal Arts curricula of the future with these MOOCs.

All along, I thought that IMS Learning Tools Interoperability was a destination and that once we arrived, our work would be done. Increasingly I see IMS LTI as a mere doorway that once opened, lets us gaze at an amazing landscape of the future of teaching and learning.

This talk won’t be boring and it would be a mistake to miss it. I assure you.

Fixing Tappet Noise on a Buick LeSabre with a GM 3.8 (3800) Engine

This has been a heck of a couple of months in terms of the Severance family cars. Brent’s Sunfire died with a rod knock at 140K mies and I bought him a little Subaru Forester. Mandy’s Pontiac Grand Am blew a head gasket at 140K and had coolant coming out the tail pipe (still being repaired). Teresa’s Subaru Tribeca, had it’s 110K checkup that cost $835.

As if all that were not enough, the venerable Dr. Chuck-mobile, my ultra-reliable 2001 Buick LeSabre with 210K miles had a few issues as well but ended up with a happy ending. But let me start at the beginning.

I have had three Dr. Chuck-mobiles since 1998. They all have the GM 3.8 (3800) V6 engines. I would buy them at about 105K miles for around $4500 and then drive them for 100K miles and the sell them to someone else in my family and for $2000 and then buy another “new” one with 100K miles. My family loves GM 3.8 liter engines. Across my parents, brothers and sisters, we have probably had 20 GM cars with 3.8 liter engines. My parent’s garage looks like a auto repair shop in rural Mexico. We literally have in stock nearly every part that goes wrong with the GM 3.8 liter engine. My brothers Scott and Christopher can disassemble and reassemble everything from the engine to the running gear with their eyes closed. We leave transmission work to the pros at Lansing Transmission – they have never steered us wrong.

In 1999, I had a green Pontiac Bonneville. In 2004 I switched to a while Oldsmobile 88, and in 2008 I purchased my current Buick LeSabre. I really wanted a LeSabre because it was quiet and smooth and had a neat display that gave you an instantaneous gas mileage readout during my 120 mile round trip daily commute between Ann Arbor and Holt Michigan.

I really liked the LeSabre and my goal is to not stop at 200K miles but for once in my life get a car to 300K miles. So when it turned 200K back in December, I decided that it was time to do a complete maintenance job to celebrate the milestone and prepare for the next 100K miles. I was going to change bearings, shocks, struts, brakes, calipers, rotors, and do a transmission service. So we bought all the parts and my brother Scott did all the replacements and gave me the car back.

About 1000 miles after I got the car back, it started to develop the loudest tappet noise I had ever heard. In the morning after the car sat all night, it would start and for about five minutes make a tappet noise so loud that it sounded like a midget was under my intake manifold with a sledge hammer. It was so bad that the car ran as if it were missing one one cylinder. I think that the exhaust valve was not opening. It was hard to keep the car running because it was so bad. It even threw a check engine light sometimes after it chugged so badly.

But after about 5 minutes the noise would go away and everything would be perfect for the rest of the day. Even starts after it sat a few hours were noise free. It only made the horrible tappet noise for five minutes in the morning after it sat all night.

I felt a little sheepish because to save money a few months earlier I had let one oil change go over 10K miles. When I finally got it changed the oil was pretty bad. I figured the tappet noise was because it got too dirty and gummed things up.

So I went into the oil change place and asked them to do their $79 engine cleaner treatment and then put whatever magic goo they had to quiet tappet noise. They charged me $22 extra for Lucas Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer. It looked the consistency of honey as they poured it in. They swore that it was the “best stuff ever”.

The tappet noise was gone for about 1500 miles and I was feeling pretty good. And then mysteriously it came back even louder then before. I had just put over $1000 of repairs in this car and I was not about to spend the next 100K miles with that noise on every morning start.

So I asked my brother Chris what he would do in the situation and he gave me some advice that was the same as what I have seen all over the Internet. I was to remove a quart of the oil and put in a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil (a.k.a MMO). MMO was less than $5 at my AutoZone. I still had less than 2000 miles on my oil change so I went back and asked them to drain a quart and put in the MMO. The kind of scoffed at me and told me that the Lucas was the best stuff ever. I told them I just wanted the MMO put in and did not want a lecture. I had tried it their >$100 way and it failed after 1500 miles.

So I drove out from the oil change and immediately drove 120 miles that day to and from Ann Arbor. The next morning, the tappet noise was reduced by 1/3 and it went away a little more quickly. For the next 500 miles it got slowly better. After about 750 miles it was quite tolerable where you actually had to turn the radio down to hear it and it went away in a minute. After 1500 miles, even after sitting a whole night, the engine starts flawlessly with no sound at all.

This is an amazing development given how loud and how bad the tappet noise had become. I am feeling much better now.

My next oil change is in about 750 more miles and I will put Marvel Mystery Oil as one of the quarts and likely do that for the rest of the life of the car to keep it nice and clean internally.

Of course you may find your results differ. I am sure there are lots of reasons for tappet noise. And maybe whatever gunk or varnish that needed dissolving was near a lot of oil flow and was easily cleaned up. Another advantage I have is that my driving is not stop and go. I get in the car and drive 60 miles at highway speeds until I arrive at work and then turn around and do the same at night. So there was plenty of oil flowing and the engine was fully warmed up pretty much every time I drive.

I will see how it goes. But for now I feel good about the quest for 300K miles with all new parts, a fresh transmission service, and now no tappet noise.

Crawling, Page Rank and Visualization in Python for SI301

I have been hacking up some sample code for my SI301 course the past few weeks. The course is about Networks, Crowds ,and Markets and so I wanted to build a rudimentary Python web crawler that would retrieve a web site, run a page rank algorithm on it, and then visualize the page rank and the links.

If you click on the image, you will see an interactive version of the visualization and be able to play with the visualization of some pages on You can hover over a node to see the URL, or click and drag a node around, or double click on a node to launch the actual web page.

Here is the Source code in Python.

It uses the completely cool D3 Data Driven Documents to perform the visualization.

Comments/bug fixes welcome.

Good and Evil is not the right model – its a Money Thing

This post is a response to Michael Feldstein’s recent excellent post about Martin Dougiamas of Moodle, Josh Coates of Instructure and me “representing” Sakai.

The Blackboard Announcements, Part 2: Can Open Source Be Bought?

Michael’s post is (as always) well written and does a good job of capturing the kinds of possible outcomes that might occur if Martin, Josh, or I were somehow replaced by an exact (but evil) duplicate.

It is not the first time in several weeks that I had a conversation about me becoming evil. While I was talking to Michael Chasen about joining Blackboard, I told him the some people would assume that he had removed my regular brain and replaced it by a remote control robot brain that he controlled.

We both laughed. So far, I can assure you with 100% certainty that my brain has not been replaced by a red glowing evil robot brain (i.e. iRobot). But actually, if I think about it for a moment, if my brain had been replaced by an evil robot brain, it would likely be programmed so that I would think that it had not been replaced. And also that would mean that right now instead of telling the truth like I usually do in my blog posts, my robot evil brain would be programmed to lie convincingly and I would not even know the differnz dsjaji xzsaiew lsajd slj lslkjd……

Stack overflow - core dumped
^@^@^@^@__DATA^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@0^@^@^@^@q^@^@ ^@^@^@^@^
^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@0t^@^@^@^P^@^@ t^@^@^@^B^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@


Damn Evil Robot Brains and their memory leaks! Every since these robot brains were upgraded to Lion, they seem to have instability problems. I wonder if I can format my evil robot brain and reinstall Snow Leopard?

Ah well, back to my post.

As I was saying, Michael Feldstein’s post was great but his metaphor of good and evil is just not appropriate. First, when people do things, they have a reason and logic for them. At some point a situation changes, the market changes, and someone changes their mind about something and takes a different but still logical course of action based on the new conditions.

A Billion Dollars…

I prefer to wonder what might happen if each of the people in Michael Feldstein’s post were offered a billion dollars. It is a slightly more likely scenario than someone becoming evil due to a virus in SkyNet. And I will add Michael Chasen – the CEO of Blackboard to the list of soon-to-be billionaires.

Lets assume Apple Computer wanted an LMS and were willing to spend two seconds of their worldwide revenue (a billion dollars) on the purchase and made four people an offer of a billion dollars for their LMS software. Lets assume just for the sake of argument that the billion dollar offer is way more than the software is worth and all four would take the billion dollar offer.

What if Michael Chasen were offered a billion dollars for Blackboard Learn?

  • The software is copyright all rights reserved and there are no legitimate copies of the software outside of Blackboard.
  • Michael signs a paper transferring his rights to the software (which are complete) to Apple
  • Apple can do anything it likes with its new asset (the source code to BBLearn)
  • If a Blackboard employee happens to have a copy of the source code on their laptop, there is nothing they can do with that source code without getting sued by Apple.

What if Josh Coates were offered a billion dollars for Instructure?

  • The software is copyright Affero GPL
  • Josh signs a paper transferring his rights to the software (which are complete) to Apple
  • Apple can do anything it likes with its new asset including changing the license to copyright all rights reserved and doing all further development proprietary and closed source
  • If someone outside Instructure had a copy of Canvas one minute before the license was changed to all rights reserved, they could check that copy into github and form a company or community around the software and continue its development. That continued development must be done in a completely open source manner – whether the software is run as software as service *or* if the software is redistributed. Apple does not have to publish their work as open source but anyone else working on the code must publish everything open source.

What if Martin Dougiamas were offered a billion dollars his interest in Moodle?

  • The software is copyright GPL. Martin holds copyright to much of the lines of code – but there are lots of other contributions from others where their code is also GPL. All of Moodle is GPL and most of Moodle is owned by Martin.
  • Martin signs a paper transferring his interest in Moodle to Apple but he cannot transfer the interest of the other contributors without their explicit consent.
  • In order to change the license of all of Moodle to all rights reserved, they would either need to track down every single contributor to Moodle (Start here) and give them a each new MacBook Air (or two) to convince them to sign over their rights to Apple. If any of the contributors refused to sign, Apple would have to re-implement the questionable area of code in a clean-room environment (i.e. developers who work without having ever looked at the source code).
  • If Apple did not get approval from every single contributor and still decided to remove the GPL license while no one was looking, they would soon get a visit from Richard Stallman or some other representative of the Free Software Foundation. One time I was sitting in Hal Abelson’s office in the MIT Stata Building, listening to Richard Stallman explain GPL to someone over the phone in the next office over. Trust me – rewriting the software in a clean room is the much easier path.
  • If someone (like about 50,000 people) had a copy of Moodle one minute before Martin signed the papers, they could check that copy into github and form a company or community around the software and continue its development. They could even continue development in a non-open repository if they would only run software as a service and not redistribute their code. If they wanted to redistribute a binary copy of their modified Moodle, they would have to publish the modifications to the source code. Oh the delightful irony of a license that was invented before “the cloud” was even imagined and back when we actually used compilers during software development.

What if I were offered a billion dollars for my interest in Sakai?

First the software is copyright the Educational Community License 2.0, an Apache 2.0 variant that allows unlimited open-source or closed-source forks of the code with no restrictions on those forks other than not naming the software ‘Sakai’ and acknowledging the Sakai Foundation and other contributors. So they can have a copy of the software for free with no real restricitons on its use, distribution, or future development. Not a single dollar needs to be exchanged and no persmission is needed, let alone a billion dollars. ECL-Licensed software is truly a no-strings attached gift to anyone who finds themselves in posession of the software.

But what if Apple Really wanted to pay me a billion dollars for my interest in Sakai as a contributor. It turns out that I have some interest in a tiny bit of Sakai – the parts I wrote. Lets charitably say that I wrote three percent of the code in Sakai. I maintain an interest in some of that code. Not an exclusive interest – but under the terms of my Contribution License Agreement (CLA), I have a right to keep a copy of my own work in addition to the copy I contribute to the Sakai Foundation. But of my three percent of the overall Sakai code, most likely 2.5 percent was done during the years 2003-2007 when I was a UMich employee focused on Sakai, so actually the contribution of that 2.5 percent of the code came from Michigan not from me. Since 2007 (0.5 percent of the Sakai code) I have been a faculty member instead of a staff member so a case could be made that I have interest in things like the Basic LTI portlet that I wrote after 2007.

But because of my signed Contribution Agreement, I gave the Sakai Foundation an unrestricted, non-revokable copy and the foundation gives that copy away to anyone at no cost so there is little to be gained in buying it from me.

So I have nothing to sell to Apple – except my charm and good looks – even if they offer me a billion dollars. Perhaps they would be interested in purchasing a signed and notarized quit-claim deed for the Brooklyn Bridge from me.


Apple literally does not have any reason to pay any one or any organization “buy” Sakai. They can have it virtually unrestricted at no cost. Because Martin holds the copyright of Moodle, technically he could sell his interest to Apple – but because he does not own it all, he can only sell the part he owns. In a sense, while Martin owns most of Moodle, all of Moodle is held jointly between Martin and the Moodle community. It is a common practice in GPL-style projects to simply not worry about who owns what. This many-way joint ownership is a nice insurance policy against GPL projects going proprietary.

Michael Chasen and Josh Coates (and their companies) truly own every single line of code in their products. The AGPL license for Canvas insures that an open source community could continue after any sale – but the AGPL really limits significant large-scale commercial adaptation for anyone other than the original copyright holder.

No one is ‘evil’ here. Each company or open source community is protecting its interests and expressing their organization/community values by making very concious choices about the copyright applied to their code.

I Have a Confession to Make about ANGEL

I hope I have made it clear that Sakai is my first love and always will be. I have a deep relationship with Sakai is part of the essential and permanent fabric of my very being and she defines who I am at the core.

But I have to confess that I have always had a thing for ANGEL. I mostly worshipped her from afar. It was probably wrong but I had an ANGEL account on a developer server for many years. I *promise* that I never taught a course with ANGEL. But I have had many long cups of coffee sitting at my desk exploring her functionality and dreaming about what might have been. I looked but never taught.

My family taking classes at Lansing Community College and Michigan State University use ANGEL. I look over their shoulders at times trying to watch how the product works and how LCC and MSU teachers make use of the ANGEL features in various ways. Even simple things like the pedagogy of an assignment drop box in the middle of sequenced content seem amazing. It inspired me to write an LTI tool called ‘dropbox’ that imitated ANGEL’s functionality. Like a poem written in PHP that I wrote but never sent.

In many ways ANGEL has been a muse to me and her simple understated elegance was inspiring. I felt that when I was with her, I had a better understanding of good UI design for an LMS. I think that just knowing her has made me a better designer and developer in my relationship with Sakai’s portal.

For example, in Sakai 2.8 when I first introduced the “expando” feature to minimize navigation, I imitated the expando feature of Angel. Few many have noticed, but the first image I used for the expando was the ANGEL image with black switched to blue. And the expando worked simultaneously vertically and horizontally just like in ANGEL. But the rest of the Sakai community did not know ANGEL as I knew her. They were more familiar with the horizontal-only expando UI from Blackboard. So slowly but surely the expando image morphed from ANGEL style to Blackboard style by Sakai 2.9 in a series of steps. The final 2.8 expando image still kept the arrow motif but was a circular button instead of a rounded triangle. The arrow remained as homage to the original ANGEL inspiration in 2.8 and by 2.9 there was only a partial arrow which is no longer really homage.

I was also taken with how ANGEL did its PDA portal. There was a button in the lower left that was essentially “switch to PDA mode” that eliminated frames, and inlined everything. When I first did the PDA portal for Sakai, ANGEL again was my muse – I tried to mimic the functionality of ANGEL as much as I could. I even wanted to borrow the little late-90’s Casio icon but I did not. Of course Gonzalo took that code and make it a million percent better – Sakai’s PDA portal is no longer is a weak imitation of ANGEL – it is the best non-native-app mobile LMS portal in the world. It took Gonzalo to take my symbolic gesture based on the crush I had on ANGEL into really good functionality.

When the Etudes team was rethinking some of how they orchestrated content and other items, I did demo of ANGEL and suggested they just take screen shots and make their UI “just like ANGEL”. The took a look and then did their own thing that turned out to be very cool.

When Chuck Hedrick of Rutgers started on Lesson Builder, I did a demo of ANGEL and suggested that where there was overlap between ANGEL and Lesson Builder, to borrow heavily from the ANGEL interface. Lesson Builder turned out to be pretty similar to ANGEL. I think that it is more because great minds (Chuck Hedrick and Dave Mills) think alike rather than borrowing ideas from ANGEL. But regardless, I had my new little Angel (Lesson Builder) in Sakai 2.9. to be so proud of as she grew up. Especially a few months later when our little Angel (Lesson Builder) started to blossom with IMS LTI and IMS Common Cartridge certification. She looked a lot like her mother but her mother never supported IMS LTI and IMS CC. Lesson Builder’s mother (ANGEL) has an early version of CC 1.0 – but it was not updated to the final spec and so while she is very talented and was instrumental in the birth of Common Cartridge – she does not have her degree in IMS Interoperability-ology. ANGEL could still go back and get her degree in IMS LTI and CC at some point in the future – but for now I am just so proud of her daughter Lesson Builder. Of course Chuck Hedrick is the other parent of Lesson Builder. I am more of a proud uncle.

As Lesson Builder moved into trunk, I asked Chuck Hedrick if we could rename it “Lessons” instead of “Lesson Builder” to give homage to ANGEL’s Lessons feature. In a way it is a little tattoo in the Sakai Navigation look and feel to remember Lesson Builder’s mother and be a little ever-present easter egg if anyone went between Sakai 2.9 and ANGEL. I thought it was a nice little touch.

A few weeks back when I was under non-disclosure, Michael Chasen explained the plans that were announced last Monday. Michael said, “I will be buying MoodleRooms and NetSpot.” I thought for a second and said, “I did not see that coming – but very clever”. He said, “I want to make an Open Source Division of Blackboard and contribute to Sakai and Moodle.” I said, “That makes a lot of sense.” Then he said, “We are removing ANGEL from end-of-life status.” I about jumped out of my chair and almost shouted, “Really??? Is David Mills coming back?”. Michael said, “Yes he is coming back and he is quite excited what we are planning to do.” Then I told Michael that he should first announce the extension of ANGEL and then wait two weeks to announce everything else. He laughed and said it was not practical to separate the announcements.

Then I asked Michael, “Can I call David and talk to him?” Michael said, it would be ok to call him but I needed to wait two days to call David. Before I left, I told Michael that I would probably accept the job – but only after I talked to David Mills. I called David two days later and we talked for about 90 minutes about our thoughts and feelings about the multi-LMS strategy which were completely aligned. We were like two kids in a candy store. And we both have a thing for ANGEL.

Now that I am a part-time cook at Blackboard, am am all of a sudden much closer to ANGEL. She is no longer out of my reach. ANGEL developers are a short motorcycle ride away from my house and they work in one of the few cities with *two* Ruth’s Chris steakhouses. How can I resist a short visit?

Maybe I will tell her how I really feel. Or maybe I will be too embarrassed to tell my true feelings. Or maybe I will just stay in the friend zone as a secret admirer and tell ANGEL that as a friend, I really think she should go back to school and get her IMS Masters Degree in Interoperability-ology.

I don’t know what I will say or do when I am finally alone with ANGEL having a cup of coffee with her at Starbucks. Hope I don’t make a fool of myself.

What The Heck is a Chief Sakai Strategist?

I figure I should clarify my Blackboard title. “Chief Sakai Strategist” – pretty awesome and cool huh?

Blackboard Open Source Statement of Principles (scroll down to see my title)

First, it does not contain any words that make it so I can make legal commitments on the part of Blackboard. Those words would be things like “Director”, “Manager”, “Vice President”, etc.. I am prohibited from having any of those “legal” titles since I am a full-time faculty member at the University of Michigan. You will notice that my contribution agreement is signed by Michael Chasen and not me. That is because I cannot sign for anything as a legal representative of Blackboard.

To be honest, other than that I could make up my own title. I imagined and discarded, “Master of Interoperability”, “Standards Cat Herder”, “Agent of Change”, “Source of Chaos”, or “Trouble Maker”. Titles like that are funny for the first few minutes but kind of dumb after that – of course unless your title is like Mark Zuckerberg’s in the Social Network movie. Mark’s title stays fun for a long time.

I wanted “Sakai” in my title because it allows me to avoid a lot of meetings. Someone might invite me to a Collaborate meeting titled, “Learn Ocho Features” and I would ask, “Is there anything about Sakai in there?” If the answer was ‘no’, I could skip the meeting and write some code or run out and get a Starbucks.

I was thinking about “Sakai Advisor”, but that made me think of the “CIA Advisors” in the Vietnam War – and I did not want folks to make that association.

I was thinking about “Sakai Evangelist” – but outside the US (and frankly outside most large cities in the US) – that might be mis-interpreted.

So then , why “Chief” in “Chief Sakai Strategist”? First I wanted to make sure Blackboard was hiring a really special dude. There could be a whole wing of “Sakai Strategists” but only one “Chief Strategist”. And since there was only one of me, I just grabbed the “Chief” title right off the bat like a domain name. When Blackboard hires another “Sakai Strategist”, perhaps we will play rock, paper, scissors to decide who is really the chief from that point forward.

I discarded “Lead” because that pre-supposes that people will listen to me and follow what I say. That is not particularly likely and I did not want set an expectation I could not achieve.

I will admit that there is homage to “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” since I am a lone Sakai guy, doing most everything myself related to one of the five LMS systems Blackboard is involved in. The other LMS systems have a lot more people than just one. I will be as busy as a one-handed paper hanger.

I also like the sound of “Master Chief” – like Kevin Costner as a rescue swimmer in “The Guardian” and also like Rob Lowden in “The Bloomington Area”. (The Kevin Costner character in that movie was loosely based on Rob except that Rob was in the Navy – not the Coast Guard). Maybe after I do well for a while and learn to jump from helicopters into the water and save people, I can get a promotion to “Master Chief Sakai Strategist”.

Also there is homage to “Chief Information Officer” and “Chief Technology Officer” – but with titles like that someone might get ahold of me and ask to do some real work – like upgrade servers or fix Y2K or something like that. I need to focus on thought leadership without any distraction of actual work.

I was “Chief Architect” of the Sakai Project in 2003-2004. But that name has waaay too much baggage (have I mentioned how cool it would be if you read my Sakai Book)

I also liked the fact that “Chief Sakai Strategist” felt tastefully over-stated like “Senior Lead Janitor”.

So it turned out the be the right title for all these reasons.

Who I Am Not Speaking On Behalf of in this Blog

It is tax time and as such, I can look through my tax records for the last two years and it reminds me of folks who gave me money or supported my travel that I am *not* speaking for in this blog.

  • I am not speaking on behalf of the University of Michigan in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of IMS Global Learning Consortium in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of Blackboard in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of the Sakai Foundation in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of Etudes, Inc. in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of Cisco, Inc. in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of McGraw-Hill Higher Education in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of Google in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of O’Reilly & Associates in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of Barnes and Noble in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of Amazon, Inc in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of Apple Computer, Inc. in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of the University of Amsterdam in this blog
  • I am not speaking on behalf of any organization or person who is paying me or covering my travel expenses in the past, present, or future.

So with that said, when I write in this blog, I am only speaking for me, myself and I.

Some of the posts are written by my Ego and other posts are written by my Id and carefully edited by my Super-Ego. It is not hard to figure out which of my posts are written by which part of my psyche. (My Ego is writing this post).

Sometimes I use the word “we” in posts – it is generally referring to some large group like the whole Sakai community, all teachers, people interested in first programming courses, all totally cool people around the world, all hockey players, people on a diet that are not losing weight as quickly as they like, all people with the first name of ‘Chuck’, all people with at least one tattoo, all motorcycle riders, etc. When I use ‘we’ it should not be mis-construed as representing a precise consensus of the large generic group I am speaking for when I use the word ‘we’.

I am using ‘we’ in the sense of Majestic plural (a.k.a the ‘royal we’).

Hope that makes things clear. Now back to my taxes.