Author Archives: Charles Severance

Project Idempotent – Project Idempotent – MVP of live / continuous database migrations for SakaiProject

Increasingly, I want to run the 23.x branch and stay no more than a few weeks behind the branch without waiting for a minor release.  my hope is that this is more “cloud like”.   I also thingk that a few smaller sites running near the edge of 23.x in production makes these branches safer to use and lowers the risk of the minor releases.  It also means that when we back merge a fix to a branch these “latest 23.x” servers can help verify the back-ports work.

I have been running servers on 23.x and master now for several years.   These are small servers with folks I generally know so little glitches can be quickly handled.

My greatest frustration when I move a server forward along a branch is missing a conversion that was just added to the conversion scripts for the next release of the branch.

So I have built a tool that runs in Sakai and when a simple bit of SQL is added to the conversion script it can be added to Idempotent.  That way – without scanning the whole conversion script to see what has and has not been applied – I just Idempotent to check and optionally conversion SQL.

It is cool.  It does it all in a servlet – so hot-deploy is super easy.  It has a bunch of utility classes to do things like check if a table exists or a column exists or even is a particular but of conversion SQL has already been run.

In the future – I think this needs to be part of Sakai.  Ia a person makes a patch that needs a conversion script, (in the future) they would also add a few lines to Idempotent.  So if someone did a git pull, recompile, and restart – with a few seconds of startup – all the conversions would be run.

There is a lot of test and work to be done – but I am now running this in production in all my Sakai servers.  For now, I will watch the conversion scripts for 23 and 24 and keep my copy of idempotent up to date.   Frankly it is easier for me to put the conversion in idempotent than figuring out which ones to apply by hand in the MySQL command line.

I would like to advocate including this in Sakai 24 and 23 – but that will require a bunch of dicussion and take some time.  This email is the start of that discussion – here is the source code:

https://github.com/csev/idempotent

It has a README.md and DESIGN.md.

It is not much code.  It could be improved.  If this did go into the main repo, I would take some of the bits in the Util class and move them into the SQL service.  For now I kept things in idempotent so it would work with any version of Sakai.

Sakai 23.0 Released!

Congratulations to our amazing worldwide community! 

I’m pleased to announce that Sakai 23.0 is now available! 

Many thanks to everyone involved with the release! It wouldn’t happen without all of you!

Our community wiki has both functional [1] and technical [2] release notes.

Download instructions are also available [3].

New in Sakai 23

  • New Portal UI
  • Sakai Plus LTI integration
  • Accessibility improvements
  • New or enhanced features in Assignments, Calendar, Dashboard, Discussions, Gradebook, Lessons, Messages, Roster, Rubrics, and more. [4]

[1] Functional release notes – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32324812801/Sakai+23+Release+Notes 

[2] Technical Release notes – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32324812827/Sakai+23+Technical+Release+Notes 

[3] Download instructions – http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/23.0/

[4] Complete Feature Summary – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32324813165/Sakai+23+Complete+Feature+Summary 

(Posted by Wilma Hodges, Sakai Community Coordinator)

Adding SakaiPlus to your current LMS

The LMS marketplace has reached a point where commercial cloud hosted LMS systems from large, established companies have become the norm. Systems like Canvas, Desire2Learn, or Blackboard address the need for a scalable production grade LMS without using local IT staff for development, installation, upgrading, patching or performance monitoring. But the move to the cloud has taken away the sense of ownership, iteration, and innovation that has been part of open source LMS systems like Sakai and Moodle. SakaiPlus makes it so that the Sakai LMS can be installed into your campus-wide cloud-hosted LMS using LTI Advantage to give an option to faculty and IT staff to work with an LMS that can grow and improve over time. Using LTI Advantage enables the idea of a “boutique LMS” that serves a small fraction of the faculty on the campus without actually installing and supporting a second LMS. This session will describe the notion of a “boutique LMS” and then demonstrate Sakai working inside of Canvas, Blackboard, D2L and Moodle.

Abstract: Learning Impact 20203

Experiences Using SakaiPlus with Canvas at University of Michigan

SakaiPlus is the first example of using Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Advantage to plug an entire LMS into another LMS, allowing faculty a choice of LMSs on a campus without requiring a second enterprise LMS installation. We have been beta-testing SakaiPlus integrated into Canvas at the University of Michigan School of Information since fall 2022. This presentation will describe how this is done technically, show how it has been used in real courses, and share initial reactions and results of the testing. We will talk about how an institution with Canvas, Blackboard, or Desire2Learn could use SakaiPlus via LTI Advantage.

Abstract for 2023 NERCOMP and 2023 Educause ELI

Where did @DrChuck go after twitter?

Hi all,  this is a simple post that points you to where Dr. Chuck now can be found now that he has reduced his use of Twitter due to recent events.

My social network is now at https://openedtech.social/@drchuck – if you are a twitter follower interested in Open Source Educational Technology, Open Educational Resources or pictures of cool breakfast food – follow me there.  You can join any number of Mastodon servers and follow me from any of them.  The openedtech.social server is for those interested in open source educational technology – you should find a Mastodon server that fits who you are – I started at mastodon.social for a while and then moved to a more focused community.  That server might be overwhelmed as the folks depart from the other platform.

For my “announcement stuff” like new videos, professional blog posts, or face-to-face office hours, I am going to start using LinkedIn – a lot – you can follow me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlesseverance/ – I only make connections with those I know through work and collaboration or professional contacts say at a conference.

I won’t be closing my twitter account – but it I won’t use it regularly until something changes in its ownership and approaches.   I will not check it regularly – but from time to time I will post a link to this blog post :)

I think the downfall of Twitter is a good chance for us all to reflect and think about why we are part of each of the social networks that we are part of.  If there is not one single, global commercial global social network it makes it so that network cannot act as a global influence.  Many good things happened because of the global public square – but there were as many if not more bad things that happened as well.  It is probably best that it becomes irrelevant so we can rebuild out networks in a more healthy way.

Hope to see you online

— Chuck 19-Nov-2022

 

Sakai 20.6 maintenance is released!

This is a message from Wilma Hodges, the Sakai Community Coordinator.

Congratulations to our amazing worldwide community!

I’m pleased to announce that Sakai 20.6 is released and available for downloading [1]! Please note that this is likely the last maintenance release for Sakai 20.

Sakai 20.6 has 52 improvements [2] including

  • 10 fixes in Assignments

Other areas improved include:

  • A11y
  • Account
  • Announcements
  • Basic LTI
  • Bullhorns
  • Chat Room
  • Commons
  • Content Review
  • Delegated Access
  • Dropbox
  • Feedback tool
  • Forums
  • Gradebook
  • Internationalization
  • Lessons
  • Messages
  • Portal
  • Preferences
  • Rubrics
  • Section Info
  • Sign Up
  • Site Info
  • Statistics
  • Syllabus
  • Tests & Quizzes

There were 3 security issues fixed in 20.6 (details will be sent to the Sakai Security Announcements list).

Please also note the upgrade information page [3] for important notes related to performing the upgrade.

[1] Download information- http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/20.6/

[2] 20.6 Fixes by Tool – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32250068993/20.6+Fixes+by+tool

[3] Upgrade information – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/17310646353/Sakai+20+Upgrade+Information

Sakai 22.1 maintenance is released!

This is a copy of the announcement of the Sakai 22.1 maintenance release from Wilma Hodges – the Sakai community coordinator.


Congratulations to our amazing worldwide community!

I’m pleased to announce that Sakai 22.1 is now available for downloading[1]!

Sakai 22.1 has 204 improvements [2] including

  • 44 fixes in Assignments
  • 10 fixes in Basic LTI
  • 14 fixes in Forums/Discussions
  • 13 fixes in Gradebook
  • 12 fixes in Lessons
  • 24 fixes in Rubrics
  • 20 fixes in Tests & Quizzes

Other areas improved include:

  • Accessibility
  • Announcements
  • Bullhorns
  • Calendar
  • Calendar Widget
  • Commons
  • Dropbox
  • Internationalization
  • Messages
  • PA System
  • Portal
  • Preferences
  • Profile
  • Quartz Scheduler
  • Resources
  • Roster
  • Search
  • Section Info
  • SIgn Up
  • Site Info
  • Statistics
  • Syllabus

There were 3 security issues fixed in 22.1 (details will be sent to the Sakai Security Announcements list).

Please also note the upgrade information page [3] for important notes related to performing the upgrade.

[1] Download information- http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/22.1/

[2] 22.1 Fixes by Tool – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32201507219/22.1+Fixes+by+tool

[3] Upgrade information – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32201507179/Sakai+22+Upgrade+Information+In+Progress 

Sakai 21.3 Released

This message originally came from Wilma Hodges – the Sakai community coordinator.

I’m pleased to announce that Sakai 21.3 is now available for downloading [1]!

Sakai 21.3 has 140 improvements [2] including

  • 24 fixes in Assignments

  • 11 fixes in Discussions

  • 10 fixes in Gradebook

  • 11 fixes in Lessons

  • 13 fixes in Site Info

  • 17 fixes in Tests & Quizzes

Other areas improved include:

  • Accessibility

  • Account

  • Announcements

  • Basic LTI

  • Bullhorns

  • Calendar

  • Chat Room

  • Commons

  • Content Review

  • Dropbox

  • Entity Broker

  • Internationalization

  • Membership

  • Portal

  • Preferences

  • Profile

  • Resources

  • Roster

  • Rubrics

  • Section Info

  • Sign Up

  • Statistics

  • Syllabus

There were 2 security issues fixed in 21.3 (details will be sent to the Sakai Security Announcements list).

Please also note the upgrade information page [3] for important notes related to performing the upgrade.

[1] Download information- http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/21.3/

[2] 21.3 Fixes by Tool – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/17188913172/21.3+Features+by+Tool

[3] Upgrade information – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/17310646931/Sakai+21+Upgrade+Information   

Wilma Hodges, Ed.D., UXC

Sakai Community Manager

Sakai 22 Released!

This message originally came from Wilma Hodges – the Sakai Community Coordinator

I’m pleased to announce that Sakai 22.0 is now available! 

Many thanks to everyone involved with the release! It wouldn’t happen without all of you!

Our community wiki has both functional [1] and technical [2] release notes.

Download instructions are also available [3].

New in Sakai 22

  • Calendar Design Upgrade

  • Conversations – New tool!

  • Lessons improvements

  • LTI Advantage Improvements

  • And more! [4]

[1] Functional release notes – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32201506818/Sakai+22+Release+Notes

[2] Technical Release notes – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32201506844/Sakai+22+Technical+Release+Notes

[3] Download instructions – http://source.sakaiproject.org/release/22.0/

[4] Complete Feature Summary – https://sakaiproject.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DOC/pages/32201507202/Sakai+22+Complete+Feature+Summary