You can't use the browser's back buttons at all, and the whole application needs to refresh the page every few seconds (really annoying in IE where it 'clicks' on every refresh). You can turn this off, but then you need to hit the refresh button to view any links, if you click a link with auto refresh off, it sends to to the last cached link rather than the one you clicked!
Links aren't really links and the browser buttons don't work (except refresh). I can't imagine trying to support this thing that works so differently from a usual web site/CMS.
Check it out: http://collab.sakaiproject.org/portal
And they call this "version 1.5", IMO it should be 0.15 if they used standard OSS versioning (where Postnuke is still 0.7.x.
It reminds me of the old WebBoard interface (that's not a compliment. )
Also, as I mentioned in another post, their calendar is not bad and has features which we might want to implement.
Access to SEPP staff:
Community development manager
SEPP technical staff
Early access to:
Developer training for writing Sakai tools
Exchange for partner-developed tools
Strategy and implementation workshops
We get most of that (or near-equivalent) for free with Moodle.
I notice that they now have upwards of 60 partners (including my institution and yours). I wonder what Martin and team could do with an extra $600,000 per year?
According to this page they got $2.2 million from the Mellon Foundation and $4.4 million from the "core founders".
Plus the ~$600,000/year they're bringing in from their "partners".
That certainly is something. What concerns me is that we are going to have to take it seriously from a LCMS analysis position JUST BECAUSE it's seems to be going through so much money. It's got lots of fancy names associated with it, an international sounding acronym and funds for publicity. There was a post somewhere in the annoucements that rang in my ears,
"wow, its so simple"
So tempting to respond with a "yes, I agree" but I'm going to have to review it anyway. To me it seems that, to their own detriment (IMO), they've gone for the ultimate standardization, making their announcements, chat and forum sections look almost exactly the same. I don't really understand what they've done with the back buttons, i'd love a better explanation of that if someone would care to post it. I just know they seem to send me a random distance backwards. Have they sent out requests for beta testers? Are they serious about release 1.5 (perhaps release 1.0 worked better)? Is there somewhere else where real posts by testers are being put?
You probably have to include it in the round up if you are evaluating LMSs, granted. But at the time of evaluating Free/Open Source Software, you have to consider the openness of the development process (cathedral-ness vs bazaar-ness), low barriers of entry to development, diveristy of parties involved directly in development, project leaders (people with charisma, I mean), life and evolution of the project and community, etc.
Having IBM on your side works if you already have those things that make a FOSS project successful. But Sakai is very transparently an old-school cathedral project, with an open source license. Oh, and a license to have access to the developers. (Ack?! What???)
Not a FOSS project in spirit and dynamic, not at all.
Compare any of the BSDs with GNU/Linux distros -- not today, but roll back time perhaps 5 years. And see how the BSDs have lagged because they are less bazaar-like than the Linux kernel plus the zillion projects that make a distro.
More to the point, compare the low barriers of entry, and how smart people know that the real 'feature' of FOSS is easy customization:
- Exhibit A - Concerns over Sakai
- Exhibit B - While we tested, we naturally started customizing
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And from Cynthia Says we get:
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