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The following are notes on features and enhancements that are new to 2.9 that we think would appeal to the end user.


  • not comprehensive: it is based on review of current QA servers, not JIRA, so only includes obvious enhancements, not bug fixes or performance improvements
  • subject to change: some features may not pass QA and may be cut at the last minute
  • not yet ready to be shown to customers: these are quick notes as to what has changed, not necessarily polished descriptions

Core 2.9 tools


2.8 to 2.9 differences (b03)

Sakai 2.8 QA server:

Sakai 2.9 QA server:


Navigation (Neoportal)
  • Neoportal is available beginning with Sakai 2.9. From Sakai 2.8 to 2.9 there is one change wrt tool navigation: For a given site, one can navigate directly to a tool from the site nav bar (without having to click on site first and then tool) 
  • See notes on Chat below
  • Preferences > Customize Tabs: 
    • "Sites not visible in Tabs" label changed to "My Hidden Sites"
    • "Sites visible in Tabs" label changed to "My Active Sites"
  • (there were many other features we made note of in b02 tag but they weren't present in b03)
My Workspace
  • Headers of widgets all preceded by "My Workspace"
  • Unread Messages and Forums now "Message Center Notifications"
  • Calendar widget displays what course site events come from (SAK-14854)
Profile (for Profile 2 see below)
  • Not sure. Can't see Profile on Sakai 2.9 QA server.
Site Info
  • Edit Site Information: Change language for site (user language is default)
  • Install and configure external IMS LTI-compliant tool
  • If site is unpublished, there is link to publish within "Unpublished Site" alert message
  • Remove column label changed to "Check All" with checkbox now to select all participants. (Keli recommending this is changed back)
  • Displays time stamp under Update Participants button (to let you know when last manual change was made)
  • Page Order: A new option is available called "Disable page for normal users." This feature has a lock icon and will allow instructors and TAs to view the tool, but hide it in the menu from others users – the content will not be available to normal users, even through the LessonBuilder tool. (To make content accessible through LessonBuilder, use the hide option.)
  • Nothing new. Reorder feature was introduced in Sakai 2.8 but remains off by default. Great feature to allow users to drag-and-drop announcements into the desired order.
  • Permissions can be set for roles within group, not just at site level
  • compress to zip archive and expand zip archive (not turned on by default, see SAK-800)
Gradebook 1
  • Dropping Grades: Enable Drop Highest, Enable Drop Lowest, Enable Keep Highest options are available for categories in Gradebook Setup. 
  • UI: table columns on All Grades screen can be hidden. Hiding a column will not affect any grade calculations or displays for the students; it's used to organize and simplify the "All Grades" grade table for graders.  
  • Export in All Grades and Course Grades pages has been expanded to three different buttons, allowing export in PDF in addition to Excel, and CSV format. 
Section Info
  • Options screen: Ability to set Open Date for students to sign up for sections
ScheduleNothing obvious added. 
Mailsender Not available on Sakai 2.8 or 2.9 QA server 
WikiNothing obvious added. Last obvious changes happened in 2.7: ability to quickly navigate to recently visited pages 

Nothing obvious added to the Chat Room tool. There's chat capability that is part of the neoportal but it is not turned on by default on Sakai 2.9 QA server.

RosterNothing obvious added. Last significant change was addition of group membership view in v 2.7 
Email archiveNothing obvious added. 

Independent release 

Tool 2.8 to 2.9
Forums (MSGCNTR)

Assuming Messages & Forums 3.0 Release is what we are seeing on CLE 2.9 qa server

 Forums page: 

  • Label changes: 
    • Delete is now called "Delete Forum," and is under a More menu with Duplicate forum and Grade
    • Delete for topics is called "Delete topic" and is under a More menu with "Duplicate topic" and "Grade"
    • Member Statistics is now "Statistics and Grading" 

New Forum and Topic, and Settings and Template  

  • Require user to post before reading
  • Clearer how to customize permissions for a role within forum or topic

Topic page 

  • Threads are now called Conversations
  • Top menu is now more consistent between Display Subject Only and Display Message Content (MSGCNTR-563) 
  • Automatically create multiple topics for groups with appropriate permissions 

Thread view 

  • Completely revised layout and new ways to view thread (by date, unread), 
  • Profile photo displayed next to thread message (MSGCNTR-109
  • (you can still delete initial thread message and not delete all subsequent messages)
  • FCKEditor to CKEditor
Messages (MSGCNTR)

Assuming Messages & Forums 3.0 Release is what we are seeing on CLE 2.9 qa server

  • Ability to bcc individuals
  • FCKEditor to CKEditor
  • Within Settings, ability to set "groups hidden in the to field" but unclear as to why or how this works. Is this for privacy?
  • Addition of Permissions: Owners can set, at site or group level, whether roles can send messages to all participants, groups, roles, or whether they can view hidden groups. 
Tests & Quizzes (SAM)

SAMigo 2.9 - Tentative will work with CLE 2.9, but not necessarily tools that are independently released (It should work with Lesson Builder 1.4, but not Dashboard 1.0)

To be expanded (there are some that were in use at Stanford for a while but are new to 2.9

  • Respondus lockdown browser (Sakai 2.9)
  • Accessibility improvements (Sakai 2.9)
  • Scientific and complex number notation support in numeric questions (Sakai 2.9)
  • Ability to set score for all students who have not yet submitted (Sakai 2.9)
  • Automatic Submission logic changed to submit after retract date (SAM-1088, Sakai 2.9)
  • Survey Matrix of Choices question type (Sakai 2.9)
  • FCKEditor to CKEditor
DashboardSakai Dashboard V 1.0.0. Completely new page  shows recent activity as well as upcoming assignments and events within a site (including MyWorkspace).
Profile 2 (PRFL)

v1.4 Profile2

  • Easier access - once logged on, can go to profile from person icon located on upper right corner of screen.
  • My profile screen: you can post to your wall
  • My connections screen: you can select from set of available connections and create a new worksite
  • Search screen:
    • Option to include connections in search results
    • Option to limit search to selected worksite
  • Privacy screen - new privacy settings fields
    • Who can see my wall and my posts to other walls
    • Who can see my online status
  • Preferences screen - new preference settings
    • Email notifications (on/off)
      • Posts to my wall
      • Adds me to a new worksite
    • Profile image settings (check/uncheck)
      • Use my gravatar as my profile image
    • Widget settings (check/uncheck):
      • Show my online status
Lesson Builder (LSNBLDR)

Lessons (formerly Lesson Builder) (despite the page name, this is no longer contrib. It is now an indie tool in the core, but it will be hidden by default when 2.9 is released)

  • As an indie tool, it is independently released. Version. 1.4x will ship as part of 2.9. A binary for 2.8.1 is available. See Lessons (formerly Lesson Builder) for the location of the binary distribution and other information. Lesson Builder version 1.5 is for Sakai 2.10, but differs only in POM files from 1.4. 
  • New in 2.9:
    • Comments tool - allow students to comment, optionally anonymous
    • Student content tool - allows students to create pages, optional; other students can comment, content and/or tool can be anonymous
    • User and site-wide style sheets
    • Common Cartridge Import (per Sam Ottenhoff - the Sakai community sees the 2.9 tool Lesson Builder as the future best place to import an IMS Common Cartridge package.  The reason is that Lesson Builder will be able to create a cohesive presentation of the package as opposed to Import from Archive Tool simply depositing the various assets in Sakai's various tools
    • Add external tool using IMS BLTI (requires 2.9 version of BLTI)


Tool 2.8 to 2.9
Assignments 2None
Gradebook 2 ? trying to see instance...

Not sure, can't see Signup on 2.8 qa server. So these may have come pre 2.8

Export instead of Download  
Advanced user defined timeslots   

new Default settings allow this option:  

  • Yes, publish the meeting to the Schedule tool (just did it before)
  • Yes, allow participants to sign up for more than one time slot. (can defined Max # of time slots per participant ) 


Feature 2.8 to 2.9 differences
FCK to CK EditorCKeditor does a better job of paste from word. Doing so, even without the "Paste from Word" option, 2.9/CKeditor does not generate all the errors that the same document would in 2.6 FCK. Also, FCKeditor "Paste from Word" sometimes stripped out numbering and bullets just replaced it with plain text, while simply pasting in 2.9/CK converted this to text.
MobileSignificant changes in upgrade to 2.8, not sure if anything significant in upgrade to 2.9 (needs followup)
Publish NowSite managers can easily publish an unpublished site with one click. Below the "! Unpublished Site" banner is now a link to "Publish Now."
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