Sakai Foundation Board of Directors Conference Call
September 28, 2006
This document contains minutes from the conference call of the Sakai Foundation Board of Directors held on September 28, 2006. Corrections, suggestions should be sent to Joseph Hardin and Mary Miles.
These minute capture both the discussion and formal resolutions of the board. Simply because something was discussed does not mean that it is the agreed-upon position of the board. When the board makes a formal resolution to approve an item, it will be noted as such in the minutes. If there is no such notation, readers should assume that the minutes are simply the notes of the board discussions.
Board members present: Brad Wheeler, Ian Dolphin, Mara Hancock, Jutta Treviranus, John Norman, Mary Miles (staff)
Topic: Project Proposals
Brad asked about the status of Chuck Powell's proposal regarding donated funds and personnel. Chuck Powell needs to be contact to obtain a status report on this idea. Brad suggested that Chuck Severance prepare a one-page perspective describing how this fund will work in what time period. Mara replied that some of the projects require a lot more commitment that we have at the moment, and some project could be held up because the people involved don't have the time to mentor people to assist. A list of "needs" should be established to move this forward. Brad agreed to ask Chuck to produce one-page documents requesting funds for particular project (Samigo, OSP, Gradebook), specific things that need to be done and the amount of resources needed. Once those one-pagers are approved, they could be posted to the institution reps on the list and see where it goes from there. Brad also suggested that this effort be considered not only for the immediate needs, but also others like listserv and other features and tools. The Board felt that one of the roles of the foundation is to serve as a broker. Mara noted that the board recognizes these critical needs but hesitates to get involved with the prioritization. The requirements should be organized by Chuck, Peter and Mark to determine and prioritize the highest needs. Ian suggested developing short consolidated statement that can also be used as a funding solicitation. Brad added that there should also be an ongoing place for these calls for resources which are renewed and chartered every quarter. The board needs to be mindful and sensitive to how this affects the community process. Chuck's initial proposals should be those that already have fairly broad community support.
Action: Brad will ask Chuck Severance to identify probably 3, but no more than 5 of these needs that can be described in one page. This document should describe the problem, what can be done to address it; approximate resource needs (cash, developers, etc.). After approval, they will be posted to appropriate lists, posted on a place in confluence for pitch-ins, then refreshed on a quarterly basis. When enough funds are received to complete the necessary work, it moves to a "work in progress." Brad will ask that these be completed within the next two weeks at most.
Topic: Other Updates
Chris reported that moving the licensing discussion to the licensing list or OSP list is a good move. This would serve to get others involved in the discussion as well. While much progress has been made, more input is still needed.
John Norman reported on the meeting with Oxford and UHI. He felt it was a good meeting and reported that they left the meeting with a plan to build a hierarchy service. There is a good chance some of the outcomes will be presented in Atlanta, for example there may be an instance of Sakai working with a hierarchy and a Bodington like appearance, and maybe even a Bodington tool in Sakai. Ian noted a differentiation between Oxford and UHI, but agrees with John that this was a very positive meeting and that there should be a demo in Atlanta.
Mara reported that she had sent an email to Chuck and asked him to invite Chris Mackie to attend the next board conference call to report on his community meetings.
Action: Ask Chuck to invite Chris Mackie to attend the next Sakai Board Conference call. Try and make it video if possible.
Jutta reported that Sakai 2.0 has been translated into Chinese. There are 1 million students starting using the translated version, with a projection of 30 million in the next year.
Ian discussed the uPortal 3 announcement. There was never any doubt that version 3 would be released, but this is a critical point in getting uPortal 3 out to the community. The real difficulty was that uPortal 2.53 works pretty well for most people and many people are reluctant to move off a fairly proven technology with a lot of installations. The intention was to get version 3 out by the end of November so that the community can begin working on filling in the gaps. This should pick up speed by early spring next year when the compelling user features are there. The rendering engine has been re-written so that it will render fragments much more rapidly than the current one.
Much of the difficulty was in understanding some of the dynamics of a project coming in on top of Sakai when JA-SIG came on board. There are lessons to be learned so we can modify our practice and now is a good time to do that.
Topic: Follow-up Issues
Mara noted that the board had previously discussed asking Chuck to build out the metrics for success and his goals, but he was never formally asked to do that. Brad responded that this was never resolved and Joseph should be asked about the status of that. This needs to be determined as soon as possible.
Action: Joseph should work with Chuck to begin developing these metrics and goals.
Topic: Conference Updates
Mary reported that Eben Moglen has accepted our invitation to be the keynote speaker in Atlanta. In addition, an email has gone out announcing the June, 2007 meeting in Amsterdam. John and Ian will begin distributing that information through their European contacts to try and increase the walk-in attendance for that conference.