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Contrib: Yaft

Lead: Adrian Fish

Yaft was developed by the Centre for e-Science, Lancaster University, UK.


Yaft is a forum tool designed with simplicity and clarity in mind. The name Yaft stands for yet another forum tool (there are currently 3 others in Sakai !) and although I admit it is a silly name it's hardly likely to clash with anything else in Sakai, is it? Suggestions are welcome for new names though ...


  • Simplicity - The user interface is designed to be simple and the workflows of creating forums, discussions and messages have been considered throughout.
  • Different view modes - Discussions can view in two hierachical modes, full and minimal. Full shows you the works whilst minimal gets more messages on the screen without compromising navigation.
  • Fast - Yaft uses a combination of compact JSON data feeds and clientside rendering using JavaScript and Trimpath templates. It's easy on the network and the server's processor.
  • RESTful - Most links can be bookmarked and passed around. All the data in Yaft can be retrieved vi RESTful urls
  • Ability to easily move discussions around between forums.
  • Archive/Merge
  • Flexible event subscription/unsubscription model. Users can subscribe to only one discussion, whilst ignoring all the others, if they wish. Users can also bulk subscribe/unsubscribe to/from forums and all their contained discussions.
  • Obvious marking of unread messages aimed at making the job of facilitators easier.
  • Event publishing. Yaft now works with SiteStats on 2.5.x.
  • i18n: English(UK),Spanish (Daniel Merino),Basque (Daniel Merino),Dutch (Mark Breuker).
  • Time release of forums and discussions.
  • Email digest option. On a site by site basis, you can opt to receive no emails, and email per message posted, or a digest of emails once a day.
  • Works with Profile2 - Hover your mouse cursor over an author's name anywhere in the tool and their profile will popup
  • Gradebook integration - Discussions can be attached to a Gradebook assignment.

How do I try it out?

You can clone the latest version from Github here - or you can get a binary build from here. To compile the source you need to have your development tools set up, details of which can be found here, and you need to edit the Sakai version in the parent block of YAFT's main pom to reflect the version of Sakai that you are building against. YAFT is released independently of Sakai now and has its own version number; currently this is at the 1.0 release candidate stage. YAFT is using git now for source control, so you'll need to install the git client on your development machine.

How do I report bugs?

Click here to go to the bug reporting area for Yaft. You can then click 'New Issue', towards the top right of the Github page, to start the bug reporting wizard. You can also contact Adrian Fish with any queries.


There is also a rough and ready migration tool that Sakai admins can add. This will copy and massage data across from Forums into Yaft. I also have a Perl script which does a pretty good job of bringing most data across.