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After the recent JA-SIG meeting in St. Paul, MN, a number of members of the Sakai Community took advantage of the co-location time to gather for a day-and-a-half Project Coordination meeting. A number of agendata items were proposed prior to the meeting, and that set was further refined at the meeting itself, building in some cases on interesting conversations that emerged during the JA-SIG meeting. The main points from the meeting are summarized in the following paragraphs, and further discussions on these topics has continued in many cases on the Sakai email lists. (Audio recrordings of most of the sessions, courtesy of Kirk Alexander are also available.)

  • Kernel – Ian Boston updated the group on his continuing experimentation with a Sakai "kernel". The ensuing discussion identified two potential milestones for a kernel release. The first is a near-term "K1" kernel release that brings things together in one place, but doesn't require much in the way of changes for developers. The second is a longer-term "K2" release that brings all the components of the kernel into a single jar, which will require major refactoring of the code. The overall goal of a kernel release would be to: reduce the number of lines of code owned by core services, improve performance, simplify database concerns, address bugs, and reduce the number of methods so developers can more easily figure how things are done.
  • Assignments2 – Indiana and Georgia Tech continue working on the next generation of the Assignments tool, with a goal of having the new tool in production at each institution in August. Some of the key highlights of that version of the tool include: a switch from the velocity-based presentation technology of the original tool to RSF, streamlining of gradebook-assignments integration, increased unit testing, versioning of submissions. (A more detailed update from Clay was posted to the Sakai email lists.)
  • Content Hosting Service – Cambridge is continuing work of putting JCR underneath, adding testing, and finishing mirgraiton code. Michigan will be able to help load test it when further along.
  • Resoruces – Ray Davis is working with Jim Eng to improve the Oracle conversion scripts/utilities for those moving to Sakai 2.5, whom need to migrate content from an older version of Sakai. The conversions are necessary in order to take advantage of some of the significant performance improvements 2.5 offers.
  • Content Viewer – There is still interest in this tool, however, the project team has not recently had much time to work on it.
  • MySakai and MyCamTools – Nico Matthijs demonstrated his new "portal" for Sakai users, which provides more of an iGoolge or Facebook like experience. Builds on JSON-based technogologies for delivering Sakai. Cambridge is purusing the use of this technology to help with rapid-prototyping and evaluation of the work Nathan is doing for the Sakai UX initititve. (A more detailed update on this work was posted by Nico prior to the meeting, check out his blog entry.)
  • Entity Broker – Steven Githens provided a visually inspiring update on the Entity Broker he and others are doing.
  • Gradebook – Kirk Alexander gave a brief update on Gradebook, and the work UC-Davis is going to be doing on it in the future.
  • QA – Megain May outlined recent activities in the QA arena, including: the foundation is hiring a person to help develop test scripts, there continues to be progress on the incorporation of the static code review results into the development cycle, and work continues on developing a generic test environment.
  • Top 5 – Everyone had the chance to share their top-5 areas of Sakai in which they would like to see improvements, as a way of kicking of broader conversations on how to foster collaboration around issues that need more than one organization's involvement.
  • Project Management – Within the general area of project management, one topic that saw significant discussion was how to attract agreement and collaboration among those with resources to work on Sakai, as to what to work on in Sakai. Particuarly, how to address the realization that some issues need folks to help work on them for which the issue many not be one of their own top priorities.
  • Site Info – Discussion about Site Info and Worksite Setup. There is siginficant interest in improving it, and one path forward for the short-term might be to start breaking it down into helpers to ease maintenance, while over the long-term work on improvements based on the direction Nathan's UX working is taking in this area. The JSON-based work from Cambridge could help significantly with the UX work here.
  • Outreach – A sub-group met to discuss Sakai Outreach activities, including the development of a circular or brochure highlighting key points about the software and community.

Attendees

Michael Feldstein (Oracle)
Ian Boston (University of Cambridge)
Michael Korcuska (Sakai Foundation)
Megan May (Sakai Foundation/Indiana University)
Chuck Serverance (University of Michigan)
Jim Eng (University of Michigan)
Lydia Li (Stanford University)
Ray Davis (University of California, Berkeley)
Eli Cochran (University of California, Berkeley)
Steven Githens (University of Cambridge)
Michael Zackerson (Rsmart)
John Lewis (Unicon)
John Norman (University of Cambridge)
Jason Shao (CampsEAI)
Anthony Whyte (Sakai Foundation)
Clay Fenlason (Georgia Tech)
Nico Matthijs (University of Cambridge)
Lance Speelmon (Indiana University)
Kirk Alexander (University of California, Davis)
Oliver Heyer (University of California, Berkeley)
Ian Dolphin (Hull)
Nate Angell (Rsmart)
Peter Knoop (Sakai Foundation/University of Michigan)

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