This document contains minutes from the conference phone call of the Sakai Board held on August 4, 2005. Corrections, suggestions should be sent to Joseph Hardin and Mary Miles.
Board members present: Brad Wheeler, Jim Farmer, Mike Elledge, Vivie Sinou, Babi Mitra, Joseph Hardin, Jeff Merriman, Lois Brooks, Mara Hancock, Mary Miles
Topic: Project Updates
Discussion: Mike Elledge provided an update on current projects. Key issues are whether ad hoc groups are going to be implemented in version 2.1. Mike reported that there is a critical discussion occurring on August 8 and sectioning teams are not a part of it. The meeting will be between the various players who will make sure that the sectioning tool and the course management API will line up.
There are sufficient resources to put the accessibility enhancements into 2.1, but until the review is completed it is hard to tell how much effort has to be put into this activity as opposed to the amount of time the developers are available. Carol Dippel has indicated that if it can't be completed by November 15, it will be released as an improvements patch in January.
Joseph asked if the project was on track for the October 15 freeze of version 2.1. Mike responded that as long as we restrict the scope to sectioning and not ad hoc, it is on track. For the sake of clarity, ad hoc groups are defined as the ability of a project to set up a sub-group. Without groups being built in, instructors can set up sections but would not be able to set up groups within sections. The issue is really one of resources. The sectioning group feels that using the current resources they have they can complete the API, but cannot do the group tool or make changes to the sectioning tool to accommodate groups.
Dropped from 2.1 is legacy tool refactoring. A small number of the legacy tools were not refactored last time around. Those tools are not going to be refactored due to lack of resources. Most of the tools have been refactored with 2.0.1 and the admin tools will be refactored for sectioning so there's only a couple of things that won't get revised.
Brad questioned Mike, "Are you saying that 2.1 with sectioning means that if a registrar has 3 sections registered this will allow them to interact more as one." Mike confirmed that as his understanding. Brad continued, asking if an instructor teaches 3 section but only wants to post slides one time, would that be possible, or would it require 3 distinct sets of changes. Mike responded that the instructor would be able to decide whether one or all of the sections would be able to receive the changes.
Joseph asked Mike to provide two paragraphs advising the board of what would be available in 2.1.
¿ Joseph encouraged board members to ask questions on this issue and send them in the form of a use case to Mike so he can reply to each individual instance.
¿ Mike, working with Oliver, will provide two paragraphs to answer Brad's question and inform the board. The question, for clarification, is: can an instructor take an action one time and have it appear in multiple sections. Will that functionality be in place?
¿ Mike agreed to provide a synopsis of the August 7 meeting that speaks directly to the use cases of that meeting. As Mike will be out of the office on both Monday and Tuesday, he will ask Oliver to complete this request.
Topic: Bug Fixes
Discussion: Mara inquired about general bug fixes, with regard to how resources are prioritized on them. Since there are a large number in Jira, she asked whether we are just focusing on the next features or are we working on others. In response, Joseph suggested that the board read Carol Dipple's recent email with regard to what is currently being done. It doesn't provide all of the answers, but does provide some of them. Mike noted that bug fixing is being overseen by John Leasia; Joanne and Jen are working on C-Tools bugs, but these are often Sakai bugs, and they are also fixing uniquely Sakai bugs as well as time permits.
Decision: Mike will report back to the board on what plans currently exist for fixing bugs and getting those fixes back into local instances of Sakai.
Topic: Austin Conference
Discussion: Joseph reported on the recent site visit to the hotel in Austin. The Hilton Austin is a very large hotel with a far different feel than Baltimore. Because the space is so large the challenge will be to create intimate space for the DGs and break-outs so that the discussions on the side can take place on a more human scale and allow for detailed, thoughtful conversations to take place. We are still working with the hotel to try and identify smaller spaces that might be available.
The conference space on the 6th floor has 3 lounge areas off the main hallway. These can be segregated to some extend with partitioning. Brad suggested a poster session, using the posters to partition and privatize those areas for break-outs. Brad also suggested a competition for posters around the theme of "what does Sakai mean at your institution." The hotel has guaranteed their wireless but we will probably bring our own as well. They had one 6-hour down period during the night, but it was back up in the morning. It is adequate to serve 1000 people during a conference.
The surrounding environs are easy enough to walk in, but in December it will depend on the weather. During the site visit Joseph, Susan and Mary visited the UT-Austin Alumni Center, the site for Thursday's reception and demonstrations. Buses will be provided from the hotel to the reception, but if the weather cooperates walking is not difficult.
Lois asked if we were planning a call for proposals. Mara, program chair responded that this should be done. Mara continued that a program committee is being formed and they will meet in the next couple of weeks to get the basic tracks defined. Brad stated that the OSP people are getting concerned and asking how many days and times will be available for their program. Brad asked that Jeff Haywood be a part of the program committee to represent OSP and serve as an OSP interface.
Joseph continued that registration will open on September 15. By October 15, we should have a good idea how many people we will have there. The cut-off date for the conference rate at the hotel of $129 per night is November 19.
¿ Mary will send floor plans for the hotel to the Board.
¿ A pre-call for sessions will go out with the program committee announcement. Suggestions should be sent to either Mara or a program representative.
¿ Remind everyone to register early.
Topic: Educause Conference
Discussion: Planning is actively underway. Lois has been working with SunGuard to have a presence in their booth on the show floor. This will probably lead to a call for volunteers to spend time in the booth or suite. This will also be a great use of our suite.
Topic: Articles of Incorporation
Discussion: Joseph reported on current activities for this topic. There has been an ongoing discussion among the 4 schools counsels, provosts, and various other people. The public discussion needs to be invigorated as soon as possible. There are three separate pieces of this conversation: the articles of incorporation, transfer of IT, and agreement on the bylaws. A couple schools feel they should have more input into the board as they are providing resources - more of an institutional voice at the table, not an individual. Joseph responded that because the institution had devoted resources, that was how they would have a large amount of influence, not through any special arrangements concerning board seats. Brad responded that he was very uncomfortable electing a board seat from an institution. If that is the case, you have no idea who the representative will be and it could change the dynamics of the board. Babi said that MIT believes that this should be an institutional commitment and not an individual commitment. Brad replied that this seems to hinge on whether the Sakai Foundation is an independent entity which needs its own independent guidance. If it becomes a legal 501c3, directors have to be bound to make the best decisions for the foundation.
Joseph suggested sending around a set of by-laws. These are still in a draft state and need additional input from our independent counsel. Some items included will be a set of options that people can discuss and consider, including limitation of the number of members on the board that can come from commercial organizations, each organization gets 1 vote with rolling elections, board term are 2 years or 3 years so there is enough opportunity for renewing the board. This will be sent out for review and input from the partners and core schools so that we can get everyone behind the final decision when it is made. Joseph wants to put this up on confluence asap.
Lois noted that at the moment, the question of transferring copyright among the 4 schools is taking place. The difficult part will be to get the attorneys involved in a conversation. The general conversation should be around articles/by-laws and IP as two separate issues.
Brad reported on his meeting with university counsel. IU agreed that Brad should indeed act in the capacity of an individual with respect to the Sakai Foundation Board. There is a precedent for that at IU. As additional information on the IP front, Brad reported the view of one of the law faculty. That faculty member stated that an individual owner of a jointly held undivided copyright can proceed and do anything that is non-exclusive. They can issue a copyright license, etc. If they want to fully assign the ownership or if they want to issue a single exclusive copyright license, then it requires the agreement of the 4 schools. All agreed that the foundation will benefit from a clean lineage of code in terms of copyright in order to proceed. Brad responded that if the foundation only picks up existing copyrights, any future development would have a Sakai copyright, but anything prior to December 31, 2005 would carry the old copyright. Joseph pointed out the foundation could proceed either way, though the transfer of a copyright license would be much preferred.
There appear to be three options:
1. Go with the current ECL license, and the current copyright holders. New code that comes out of the foundation carries Sakai Foundation (vs. 4 schools) copyright.
2. UI and UM hand over the copyright license to the foundation.
3. Get agreement among all four schools.
Joseph suggested that he send around the by-laws for review. They will be sent to everyone who attended the conference. A poll will be taken and hope to come to resolution. This polling will take place for three weeks with the idea of getting as much agreement as possible.
Jeff suggested that if the members were signing as individuals, home addresses should be used, not institutional addresses. Joseph agreed.
¿ Joseph will send by-laws out for review.
¿ At the end of a three-week period, the board will review the comments and make decisions on issues that arise.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.