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Due date2013/11/22
OwnerSteve Swinsburg 


Approved by lazy consensus.  No PMC members raised a material objection.


From: Steve Swinsburg <>

Date: November 14, 2013 10:11:11 PM EST

To: sakai-dev <>, "" <>, "" <>

Subject: [cle-release-team] Proposal: Replace News tool with Simple RSS Portlet



1. Remove News tool.

2. Add Simple RSS Portlet.



The current News tool in Sakai is an ageing tool that has difficulty rendering some RSS feeds. In addition there is little community support for this tool [1].


A contrib tool does exist called News Feeds which has previously been proposed as a replacement for the News tool [2]. However there are several issues with this tool: 

The main developer is no longer active in the Sakai community, having moved on several years ago [3]; 

There are bugs which are unfixable using the current code due to libraries no longer existing [4];

It uses a deprecated version of its UI framework and would require a major refactor to bring it up to date [ibid].


Due to these issues, this tool is not appropriate for inclusion.


Therefore, it is proposed that the News tool is replaced by the Simple RSS Portlet [5].


The portlet was developed in 2011 and run as part of a number of university portals since its release.


This tool renders all forms of RSS and Atom feeds and is completely configurable for both the instructor and user. The tool has been through a number of releases and is fully internationalised, supporting multiple languages out of the box.


The portlet was originally designed to work within uPortal, however as Sakai is a JSR-168 compliant portlet container, it runs exactly the same as the new Web Content tool in trunk, which is also a JSR-168 portlet.


The code for this portlet is currently on Github [6].


The Simple RSS Portlet is developed and maintained by Steve Swinsburg.


Where to from here

 Read the rationale above. A material objection (indicated by a -1 and accompany reasoning) raised by a Sakai PMC member will block this proposal.  Other opinions are welcome, indeed encouraged. Silence equals consent. Discussion should be on the sakai-dev list unless of a private nature in which case I am happy to correspond off list. Objections must be received before Friday 22nd November 2013.









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