A bit over a week ago I posted with Sakai CLE and the future, now its the turn of Sakai OAE. For the past 3 years I’ve been designing and developing the backend to Sakai OAE, with an aim to make it as efficient and performant as I could. Capable of supporting the demands of a pure web 2 application. The first 2 years it was an Open Source project. We added committers based on merit. Many of those who joined in worked for Higher Ed, most were already part of the Sakai community, but there were no formal arrangements so we made do with whatever could be contributed. The past year its been a managed project with funding. At the Sakai conference in downtown LA this year I decided that I didn’t agree with the direction of the management of the managed project, although I am firmly committed to the original concept of OAE and the Open Source part of the project. I wont go into my reasons here, if you really are interested in what will soon become ancient history, stop me when you see me and I will be happy to tell you what I think.
So, moving on, I will continue working on Nakamura, the Sakai OAE server and mentoring Aadish, our hyper productive GSoC student. I will be helping University of Cambridge and several other Higher Ed institutions get into production with the codebase and integrate with local systems. I will be fixing JIRAs that I or those I work for think are important and I will be submitting pull requests to the central code repository. If I believe the project is really Open Source, then I will continue to help merge others pull requests, but if the managed project wants to pay lip service to Open Source and only adopt a license rather than a “way”, then being outside the project, not privy to private discussions, it will be impossible to remain a committer. I will have to fork my code base, cease sending pull requests and drop off the list of those able to merge.
Many people told me it was hard to know what was happening with Sakai OAE, I always said it was an Open project. Now I have become one of the unwashed masses, on the outside wondering what is going on, feeding on scraps of information. Was I right, is it Open ? Time will tell, I hope it is since if its not Open… it will never be sustainable.