Sakai Staff Meetings

I’m writing this blog post from Bathurst Australia, home of Charles Sturt University which is hosting AuSakai 09, the Australian Sakai Conference. I traveled here with Clay Fenlason, Sakai Product Manager, after he spent last week in Berkeley for the Sakai staff meetings. All the other staff members were in attendance, including Lance Speelmon who has joined the staff on a temporary but long-term assignment.

The meetings were half tactical, half strategic and several staff members used the time to make local site visits (to Stanford and Berkeley) and participate in some ongoing work (Groups and Test & Quizzes). In terms of the staff meeting itself, though, we covered the following items:

  • Given the new Sakai Development Process, how should we be using our wiki (confluence), issue tracking system (jira), source control system (svn and perhaps git) and mail lists? Expect to see documentation about our recommendations sometime next week.
  • Our plans and recommendations for Sakai 2.6.1 and Sakai 2.7.0, including a QA strategy. Again, our ideas about this should be coming very soon. In fact, Anthony Whyte has already sent an email regarding 2.6.1.
  • I gave an overview of Sakai finances and outlined a membership drive and fund-raising plans for the coming months. I’ll be including this in the next Executive Brief, which I plan to have out in October. We also discussed some issues regarding the next conference.

On the more strategic side, we discussed how each staff member could begin to move their activities to support Sakai 3. For some, like Lance, this is really all they are already focusing on. For others, like Pete and Anthony, who are deeply entrenched in Sakai 2.6 and Sakai 2.7 this is a more complicated story. On the one hand, for example, you can view Anthony’s work on K1 as supporting Sakai 3 in the sense that it helps enable Ian Boston to focus 100% on K2, the kernel for Sakai 3. On the other hand, Anthony and I would both like to see him eventually spending more effort directly on Sakai 3. We didn’t come to any answers during the meeting, but I’ve asked each of the staff members to give me a plan for their focus and activities by the time I return from Australia. We’ll be sure to share that with you when the time comes.

Oh, and I should have mentioned the nice (if cold and damp) Bay Area BBQ that Oliver Heyer hosted on Saturday. The food was fantastic and, if I do say so myself, the cocktails were delicious.

For now, that’s all. I’ve got an exciting week ahead of me here in Australia. Tuesday and Wednesday are dedicated to CSU and Thursday and Friday are the main conference program. I’ll also be visiting University of New England (in Armidale) early next week. I’ll try to sneak in time for a blog post or three as things progress.

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3 Responses

  1. Sounds like a productive week! The challenge of balancing 2.x and 3 work is clear but one that I’m confident can be addressed by this team. Looking forward to seeing some of the details on list.

    Safe travels to AuSakai09!

  2. Speaking of conferences, are there any plans to host regional, theme-based mini-conferences, or even working meeting like the authoring summit?

    Those events have generated a lot of good ideas and energy in the community last year, but I assume that with the internalization of Sakai, these US-based events won’t get the same kind of attention this year.

    Anyway, continue your good work and we all want some updates from AuSakai09!

    • I haven’t recruited folks to do that in the US this year because we’re doing two consecutive global conferences in the US. And budgets are tight. It does remind me, though, that a European event should be planned. I’m thinking Valencia….

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