Sakai OAE: a bazaar in the cathedral?

By | September 27, 2012

Last week I drew up some visual notes for the seminal article on openness:Cathedral & the Bazaar.
cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe
After reading some really thoughtful posts by Ken Romeo, Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein, I can’t help but wonder if the Sakai Foundation has taken too much of its process from the Cathedral style of development and not enough from the Bazaar?

As the first commenter, Bruce states:

Organization and labor. No real developer community; only paid developers. That’s not sustainable.

I think the lessons we are to take from the open source movement which seems to have failed in the translation for community source are:

  • lose the ego (let everybody in)
  • release early, release often
  • harness the brainpower of many
  • listen to the users
  • with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow
  • be ready to throw it all out and start again

Once the development team cloistered itself away from the general public and stopped sharing honestly the state of OAE in general, the project went south.

I love the idea of using and supporting a community source learning management system at my institution but if it’s only partially open, then how is it any better than any other LMS?

3 thoughts on “Sakai OAE: a bazaar in the cathedral?

  1. dkernohan

    That is an AMAZING image! *is hugely impressed* What a great way of explaining the cathedral and bazaar idea!

  2. Giulia Post author

    You’re so kind, David 🙂 I can’t believe it took me so long to do that drawing. I’ve been meaning to for a while now.

  3. David Jones

    I have long thought that this lack of openness could be a problem for Sakai and other forms of community source.

    Now having worked at a couple of institutions who had adopted a somewhat more open source LMS, but haven’t really funded and bought into the possibilities of the “open” side of things, I am starting to ask the same question “how is it any better than any other LMS?”

    There is a feeling that the development team – whoever they may be – are “cloistered away”.

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