Sakai Foundation Interim Executive Director Lois Brooks just posted a brief update to the Sakai 3 development plans. The detail that stood out to me is this:
The new project brings together the existing body of work, and the existing teams, into a single, coordinated effort, and aims for a completed version that is feature-equivalent to Sakai 2 in mid-2011. [Emphasis added.]
This represents a change from the earlier road map that didn’t anticipate having a full Sakai 2 replacement until 2012.
A couple of caveats are in order. First, nobody really knows what it means for Sakai 3 to be “feature-equivalent” to Sakai 2. Whenever you move to a new system design, some features that made sense in the old world just don’t make sense in the new one. That’s particularly true in this case, Since Sakai 3 is very different from Sakai 2 in both functional design philosophy and underlying architecture. For schools currently on other platforms, this doesn’t matter much. The “feature-equivalent” tag simply conveys the Sakai 3 project team’s confidence that they are releasing a competitive product. For current Sakai schools, the issue is more complicated. They will have to look whether anything that matters to them will get lost in translation.
Second, people on the project team tell me that, at this point, 2011 should be considered to be something closer to an aspirational goal than a due date derived from a detailed project plan. In June, there will be development planning sessions both immediately before and immediately after the Sakai conference. A lot of work gets done at these sessions. Over the month or so following, more gels as attendees go home and rally their troops and as tentative decisions are finalized through communications with stakeholders who may not have been able to attend the conference. We’ll know a lot more by mid-July.
For now, the main take-away here is that the Sakai 3 development team is expressing an increasing sense of confidence in the project’s resourcing.
Update: After rereading some emails, I’d like to slightly downgrade my adjective from “confidence” to “optimism.” One early test will be to see whether schools step forward with additional resources once the project plan is fleshed out. Again, much of this will happen in roughly the Sakai conference time frame. There is a lot of interest in participation being expressed within the Sakai community, but we don’t know yet whether that interest will translate into resource commitments in sufficiently large numbers to ensure delivery on this more aggressive schedule.