[Deploying Sakai] URGENT: I must choose between Sakai and Moodle within 24 hours

Warwick Chapman warwick at thusa.net
Mon Feb 22 19:48:25 PST 2010


Thanks for that.

I don't suspect at any one time there would be more than 10 current users
though usually probably just one or two (or none).

If I make the correct platform choice and implement properly, there are
upwards of 2000 people in this organisation who could make use of online
learning.  The South Africans on list list will attest to the fact that
since 1994 we've been growing slowly but surely in political terms
(1.4%-16.6%) and that translates in real terms to more and more staff and
representatives in the field.  In early 2011 we have an election coming up
which should see another significance increase in the number of office
bearers flying our flag and needing to be trained what flying that flag
means (and understanding of our liberal democratic ethos, our policies,
skills etc).

So we really do need to make the right choice, implement well and have the
platform and the first course complete by 1 April 2010.


On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 11:01 PM, Paul Gibbs <pgibbsjr at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  Hi Warwick,
> I think I can relate when you speak about the uphill challenge in setting
> up Sakai. For me, making the transition from PHP/Apache to Java/Tomcat was
> the biggest challenge I had to overcome. Although that transition had little
> to do with Sakai itself, some of my newbie challenges *were *specifically
> related to understanding the way Sakai Project structures its online user
> community.
> The first challenge I found is the use of listservs instead of forums.
> Coming from open source projects, it is odd that the community operates
> through listservs instead of through forums. However, my experience has been
> that the Sakai listservs are *far *more responsive than the average open
> source forum, and the participants' willingness to help has been excellent.
> (Thank you, folks--you've been a God-send!) There is also something to be
> said for listservs in terms of convenience--you can take part in the
> conversation without needing to open a browser. I really like the
> convenience of interacting via e-mail instead of needing to do all my
> posting via a web form. Not that it has to be *either* listserv *or *forum--I
> suppose the Sakai Project could switch to a forum product which combined the
> features of listservs with the convenience of forums (e.g., you could choose
> choose to subscribe to a thread, or an entire forum, and then post or
> respond to your subscribed content via e-mail or via the web interface).
> Nabble.com helps with some of this, but that's a third-party tool and isn't
> the first thing you'd think of when you're first entering the community.
> Getting comfortable with the multiple Sakai web interfaces is also
> confusing at first--sakaiproject.org, listservs, Nabble, Confluence, and
> Jira all have different interfaces, require multiple user accounts, and take
> some work to get used to. Many open source projects have a single website
> with forums, downloads, wiki, and other tools wrapped in the same web
> interface, making it less disorienting when moving between tools.
> Nevertheless, once again, there are some strengths to the way the Sakai
> Project does some things. There is something to be said for having all the
> tools located centrally in Confluence, rather than sending you off to
> everyone's private website to download source code, find instructions, etc.
> It is also true that the documentation is hard to find, and it is
> incomplete in many places. However, there are some good documentation
> sources out there, if you Google long and hard enough. Some people have put
> a *lot* of hard work into some of the guides, and I greatly appreciate
> them for it!
> As you have already indicated, I think you'll find the Sakai community to
> be a tremendous resource full of helpful people who produce robust, secure,
> scalable products. They stand behind their code and are eager to help when
> they can.
> Regarding the creation of new sites--you're right in that the admin
> interface is, once again, difficult to understand. Briefly, you'll need to
> assign permissions per Stephen's response using the Realms tool, and then
> your users will need to use "Site Setup" in their "My Workspace" to create
> new worksites.
> How many concurrent users do you think you will have?
> Paul Gibbs
> Lansdale, Pennsylvania
> On 2/22/2010 1:36 PM, Warwick Chapman wrote:
> Hi All
>  This is my first post so please forgive me should I not be familiar with
> protocol.
>  Please could I ask for some assistance.  I've been tasked with deploying
> a learning platform for the Democratic Alliance, the official opposition
> political party in South Africa.  We want to use this platform to further
> and more effectively train all our public representatives and staff around
> the country.
>  I have a report detailing the outcomes of a scoping working which I can
> make available to anyone should they be interested but basically, the
> requirements of the platform are as follows:
>  1. Online courses
> 2. Knowledgebase
> 3. Chat module for learner support
> 4. Forum
> 5. Must work on dialup-speed connections, though we expect most people to
> have 256kbps-4096kbps connections
> 6. Simple to create and manage courses and assessment
> 7. Support multiple languages (SA has 11 official languages)
> 8. Work on mobile devices
>  The more I look at Sakai, the more it appears to me that out of the box
> it meets more of these requirements than Moodle does, and it seems to me to
> be better built and more sensible.
>  -- BUT --
>  I have been in the IT industry for 15 years as a developer, project
> manager and executive focusing on Open Source solutions and Sakai is making
> me feel like a real dum dum.  I have 2.6.2 demo running and am using Packt's
> "Sakai Courseware Management" as a guide.
>  Something as simple as following the steps in "My First Project Site" are
> leaving me wondering if Sakai is well documented enough for the average
> non-University IT department user to deploy and manage.  I cannot seem to
> find a "new" link when logged in as a non-admin user and as an admin, I
> cannot find where to grant permission to the non-admin user to create a
> project site.
>  Also, I cannot seem to easily find details relating to what hardware
> requirements I should expect for a low-use deployment.  Pointers?
>  Warwick
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