Nice post.

I’m increasingly struck that discussions about open source, and comparisons with proprietary approaches, need to be much more nuanced.

I recently found myself struggling a bit, for example, to explain why it’s both a practical and philosophical benefit to invest in open source pieces for Sakai, rather than to buy commercial alternatives. It’s a complicated issue.

Maybe we could distill it down to how labor is organized and funded, how decision-making happens, and the status of intellectual property.

From my own perspective, I think ideally you want:

1. a tight, agile, technical foundation that is easy to evolve, debug, etc., and which therefore opens up the widest possible base of contributed labor (one might argue that Instructure’s argument in that blog post would seem to suggest they don’t have this; hence the need to rely on people with close understanding of its inner workings)

2. completely open IP and a large community of smart and creative people who can innovate

3. a tight design and decision-making process that can channel the potential chaos of #2 more intangible: a social

4. infrastructure that encourages different players to invest their time, effort and money into the project

I see in OAE the potential for realizing this, and so an interesting alternative to Instructure’s vision.