Thanks for your comments Joël!
I’m definitely aware of OLAT and think of it, along with such other projects as Moodle, ATutor, Claroline, .LRN and ILIAS, as a sister project to Sakai where inspiration and collaboration run both ways. It seems that OLAT shares many of Sakai’s characteristics.
The reason I felt comfortable saying Sakai is unique is that to my knowledge, no other open source online learning platform project has exactly Sakai’s combination of characteristics at Sakai’s scale. For example, Sakai’s governance and maintenance structures, including the nonprofit Sakai Foundation, the 100-odd dues-paying educational and commercial Sakai Partner organizations, and the highly-distributed community Board of Directors, Product Council, and project teams. Or Sakai’s large developer base (57 just for core, according to Ohloh), number and global spread of enterprise, production implementations, and growing number of commercial affiliates worldwide.
It is Sakai’s combination of characteristics, their scope and rate of growth that make me think Sakai provides the greatest opportunities and lowest risk for onliine learning platform adopters as things stand today. Clearly OLAT is a more mature project/product than Sakai in some key ways, and I expect OLAT has its own unique combination of characteristics that make it the right choice for many organizations.
Meanwhile, I wish OLAT every success and hope that there can be continued, deepening collaboration between the Sakai and OLAT communities.