Hey Nate,

The point I was trying to make is that by the time any product is launched, several other similar products will have already popped up with similar capabilities, and more still will launch shortly after with new and totally game-changing capabilities – one entire step ahead on the innovation curve. To me, your post sounds like “When we launch Sakai 3, we want to be mediocre and just like everyone else.” I know this is not the case, and the rest of the Sakai community knows this not to be the case. You are part of a tremendous community that cares deeply about enabling instructors & students to be successful. I’d argue that so am I, although we differ in our opinions of how to get there. If I were to recommend something to you as an evangelist, it’s to highlight the special sauce that makes Sakai 3 different – what is going to take this platform truly a leap forward beyond what other similar products have to offer. Collaborative wiki editing, embedded widgets, and private social networks are becoming increasingly common, so I’m not totally convinced here. Your arguments around cost are in my opinion headed down a slippery slope. There are more costs to running an LMS than just the license alone. But as you state, maybe I have a different viewpoint given my past experience and background.

As for the technology stack, JSR-170 & 283 are great. Blackboard’s Xythos Content System has had JSR-170 support for years. In fact, Xythos actually integrates with Sakai: http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DwmAKdp0mHBA Similarly, OpenSocial is also a very exciting API framework. This past weekend I wrote a prototype plugin (Building Block) for Blackboard that can both embed OpenSocial-enabled widgets into Blackboard courses and enable external widgets to consume Blackboard content. I did this using our SDK without having to overhaul Blackboard’s entire architecture in support of this end-goal. Perhaps, though, it is necessary to give the Sakai technology stack some love & care. This is one area that received special attention in Blackboard 9. Every application of this nature eventually outgrows itself.

Again, my personal non-Blackboard-sanctioned opinion is that the work the community is undertaking on Sakai 3 is phenomenal. Clay’s post just last night with the image of the Sakai Matrix is admittedly a pretty cool vision. I’m actually somewhat jealous of his newfound role in making this all happen. :) But as I’ve said before, as both of our platforms become more interoperable and standards-compliant, our paths will be crossing more often – particularly around pluggable learning tools that allow students and teachers and researchers to collaborate in ways we’ve never seen before. This is something that I look forward to – in addition to our regular Twitter debates.