Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: Will Dr. OpenACS survive? Or why I stopped worrying and learned to love the .LRN consortium?


I think there has actually been a lot of progress on making dotLRN work as part of an OpenACS deployment rather than as a monolithic portalized front-end. You can create a subsite with forums and membership etc. alongside a dotlrn instance without problems (well, I think anyway -- I do install things this way to test but we don't use dotLRN in our work so I have not built production sites that way).

Is any of what you use dotLRN for publicly visible anywhere?

I am curious if you have written things which would be of value to the community and could contribute back. One thing I think we don't do as well as we could is proactively seek out the things which people are doing to make dotLRN or OpenACS useful in production settings and make sure they make their way back in to the codebase.


This is not publicly visible, but I think we have posted some screenshots previously as part of a collaboraid look at interfaces. We would happily do so again, but our changes are limited:
* professor renamed to admin
* student renamed to member
* 'contributing member' role added for file sharing
plus various bug fixes, mostly in calendar.

Since 'getting dotLRN working' we have not updated, because of a fear of introducing new bugs. This is an area where we are less happy about the community. You are almost *too* smart and I get the impression that new development tends to get priority over QA (with some notable exceptions). We feel this is a drawback to the 2 tier architecture with so much functionality in the database - even a database update could introduce bugs. We have yet to see the planned Hibernate introduction into Sakai and test its scalability and performance, but it seems promising. The other thing we have found much more attractive is the configurability of permissions, with basic CRUD permissions on a role configurable sitewide or in a community by tick box for the relevant administrator.

You have prompted me into some negative thoughts, but I want to emphasise overall admiration for the work and that is selfish reason I want to encourage you. If Sakai fails to deliver, I would like to think OpenACS/dotLRN will be ready to pick up the pieces...