Forum .LRN Q&A: Response to dotLRN on .NET
If we proceed with iCampus, then it will be as a *research* project to understand how a platform like dotLRN might be constructed from the ground up using a componentized web services architecture.
We would have three general aims:
<li>understand how enterprise services (authentication) could be delegated, preferably using OKI (Open Knowledge Initiative) APIs;
<li>understand how certain modules might be delegated (e.g. calendar, file storage) to external systems or applications;
<li>understand how the platform could be constructed so as allow consumption of web service data and applications, especially in learning management space;
The funding that we are likely to receive is a fraction of what we would need to do full .NET port. The decision to do a full .NET port would come a year from now, depending on lessons learned, whether there's funding available, the state of Mono, and an overall careful analysis. It's way too premature to say that we are undertaking a .NET port.
Can we achieve the same research goals by focusing exclusively on OpenACS? Yes.
<li>Will Microsoft fund it? No.
<li>Might we be able to use some of the iCampus money to further the dotLRN/OpenACS project? Possibly.
For example, I would like to modularize the calendar functionality in the current version so that we have the option to store events in Exchange using Calendar APIs.
<li> Will Microsoft get a seat on the dotLRN board because of iCampus? No.
<li>Are there people at MIT working on dotLRN/.NET? No. Tracy Adams and Andrew Grumet, who work for me, have been learning .NET and would participate in the project if we move forward.
What I urge you to think about is the following: if we can obtain funding and resources from Microsoft to strengthen dotLRN but using .NET in some way. Should we accept? If so, how should the funding and resources be used?