OCT Election

The OCT (OpenACS Core Team) terms of Peter Marklund, Caroline Meeks, Tilmann Singer and Malte Sussdorf are expiring. (This is because they received fewest votes of the 9 members elected in October 2003; their terms end now so that OCT terms are staggered.) This means that 4 (four) seats on OCT are up for election. Those elected will serve until Midnight UTC, 20 April 2005.

Current OCT members, CVS committers and anyone who has posted at least twice to the forums in 90 days to 25 April may vote. A list of eligible voters can be found here. If you are an eligible voter, you will receive an email ballot on Sunday 23 May 2004. Voting officially begins at midnight, but ballots received before midnight will still be accepted.

How to Vote

  • Email your ballot to electionmay2004@openacs.org with the names of up to 4 (four) candidates.
  • The message should not contain anything but the candidate(s) you wish to vote for.
  • The email should be From the email address listed on the list of registered voters.
  • Candidates' names should spelt exactly as listed below. Copy-paste is best.
  • Do this before Friday 4 June 2004 (at Midnight UTC).

If you list more than 4 names, only the first 4 votes will be counted.

Note about the emailed ballot

The ballot that was emailed out to voters had an error in the instructions. The instructions on this page are correct—your ballot should contain the names of up to 4 candidates that you vote for. If you feel that you've made a mistake, please get in touch.


The candidates are:

Andrew Grumet
Bart Teeuwisse
Caroline Meeks
Joel Aufrecht
Malte Sussdorff
Peter Marklund
Rocael Hernandez

Personal Statements

Andrew Grumet
Caroline Meeks
Joel Aufrecht
Malte Sussdorff
Rocael Hernandez

Andrew Grumet

1. Who you are

My name is Andrew Grumet.  I live in Somerville, MA, USA and consult for MIT Sloan and a few other customers.

In addition to OpenACS/.LRN I am active in weblog technology, a member of the RSS Advisory Board and a co-author of Software Engineering of Internet Applications.  Please refer to the Projects section of my site map (http://www.grumet.net/weblog/site-map.html) and to my weblog (http://www.grumet.net/weblog/) for more information.

2. Involvement

Before working with OpenACS I programmed with ACS at ArsDigita, which hired me in October, 1999.  I went independent in 2002, and soon after joined the Sloan team to help with the upgrade and launch of SloanSpace v2, on a codebase that was to become .LRN. I authored the wap and photo-album-lite packages, co-authored the rss-support package, and have contributed bugfixes here and there over the years.

3. Affiliation

I'm an independent working closely with Sloan on .LRN.

4. Ideas/plans

Here are some directions, some of which we're already moving in, that I support and would advocate for

- Encourage and publicize innovation in OpenACS.  I know, I know,  "innovation" is overused but like obscenity I know it when I see it.  The translation server is innovative.  Peoples' eyes light up when I describe to them how it works.  We need more of that IMO, and to take credit when we innovate.

- Search for the win-wins.  There's a lot of energy here, but also a lot of diversity.  The trick is to identify the shared goals and build on each other's work as much as we possibly can.  For example, Vienna did some fascinating customizations that, assuming Vienna wants to share, we should review and bring in where appropriate.  I think everybody knows this---I'm just highlighting it---and maybe someone is already going after Vienna.

- Improve the user experience across the boards.  A lot of great ideas about page flow and features got lost in the ACS 3x to 4x transition and still haven't found their way back in.  One example is keyworded email notifications.  Another is a single, site-wide page where a moderator can examine content posted by, e.g., just the newly registered users.  Somebody must need these.

- Identify and weed out cruft.  I'm not talking about -deprecated procs here, but big things that make it hard to develop on OpenACS.  The procedural logic layer in the database, for example.  It adds hours to days of development time often with little to no benefit.  Can we get rid of it?  This discussion is already taking place.

5. Commitment

I am involved in a number of different projects and would only be able to spend a few hours per week in this role.  I'd expect to attend OCT meetings but am otherwise pretty flexible and can go where needed.  Examples: If nobody is working with Vienna I'd be happy to spend OCT cycles on that.  I can help identify lost but useful features such as "new stuff", try to identify people who need them, and cheerlead as they implement.  I can evangelize.

Caroline Meeks

1. Who you are, Involvement and Affiliations:

My Name: Caroline Meeks
My OACS Company: www.aristoi.biz
My Bio: http://www.aristoi.biz/marketing/Bio/
My Resume: http://meekshome.com/CM-resume.html

I would like to thank the community for allowing me to serve as an OCT member last session. Last years' OCT Position Paper: http://www.aristoi.biz/developers/oct/

Highlights of experience:
aD employee with projects including Sloan's first SloanSpace project.
Helped Sloan launch SloanSpace 2, which is the basis for dotLRN 1.0
I work in a variety of different market sectors. Sites launched by Aristoi in the last year include: ecommerce and dotLRN (www.gwu-aqe.org), nonprofits (e.g. innonet.org), distribution intranet (closed site) and political (www.alben2004.com)

2. Ideas and Plans:

Since the last election there has been tremendous progress in the base toolkit and many non-core useful packages/features. Here are just a few of the great new features/packages/code I have found very useful recently on my own sites:

  • BCMS
  • Developer Support Bar
  • Complex Survey
  • Newsletter
  • User Tracking from Jeff Davis' Knowledge Management Tools
  • HTMLArea
  • File-storage with webDAV

There are many others, of course; I'm just highlighting ones that have been directly useful to me that haven't gotten a great deal of exposure yet.

OACS has tremendous potential for creating innovative and useful web applications globally. But achieving that potential requires more then a great core and great packages; it requires people to know about OACS, choose it for their sites, and work cooperatively within the community so their work can be used as a foundation for future work.

One of my priorities is to reach out beyond current developers and other technical people and start showing decision makers what OACS can do. In the past few months I have done this by giving talks at conferences including:

  • NTEN – NE Regional
  • NTEN – National
  • Grassroots use of Technology
  • Talk for NOSI

I have also been working with the community on a Mission Statement. I plan to work more on joint marketing to nonprofits and actively seek out and engage with OACS users to encourage community involvement, collaborative development and code reuse.

5. Commitment

I attend meetings, and bug bashes, meet, talk to, and encourage participation from OpenACS users, vote on TIPs and give talks at conferences. My availability is variable due to client project commitments.

Joel Aufrecht

I'm the PM at Collaboraid, release manager and lead documentarian for OpenACS. If elected, I will show up to meetings regularly.

Rocael Hernandez

Who you are, involvement & affiliation:
Rocael Hernández Rizzardini.
Independent Consultant, leading the development team @ Galileo University, also represents Galileo @ E-LANE project, and conducting my company Viaro Networks for our own good clients, I live in Guatemala (nice country BTW).
I've been working with ACS since late 99... yes, I read the *book*..., and using oacs since 3.2.x versions, the very first ones. Working with several packages, contributed with wp-slim, and bug-fixing some others.
At Galileo leading an excellent local dev team of 7 persons (maintaining 2 Universities .LRN instances), all of the team mostly working with oacs, focusing effort to develop new tools & improve the GUI.

Ideas / Plans:

Marketing oacs / .LRN with better impact. Interested on the futher adoption of what I consider, the best framework for web development. More plans on working:: implementing e-learning standards (IMS Enterprise Services, OKI) & develop new tools & improve existing tools, provide .LRN instances server for trials, demo instances (i.e. dotlrndemo.galileo.edu), lightweight communication, easier intro to oacs for newbies (online course) etc.
Deeply believe in opensource as an strategic business desicion, and that any SW can become alive if you release the core / general purpose functionalities, well documented / coded.


@ Galileo because internal needs & the on going need of e-lane project, our main platform for development is oacs / .lrn, so conducting the team to make new open source tools, improve, etc. Can promote the oacs framework in conferences and the like (if fact, we are just finishing a course, where around 80 students were doing projects with oacs), can coordinate efforts around tools & available to receive request that might not be our priority, and of course, attend to OCT meetings, contribute in discussions & ideas.

Again, I'm interested and committed to a good marketing of oacs / .lrn with coherent and continuous improvement in the tools.

Malte Sussdorff

1. Who you are

Malte Sussdorff, current OCT member, living in Hamburg Germany, working as a freelance consultant with my own companies. Besides work, sailing is my passion.

2. Involvement

I've been with OpenACS pretty much since the old ArsDigita days (started there in August 1999) with more involvment lately. Besides sitting on the OCT for the last six months (which was fun, thanks getting me there), I've been co-developing the mailing-list, user-register and survey package and am currently working on getting a general assessment system out on the road. Programming taken aside, my focus is on increasing the community and it's user base (e.g. by hosting the first bug-bash or getting and staffing boothes at various OS conferences across Europe)

3. Affiliation

I'm an independent with my own company and major stakeholder in Azri.

4. Ideas/plans

First of all I want to get OpenACS out of the corner and into the big world. To achieve this my plan for the next 12 months is to get marketing materials ready (starting by distributing and changeing the one produced for S&R) and distribute it at as many conferences as makes sense. Going with the (albeit german) saying "Do good and talk about it", I'm also about to give some speeches at conferences and I really do plan to get the OpenACS book written.

On a development level I would like to prevent double and triple development within OpenACS, enable and ease third party tools integration and obviously get the assessment system out in the open.

5. Commitment

Commitment is as before. Attend the meetings and bug-bashes, staff the booth at conferences and hang out on IRC. During summer, I might be gone for the odd week or so (as Internet connection on the Oceans is not good unless you are a billionaire)