[Fwd: [jasig-winter-07-unconference] lightweight LMS portal integration as unconf, post-unconf activity]

Colin Clark colin.clark at utoronto.ca
Fri Sep 21 19:52:57 UTC 2007

Hi all,

Andrew Petro raised the suggestion of a small portlet design/development 
project for the end of the JA-SIG unconference in November.

His idea is to get Fluid involved in helping to design a small LMS 
integration portlet that would provide a summary view of various 
information in Sakai or other learning management systems.

I think this would be a great bit of work we could collaborate with the 
uPortal community on, and might feed back into some of the recent 
discussion we've been having about newsfeed and synoptic-style views of 
data in Sakai.



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [jasig-winter-07-unconference] lightweight LMS portal 
integration as unconf, post-unconf activity
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 06:41:17 -0700
From: Andrew Petro <apetro at unicon.net>
Reply-To: winter-07-unconference at lists.ja-sig.org
To: winter-07-unconference at lists.ja-sig.org
<3b3057960709190612y34b851f3j9898b1d163e48c51 at mail.gmail.com> 
<46F1A7F4.5010308 at unicon.net> 
<3b3057960709191721r1034068dhddd7d072cdc2fae2 at mail.gmail.com> 
<46F28557.2060007 at doit.wisc.edu> <46F28F54.8070409 at unicon.net> 
<65C31D1A-74FD-4084-8BE6-01D32A5EAD78 at rutgers.edu>

Anyone have a particular ability to convince Pete Boysen and/or Pete's
management to send him to the UnConference and post-activities with his
shiny new CAR-ified WebCT channel in tow?

I suspect there's room in the world for a quality "Pluggable Lightweight
LMS Integration Portlet".  "PLLIP", maybe.  With plugins to query WebCT,
Blackboard, Sakai.  Displays your courses/sites/whatevers, gives you
links to them, away you go.  Shared UI excellence, maybe get the FLUID
folks to make it sing.  Different connection details for different
versions of WebCT?  That's fine, we can have twelve versions of the
plugin if need be, all ready to be spring-wired in.

What prevents me from just doing this some weekend is lack of access to
test instances of the proprietary LMSs.  Is the Post-Un-Conference a
chance to get together devs interested in the various LMSs to get this done?

Probably time to take this to uportal-user@ , but I wanted to flesh out
the pitch here first and see if this is the kind of activity suggestion
we'd want to use to draw people and like to see them do once drawn.
Supposing this group thinks this is a good idea, I can take it over to
-user@ as more of that infectious enthusiasm stuff.

I'm torn.  I don't want to discourage people from working on uPortal
itself post-conference, but realistically I think a project more this
size with more of this immediate selfish return-on-investment
proposition (tada! instead of your own hacked LMS integration, you're
now on shared open source code with a UI plausibly on the roadmap for
FLUID enhancement!) is easier to draw institutional devs into and more
likely to align with existing local code they could bring and share.
(Here's my custom channel to talk to my custom LMS, now, how would I
make this into a PLLIP plugin?)


>> Rutgers has a Sakai project.  Do those devs want to be available, 
>> connect up?  More generally Rutgers has an interesting environment 
>> involving a federated campus and several LMSs.  In our world of 
>> Blackboard channels and WebCT channels and versions all over the 
>> place and now Sakai, spending some hands-on time looking at what 
>> we're all doing for even the lightest "integration" (Can you get it 
>> to list their courses in the portal?  With SSO links?) could be neat.
> I'm game and can probably sell the extra days. To be honest, 
> portal-sakai integration is on our roadmap -- something like this 
> could be the catalyst to push it more in the near term. Though most of 
> my fall is going to be spent riding the Sakai 2.5 QA cycle & trying to 
> eek out 10% performance gains left and right to keep up with our 
> expanding usage.

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Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto

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