If you haven’t heard, there has been some rebranding effort in the Sakai community recently. The project formerly known as “Sakai 3” has been dubbed the Sakai Open Academic Environment (OAE). The reaction has been varied; some wonder why a name change at all, some don’t especially care for the choice, some wonder why it wasn’t chosen differently…

I’m writing this post to give my perspective of why this is a healthy community move, even if the exact name “OAE” doesn’t stick.

This is just one more recognition that we’re talking about a new and different product. “3” doesn’t work very well as a product identifier, amongst ourselves, or to the broader world. This is an important distinction between Sakai (the community/brand/make) and Sakai (the software/product/model).

As the project portfolio for the Sakai community expands, we need real names for the projects. This looks to become more natural if we draw closer to our Jasig friends, who already have a number of named projects. (As a side note, be ready to have discussions on your campus and at conferences of how a Collaboration and Learning Environment [CLE] is different from the OAE.)

So, my takeaway, whether you like the name Open Academic Environment or not, is that this is an important step on the maturity path for our community. -NB

P.S. Although OAE doesn’t roll off my tongue very well, I’m glad to be done with this dance: well, take the S off, and change it to a three. Yeah, it’s a nerdy thing. No, I didn’t pick it. They usually pronounce it… Explaining it always felt like watching awful karaoke.

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04 November 2010