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The debate regarding both the feasibility and viability of open source software (in addition to other "open" initiatives) continues across many colleges and universities. The 2-3-98 project will collect and assess current approaches to development and adoption in order to define best practices in the implementation of open initiatives. This is in line with Jasig's purpose to:


Promote practical collaboration between educational institutions, the sharing of best practice, and dissemination of results of innovative approaches to applying open technology architectures and systems in an educational context
Sustain and develop a global community of interest among educational institutions to advance open source and open standards technologies, architectures, systems and content, promoting international collaboration in these areas.

          -Jasig Bylaws

2-3-98 Steering Committee

Patrick Masson (
University of Massachusetts, UMassOnline

Ellen Marie Murphy (
SUNY, Empire State College

Clark Shah-Nelson (
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Project Scope

The 2-3-98 Project will provide support for college and university administrators, managers, and practitioners wishing to take advantage of both openness (as an organizational and operational orientation) and open initiatives, in order to reduce costs and increase choice. The project will strive to: collect data regarding the design, development and deployment of open source tools, technologies and technique (both successful and unsuccessful); identify and assess the various considerations, characteristics and qualities that enable, advance and constrain the understanding, adoption and practice of openness, and; provide a rationale for those who may be considering the feasibility and viability of openness within their own organizations.

Artifacts and activities will include:

  • case studies
  • in-person events
  • mailing lists
  • research and references
  • use cases
  • user stories
  • wiki
  • white papers

Project Goals

  • Provide a forum for open and honest discussion with peers about the evaluation, procurement, decision-making, issues, and experiences behind the barriers to. and adoption of, open initiatives
  • Understand the common attributes associated with "open" as a development methodology and community of practice
  • Identify issues associated with open projects, communities and practies (strengths, weaknesses, benefits, risks), in order to assist organizations in their assessment of both open products and processes
  • Document best practices for success in the implementation of openness within technology, program or organizational development
  • Promote shared findings through a community of interest

Functional Requirements:

Functional requirements for the 2-3-98 Project are derived from organizational use cases. Organizations and individuals who are interested in influencing the direction of the 2-3-98 Project should contribute their use case(s) here


The output of the 2-3-98 Project will be delivered as modules specific to particular use cases.


In an effort to, 1. reduce discrepancies in evaluation criteria between open source and commercial applications; 2. remove institutional procurement requirements that bias toward RFP responses (which ignore open options); and 3. focus on functionality rather than features, a catalog of user stories and testing scripts will be generated for various academic technologies. This catalog will be developed by any technology (i.e. open source or commercial) adopters (faculty, staff, students) who wish to contribute user stories or testing scripts.

Guide to Acquiring Open Source Solutions
In a response to Nate Angel's post, Who Is Using Sakai & Moodle, Michael Korcuska, former Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation offered, "A 'Guide to Acquiring Open Source Solutions' for the education procurement departments would be a great deliverable for the two communities to collaborate on."

Logic Tree
Many individuals or organizations who encounter barriers in the adoption of open source software (or even other open resources such as learning objects) seek out resources, such as case studies, research, reports, etc., to raise awareness around open initiatives; provide evidence countering common arguments to open source, and; point to successful implementations among peer institutions. While many references exist, finding relevant references (i.e. identifiable, applicable and digestible) to address local issues is difficult because: resources may be distributed across multiple organizations (identifiable: how do we find peers — similar campuses with similar issues?); the total set of resources cover topics broader than an organizations specific interests (applicable: how do we identify which resource will help?); many relevant resources may be developed for different audiences (digestible: how do we make the case?).
The Logic Tree reformats the data (resources) and the search process to help individuals and organizations find relevant documents (evidence) from peer organizations to address local issues. The Logic Tree includes common barriers often sited in the adoption of open initiatives. For example, a list of responses to, "what are the most common obstacles to deploying uPortal," might include:

  • "I've never heard of uPortal."}
    • uPortal has been around for over 10 years.
    • uPortal has been covered in a variety of higher ed magazines
    • Jasig, the governing body for uPortal, has existed for 10+ years
    • Jasig manages many projects relied on across Higher education.
  • "uPortal does not have a significant market share."}
    • uPortal is supported by XXX companies, colleges and universities}
    • uPortal is deployed at of XXX colleges and universities}
  • "Open source software is not good."
    • Evidence 1...
    • Evidence 2...
    • Evidence 3...
    • Evidence 4...

The logic tree allows potential adopters to follow, step by step (argument by argument), identifying issues and finding evidence to support a move to, in this simple example, uPortal. This approach would direct them to the relevant resources to help make a business case, rather than searching the archives through potentially helpful, but probably irrelevant items.

Open Business Readiness Rating (OpenBRR) is an Open source software assessment methodology defining an open and standard assessment process. This methodology tries to integrate companies constraints (notably for tests and reliability), and focuses on the sharing and the reduction of the Total Cost of Ownership perceived for Open Source software.) is an Open source software assessment methodology defining an open and standard assessment process. This methodology tries to integrate companies constraints (notably for tests and reliability), and focuses on the sharing and the reduction of the Total Cost of Ownership perceived for Open Source software.

Openness Index
Work sheet to assess the maturity of openness in an organization and provide a road map for further adoption.

Open Road Report
I. What's happened in the last year in Openness.
II. What is going to happen in the next year.
III. What are the areas of need related to the above for 2-3-98 development (need investigating)

Reference Library

In addition to the artifacts developed and delivered as part of the 2-3-98 Project, a reference library specific to the understanding of openness is provided.

Annual Discussion

The 2-3-98 Conference has been held annually at SUNY Delhi, in Delhi New York beginning in 2008. For each of the three previous years this conference took place over the summer in a traditional in-person format. While the sessions where made available through the web, speakers primarily delivered their presentations in-person, in front of the Delhi audience. With the economic crisis, and recognizing Delhi's remote location (90 miles from the closest airport) as well as a desire to increase participation (both in attendance and content) a new format has been developed for the annual conference. The 2-3-98 will now be delivered completely online with speakers presenting from across the U.S. and internationally. The audience will have access to the sessions via the web, however there may also be regional meetings to allow opportunities for networking and community-building. These regional meetings can meet and watch the online sessions together as well as host local speakers for webcast. The 2-3-98 Conference will take place online each February 3rd of every year. Speakers and participants can sign up here.


Subscribe to The 2-3-98 Project mailing list:

A Little History Behind the Name

According to the History of the Open Source Initiative, "the 'open source' label was invented at a strategy session held on February 3rd, 1998 in Palo Alto, California. The people present included Todd Anderson, Chris Peterson (of the Foresight Institute), John "maddog" Hall and Larry Augustin (both of Linux International), Sam Ockman (of the Silicon Valley Linux User's Group), Michael Tiemann, and Eric Raymond." The Jasig project name, "2-3-98," references this day in history as the formal beginning of the open source movement.

Since then, the ideals of open source development have made their way into a variety of other initiatives, many outside of technology: Open Access, Open Courseware, Open Educational Resources, Open Research, and others. Indeed, considering the adoption rates of both open source software itself and the adoption of open methods, it might appear that openness was well understood and readily acceptable throughout not only academic communities and the IT industry, but also broader communities of practice.

Yet despite any apparent success, controversy persists with not only the applications developed through open methods but with the other open initiatives as well. While many question the readiness of open source software products themselves, a greater area of debate exists over the feasibility and viability of non-traditional development methodologies as well as the communities that support them.

Navigate space


New Module: *Logic Tree: Based on discussions with representatives from the Kuali foundation, Logic Tree is a graphical breakdown of common barriers cited in the adoption of open resources among peer institutions, dissecting issues into its different components vertically and providing details (evidence) as users reads to the right. The goal is to provide users with a means to identify, assess and digest relevant references for, and resources on, the adoption of open source software through a first person narrative.


New Module: Edu2ools
Modeled after the Edutools site from WCET, and working with UMassOnline, this set of user stories and testing scripts should provide campuses with a mechanism to equitably evaluate open source and proprietary technology options.

Jasig Conference
Spotlight on Open Source
2-3-98 Track
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

WVIZ/PBS ideastream
Moodle Conference for Teachers and Administrators Webinar
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday October 26th, 2010

2-3-98 Project Meeting
Thursday, Oct 14th, 2010
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Los Angeles, Lower Level, Marriott Hotel

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