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  • Portlet authors - a page for developers and those creating channels or portlets in uPortal
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  • uPortal Designers - a page for those desiring to improve the user experience of uPortal



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  1. Dear uPortal Community,

    Jasig, and each sponsored project, is filled with talented and motivated developers, technicians and administrators all working hard, contributing energy and intellect to develop high quality enterprise systems, and in doing so, are actually supporting their local college or university and ultimately higher education globally. The results of your work benefits not only uPortal, but also our colleges and universities including our faculty, staff and students. Unfortunately many of those who benefit most from the uPortal and the Jasig community's efforts may not be aware how our projects contribute to (and even enable) their daily work, courses, academic and administrative departments, etc. Sadly, not everyone is a developer.

    However, this does not mean that non-technical individuals should not (or could not) become active contributors to either uPortal, another Jasig project or Jasig as an organization. The fundamental goal for 2-3-98 is to raise awareness and appreciation of openness among the members of the higher education community. Concerns about open source are less common today within the IT field, however are still present among our colleagues across campus. Who better to invite into the discussion (and indeed development) than those who are currently using and relying on open source projects? Unfortunately many of these folks may not even know how much they and their activities depend on uPortal or other Jasig sponsored projects. Considering this, I would ask you to look at your own project and your community, and ask two questions:

    1. How many folks on the campus who use mobile devices are aware they are using not only uPortal, but an open source application or a Jasig sponsored project?
    2. How many folks who rely on uPortal are active participants in your project or Jasig generally?

    If understanding and growth in open source projects like uPortal—and the organizations that support them like Jasig—is going to increase, we cannot limit participation to developers, technicians and administrators. We must include the end-users who can testify to the quality and viability of our projects. If a campus is using uPortal to provide aggregated content from ERP, the Alumni Office and Student Affairs, then I'd like to meet that campus' Registrar, VP of Alumni Affairs and Dean of Students at the next Jasig Conference at the 2-3-98 session.

    Including our campus end-users, who are most familiar with, reliant on, and have come to trust Jasig's sponsored projects, provides us with an incredible opportunity to raise awareness and appreciation of open source, uPortal and the Jasig community. As campus end-users share their experiences with their colleagues and peers, a second level of dialogue will emerge beyond the technology (which, if we can be honest, can actual intimidate, detract and confuse our end-users), enabling campuses to discuss the affordances of open source, not as a technology or methodology, but as a solution to their business and operational needs.

    So I put forth a request—perhaps a challenge! Please seriously consider the two questions I asked above and identify specific individuals on the campuses who have adopted uPortal whose jobs, departments, duties, etc. rely on your project's continued success. Then, send me their names, contact information and a bit about how they use your project. I would like to introduce our efforts (uPortal's, 2-3-98's and Jasig's) and invite them to participate in one of the activities underway with 2-3-98, e.g. Edu2ools, The Logic Tree, etc. If your only contacts are technical leads on campus, please forward his/her name(s) — perhaps you could provide an introduction — and I will appeal to them directly with a similar message.

    I hope to hear from you soon, and remember, sadly, not everyone is a developer!


    Patrick Masson