Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

If a Learning Management System Was a Boat…

I saw a CompSci.ca blog post for If a programming language was a boat… (through WIRED) and laughed at the descriptions of C, ColdFusion, Java, Perl, PHP, and Ruby.

Java is a cargo ship. It’s very bulky. It’s very enterprise~y. Though it can also carry a lot of weight. Will carry a project, but not very fun to drive.

PHP is a bamboo raft. A series of hacks held together by string. Still keeps afloat though.

Blackboard Vista / CE 6+

Vista is an aircraft carrier. Bulky, enterprise-y, and a floating city which requires an entire armada of support (SafeAssign, Wimba, Luminis) to really fulfill its billed purpose. We see the “Mission Accomplished” banner with each new release. Marketing likes to describe it as a cruise liner, but I am sure it is because they are just recycling the Academic Suite points.

Blackboard Academic Suite

Academic Suite is a cruise liner. Swimming pools, mini-golf, and all you can eat buffets with little of substance.


Sakai is Noah’s Ark. Good in the great flood and built by divine guidance. However, we live in the present reality… not ancient Babylonian mythology or the Jewish mythology which adopted the story. Do you really want to take a trip in something that may not even exist?


Moodle is a houseboat. Yes, it is on the water, so technically it is a boat, but you only really use it tied up to a dock. You don’t want to take it out on the ocean or try to have too many people use it.

Anyone have thoughts on Desire2Learn, ANGEL, or any other systems?


3 responses to “If a Learning Management System Was a Boat…”

  1. Ron Avatar

    I haven’t seen Desire2Learn or ANGEL in so long I couldn’t comment. I do agree with your other characterizations, though. We use Vista and it is very ‘enterprise-y’. I actually like it quite a bit, but I wish it were still free of the Bb clutches.
    So the question of the day is:
    “What do you get when you cross an aircraft carrier with a cruise liner?”

  2. […] edupunk was a boat, then what would it be? A bamboo […]

  3. Andy Avatar

    To answer Ron’s question… You don’t actually combine them, you just add more. NG is actually a flotilla, not a single boat.

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