I’m mostly putting this here so I can easily point to it for people: Jeffrey Veen on Making a Better Open Source CMS. Each time I look at the latest CMS or (more often) LMS, and that includes Moodle and Sakai, I think of Veen’s remarks:
Ultimately, a content management system should be designed to empower writers and editors to do content creation and maintenance themselves. I’d like to see it take a step further: empower designers, information architects, and site owners with the ability to make the CMS work for them.
And yes, BlackBoard and WebCT are worseTextPattern, LiveJournal, Blogger and TypePad give me hope. Yes, of course I know those aren’t LMSs–but they could each provide core components of a modular system.