Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BigBlueButton presentation at WebFWD Summit

Fred Dixon, one of the BigBlueButton developers, has just returned from a three day WebFWD summit at Mozilla's offices in Mountain View, California.

Kudos to Pascal Finette and Diane Bisgeier for putting on a great summit for the WebFWD fellows and giving us many opportunities to learn from Mozilla, each other, and select companies in Silicon Valley how to create successful open source projects.

As part of the summit, each project had to give a presentation on their current status. The presentations were alaphabetical, so BigBlueButton went first. Here's a link to Fred's presentation.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

BigBlueButton joins Mozilla's WebFWD program as a Fellow!

WebFWD ("Web Forward") is part of Mozilla's Open Innovation program to support open source projects which help extend the web. As described on their web site:
WebFWD ("Web Forward") is Mozilla's Open Innovation program. We support Open Source projects which extend the Web — providing participants with mentorship from industry experts, access to the Mozilla global network, as well as infrastructure and other world-class resources.
The benefit to BigBlueButton's community is that our project now has one of the most experienced and successful open source companies helping us in our efforts to succeed.  You've actually already seen some results with the integration of popcorn.js into BigBlueButton 0.8 to support HTML5 playback of recorded sessions.

WebFWD's announcement does not change the work ahead: we still need to design, development, test, and release future versions of BigBlueButton that get us closer to our 1.0 goal.  But with Mozilla's help, the road ahead just got a little bit smoother.

See Mozilla's WebFWD announcement for more details.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

BigBlueButton 0.8-beta-3 Released

BigBlueButton 0.8-beta-3 is now released, our third beta in the development of BigBlueButton 0.8.

In addition to the usual bug fixes under the hood (see release announcement in the bigbluebutton-dev mailing list), we added a push-to-talk feature in this release so end users can now un-mute/mute themselves if needed.

We encourage anyone interested in BigBlueButton to download and check out this release.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Managing webcams the easy way

The upcoming BigBlueButton 0.8-beta-3 is designed to manage multiple webcams by grouping them together into the Video Dock window.

The Video Dock window also let's a user click on any video stream to see a larger version of it alongside the others.

This is what 20 simultaneous webcams look like in BigBlueButton 0.8.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

BBB-Mobile now available on Android Marketplace

The hard working Mconf-Mobile team have announced a beta of their BigBlueButton Android client is now available on the Android Marketplace for download:
We are glad to announce that after 10 months of development we are releasing the first version of BBB-Android and Mconf-Mobile on the official Android marketplace. It's the version 0.4.2, and it comes with many improvements on stability.

BBB-Android is a native Android client for BigBlueButton, and Mconf-Mobile is a mobile client for Mconf (https://mconf.org), a BigBlueButton based web conferencing system. Users running the Android client will be able to interact with others by public and private chat messages and audio/video both ways.
If you have an android phone, we encourage you to download their BigBlueButton client, try it out, and give them feedback on their mconf-dev mailing list

Kudos to the Mconf-Mobile team for getting their BigBlueButton client on the Android Marketplace!

Monday, November 7, 2011

BigBlueButton spotted at EDUCAUSE

Scott Siddall, managing director of Longsight, recently showcased BigBlueButton's integration with Sakai at EDUCAUSE 2011.

Longsight is also helping us update the Sakai Meeting Tool to support record and playback (see this post in sakai-dev).

Friday, November 4, 2011

BigBlueButton spotted at MAINEducation Conference

Another BigBlueButton sighting: Stephen Dame from HostBBB recently demonstrated BigBlueButton at the MAINEducation Conference.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Goldsmiths University of London using BigBlueButton

Mira Vogel, Goldsmiths University of London, recently shared their on-line documentation for supporting BigBlueButton. See How to use BigBlueButton (login as Guest).

Thanks Mira!

Friday, September 30, 2011

ATutor LCMS now integrated with BigBlueButton

Greg Gay, community manager of the ATutor Learning Content Management System, recently announced the ATutor integration module for BigBlueButton is now avaialble.

Thanks Greg for the integration with BigBlueButton!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

BigBlueButton + Matterhorn = Desktop Lecture Capture

Here is the announced our integration with Matterhorn at opencast.org and published instructions on how to setup BigBlueButton for lecture capture with Matterhorn 1.1 and 1.2.
If you are using Matterhorn, invite you to try the integration and give us feedback.

Monday, September 12, 2011

BigBlueButton 0.8-beta released!

The BigBlueButton development team is pleased to announce the BETA RELEASE of BigBlueButton 0.8. This release provides:
  • Recording of sessions 
  • Playback of recordings in HTML 5 
  • Improved Audio (lower latency) 
  • Integration with Matterhorn (open source lecture capture management)

For the full details, see release notes. For installation on Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit or 64-bit server, see installation instructions.

We've also put together a YouTube video demonstration how to install this beta release.


Friday, September 9, 2011

BigBlueButton uses popcorn.js for HTML5 playback of recordings

Two words: popcorn.js rocks.

We've been working on adding record and playback to BigBlueButton 0.8 for months (we're almost ready for a beta). We had originally written our own HTML5 playback client for playback of slides + audio. This way, playback could occur within an HTML5 browser. By using HTML5, the playback would be very lightweight: just a series of PNG images and an OGG audio file.

Near the end of our development of 0.8, we were approached by Ben Moskowitz, a member of Mozilla Foundation, and asked if we were interested in using popcorn.js instead. popcorn.js is a javascript library for synchronized playback of media.

With the support of Mozilla, we converted over BigBlueButton to use popcorn.js (read: ditched our home grown client). The conversion went so well that we were able to add playback of chat messages.

Click the image below to see an example of playback of a recorded BigBlueButton session using popcorn.js.

Thanks to popcorn.js and the Mozilla Foundation, folks can leverage popcorn.js when remixing and creating new output formats for BigBlueButton recordings.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Presentation on Record and Playback with BigBlueButtton

Two of the BigBlueButton developers, Richard Alam and Fred Dixon, gave a talk at SC2011 - Software Developers' Haven, an open source conference held in Ottawa, Ontario, on August 27, 2011.

They presented the architecture and implementation of record and playback in the upcoming BigBlueButton 0.8.

At the time of the presentation BigBlueButton 0.8-beta had not yet shipped, but it will soon!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Short review of BigBlueButton in Classroom 2.0

The website Classroom 2.0 recently posted an article 9 Web Conferencing Platforms for Education and Collaboration 2.0: What Should Your Organization Use?

In the review, Nicholas Carl Martin wrote about BigBlueButton
It offers the basic features described at the beginning of the post and also employs video conferencing between the presenter and viewers. It lacks recording and mobile integration, but is on a good track and is highly recommended for organizations that have a good handle on tech and want a cost-effective and easy-to-use option.
In regards to the missing parts, the GT-Mconf team working on an android client, and we have record and playback coming in BigBlueButton 0.8-beta.

BigBlueButton 0.8 beta is coming soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

BigBlueButton Developer Summit on Sunday, August 28, 11AM - 2PM EDT

The BigBlueButton developers will be holding a three hour on-line developer summit on Sunday, August 28, 11AM - 2PM EDT.

For information on agenda and registration see this announcement in our developer mailing list.

The on-line sessions will be held with BigBlueButton itself (of course!). A recording of the sessions will be available after the summit.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Video showing record and playback in BigBlueButton 0.8 (internal build)

We've made this YouTube video showing the recording of a presentation (slides + audio) and its playback within BigBlueButton 0.8.

The video was taken of an internal build of BigBlueButton 0.8. It shows the core APIs are in place to record a presentation, get past recordings, publish/unpublish recordings, and delete recordings.

Friday, July 1, 2011

BigBlueButton at Sakai 2011

Omar Shammas and Fred Dixon recently attended the Sakai 2011 User Conference in Los Angeles to demonstrate the latest version of BigBlueButton.

We showed the upcoming integration with Matterhorn 1.1 and an build of BigBlueButton 0.8 with record and playback. We also held a BoF (Birds of a Feather) session to answer questions about the project.

The Sakai community puts on a very good show. This was our second year attending. Last year, we estimate about 20% of attendees had heard about BigBlueButton. This year, the number was around 60%.

The conference was an excellent opportunity to talk directly to universities and colleges who had already deployed BigBlueButton and share our road map. Looking forward to attending the Sakai 2012 conference!

Omar recently created the localization server at http://localize.bigbluebutton.org. See previous blog post. Fred is one of the BigBlueButton committers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

BigBlueButton Android client now supports video

The GT-Mconf team recently demonstrated at Campo Grande-Brazil an updated version of their BigBlueButton Android client supporting video.

Here's a screen shot:

More screenshots available here.

They also gave a presentation of their progress to date. In his post to bigbluebutton-dev, Felipe Cecagno said their plans are to release the next version within the Android marketplace.

Can't wait to see it -- time to buy an android phone!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Easier localization of BigBlueButton

Thanks to contributions from our community, BigBlueButton is now localized in over thirty (30) languages.

This is awesome, but it's also a lot of work to keep up-to-date, especially as the number of language strings increase with each release, and as the developers must review each update before commit.

To make it easier for our community (and our developers), we've adapted the localize server from the Drupal to create


Here's a screen shot of localize.bigbluebutton.org:

We created a YouTube Video to show how easy it is to contribute to localizing the language strings.

Finally, we integrated the localization server with our GitHub account to automatically push updates to the language strings into souce. See the announcement in bigbluebutton-org for more information.

Thanks to Xie, Chen, and DJP for their initial effort to localization BigBlueButton. You guys made it possible for us to reach 30 languages.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

First public release of BigBlueButton client for Android by GT-Mconf team

The GT-Mconf team, working in the Laboratory of Prav (located in the Institute of Informatics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil), have reached another milestone in creating a BigBlueButton Android client.

Felipe Cecagno posted the availability of the first public release for download. This release supports both chat and voice.

Here's a list of participants in the session and in the voice conference:

Here's a view of the client in landscape mode:

We downloaded their client a within a few minutes were using our android phones to listen and speak in a BigBlueButton conference. Very cool!

For further links, check out Felipe's post to bigbluebutton-dev.

This is great progress Felipe. Getting voice working is a BIG milestone.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lessons from an Open Source Business

Fred Dixon, one of the BigBlueButton developers, recently published an article in the Open Source Business Resource titled Lessons from an Open Source Business.

The article reflects on the past three three years of developing and building BigBlueButton, the BigBlueButton ecosystem, and growing a business around providing commercial support for BigBlueButton.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Early days of BigBlueButton

We recently came across this picture of a drawing by Richard Alam made during a presentation on the architecture of BigBlueButton in 2008.

Since then, BigBlueButton has been in active development for over three years, but you can see the familiar pieces of red5, asterisk, pdf2swf and others are still there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Jeff Miles Reviews BigBlueButton

Jeff Miles recently posted this review of BigBlueButton on his blog. He made lots of good comments on BigBlueButton, but for us this one stood out:
I only ran into a couple problems (audio application freeswitch didn’t install correctly) but the documentation wiki was very helpful in getting those problems resolved. Overall the support resources are excellent.
Writing good documentation isn't easy sometimes, but comments like Jeff's that it worth the effort.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Dean Mantz is happy

Recently Dean Mantz gave a big shout out to the volunteers in the BigBlueButton Setup mailing list for their assistance. Here's an excerpt from his post:
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those responsible for BBB ... in setting up a brand new server ... I ran into a couple problems. In assisting me, Fred remoted into my Ubuntu server found the issues and had me up and running within 15 minutes....as advertised!
Therefore, if you are having folks question you why BBB and what type of support will be provided they will be quite pleased to know I would place Fred and the BBB family up against any franchise in the business!!
Thanks Dean! We care about making sure people are successful when using BigBlueButton.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

BigBlueButton running on Galaxay Tablet

Thanks to filipmares for sharing this pic.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

BigBlueButton day in Montréal: March 8th 2011

Developers and enthusiasts of BigBlueButton will meet up in Montréal, Québec, Canada on March 8th, 2011.

This will permit to accelerate the development of the local BigBlueButton community and will be held at the offices of Savoir-faire Linux. Révolution Linux, Gestion-Ressources, Evocatio and AvanTech.net will be present. The event will be 9AM to 5PM EST and topics will include:
  • Introductions by Fred Dixon and Denis Zgonjanin- BigBlueButton developers
  • BigBlueButton Presentation
    • Current features
    • New features
    • Use cases
    • Integration with various other applications
  • Discussion about BigBlueButton business models
  • Improvements and feature requests
  • General discussions
This event is the last day of TikiFestConfoo 2011 and just before the Confoo Web Conference, where Tiki will be presented.

Thanks to Marc Laporte, project admin for Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware, for providing the information for this post.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

BigBlueButton sighted at ITC eLearning 2011

Fred Dixon (Blindside Networks) and Mario Saenz (Generic Conferencing) recently demonstrated BigBlueButton to members of the Instructional Technology Council eLearning 2011 conference (Feb 19 - 22, St. Pete Beach, Florida).

Members got a preview of the upcoming implementation of Record and Playback in BigBlueButton 0.8.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BigBlueButton on Android Phone

Felipe Cecagno, a member of the GT-Mconf team working in the Laboratory of Prav (located in the Institute of Informatics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) posted this message to bigbluebutton-dev giving an update on their progress to create an Android client for BigBlueButton.

Progress is good. They posted this YouTube Video showing a working prototype (chat is now implemented).

Their project is open source:
Kudos to Felipe and his team! You have really impressed us!

With an Android client now in play, could an iPhone client be far behind?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Southern Methodist University

Steve Sekul, an Assistant Professor of Experimental Particle Physics at Southern Methodist University, shares his thoughts on using BigBlueButton for a Virtual Classroom.

Thanks for sharing you thoughts Steve. There's a good discussion in his post re: Flash vs. HTML5.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Real-time Chat Translation in BigBlueButton

We've posted a video to YouTube showing a demo of real-time chat translation in BigBlueButton 0.71a using Google Translate.

σε πραγματικό χρόνο μετάφραση είναι δροσερό.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Moodle 2.0 Activity Module available for BigBlueButton

Blindside Networks has released a BigBlueButton activity module for Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.0.

There is an overview video of how the modules work. You can download them from here.

Be sure to check out the Moodle 1.9 Activity Module from Dual Code as well available from here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

BigBlueButton 0.71a released

We spent about six weeks profiling and testing the server code. The end result: better handling of VoIP packets and lower memory usage on the server.

See documentation to install or upgrade.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

DimDim acquired by Salesforce.com

DimDim is ending contributions to their open source project.

If the acquisition of DimDim makes you think the open source web conferencing market is shrinking, it's not. It's actually growing.

A successful open source project is not just about software, it's about building a healthy ecosystem in which users, companies, and developers all finding benefits in contributing to improving BigBlueButton.

Take a look through our growing developer mailing lists. Do a twitter search on BigBlueButton. Check out our open source integrations. Or set your own BigBlueButton server (it will take you about fifteen minutes if you have a spare computer with Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit or 64-bit), or try our demo server.

You see that BigBlueButton is growing and giving you a real open source choice.

DimDim is going away, but BigBlueButton is here to stay.

BigBlueButton on FLOSS Weekly

The FLOSS Weekly show (TWiT Netcast Network) just posted an interview with Fred Dixon, one of BigBlueButton's developers.

They used skype for the interview ... maybe we can convince them to switch to BigBlueButton in the future.