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BigBlueButton 1.0 Released

1.0a

The BigBlueButton project is pleased to announce the release of BigBlueButton 1.0, our 15th release in over seven years of development.

BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system for online learning. The goal of the project is to provide remote students a high-quality online learning experience.

This release gives instructors more abilities to engage remote students by adding:

  • Polling Module
  • Emoticons
  • Improved Video Dock

In addition to the above features, this release saw significant advancements in stability, usability, accessibility, leaning management systems (LMS) integration, localization, and design wins.

Stability
We released BigBlueButton 1.0-beta over six months ago (October 15, 2015). Since then, a number of commercial companies have been running it in production under continuous load for months (we know of one company that has hosted over 100,000 live sessions to-date).

This extensive beta testing period enabled us to stress the client and server under heavy load, find any areas that might impact the stability of a live class, fix them, and confirm they were fixed.

This all makes BigBlueButton 1.0 our most stable release to date. The focus on stability has paid off over the years.

“Our instructors love BigBlueButton. With our previous web-conferencing solution our users encountered many technical and usability problems that caused a lot of support effort on our part. With BigBlueButton, the support issues are almost non-existent. We are constantly impressed with the level of quality in this open source project.”

— Marc Matthes, Director of Computer Networking Programs and Program Developer, Distance Learning Department, Iowa Central Community College

Usability

We designed BigBlueButton to make it easy for an instructor to engage remote students online. For example, the new polling module automatically reads the text of the current slide and, if it detects a poll-type question, gives the instructor a single button to initiate a poll.

This detection enables an instructor to easily and rapidly ask multiple polls during a lecture without having to type in any of the questions during the class.

BigBlueButton uses web real-time communication (WebRTC) capabilities (in FireFox and Chrome) for very high-quality audio. This new version detects the loss of Internet connection (which can occur on a wireless network) and automatically attempts to reconnect the client and audio.

Accessibility

Accessibility is very important to us and to our target market. As with each release, we have an external firm audit BigBlueButton’s support for accessibility (specifically using screen readers such as JAWS) and give an independent assessment. You can view the accessibility statement for BigBlueButton 1.0, along with the link to our completed voluntary product accessibility template (VPAT), at http://bigbluebutton.org/accessibility/.

LMS Integration

BigBlueButton has deep implementations with many learning management systems. There are native plugins available for Moodle, Sakai, Canvas, Schoology, and Jenzabar. BigBlueButton is also certified as LTI 1.0 compliant, giving it a direct integration with every major LMS.

Localization

Thanks to our world-wide community, the BigBlueButton client has been localized into Arabic, Czech, Danish, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Occitan, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and other languages.

Anyone can contribute to the localization effort.

Design Wins

While the project’s focus is on online learning, BigBlueButton’s ability to provide for real-time sharing of audio, video, slides, chat, polls, and desktop make it applicable to many market segments.

Recently, the US Department of Defense built and deployed an internal collaboration system based on BigBlueButton and publicly stated they expect to save over $12m a year using it.

This was a huge design win for the project and BigBlueButton community.

 

If you are an educational institution delivering live courses online, or a commercial company looking to integrate live collaboration in your product, this release is a significant step towards our efforts to give you a solid web conferencing platform on which to integrate and build upon.

For more details on new capabilities in BigBlueButton 1.0, see overview of 1.0.

For documentation on how to setup your own BigBlueButton server, understand the architecture, integrate it with other applications, and extend the product to meet your needs, see http://docs.bigbluebutton.org/.

BigBlueButton Summit VIII: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The BigBlueButton developer community met in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada last week to coordinate development of the open source project for the next six months.

This was our eighth developer summit in four years. At this summit we had participants from Brazil, United States, Tunisia, and Canada. As with each summit, it’s an opportunity to work together for five days on exploring improvements to BigBlueButton, incorporating feedback from users, discussing architectural choices for the project, and making presentations to the community.

Team-pic

The focus of this summit was along a number of tracks: finishing BigBlueButton 1.0 release (currently in Release Candidate), planning the next BigBlueButton 1.1 release, reworking the BigBlueButton UI, and working on the architecture for the HTML5 and mobile client.

Thanks to all the developers who participated at the week-long summit:

    Anton Georgiev
    Calvin Walton
    Chad Pilkey
    Danny Perrone
    Felipe Cecagno
    Zachary Chai
    Fred Dixon
    Stephen Dame
    Gabriel de Campes
    Ghazi Triki
    Leonardo Daronco
    Lucas Zawacki
    Max Doumit
    Maxim Khlobystov
    Oleksandr Zhurbenko
    Oswaldo Acauan
    Pedro Marin
    Richard Alam
    Tiago Jacobs

We thank the following organizations who helped make this summit possible:

There was a lot of collaboration during the week. Here’s a picture reviewing the planned updates to the user interface.

team-pic2

As with each summit, the highlight is making presentations to the BigBlueButton community on our progress. Here are the links to the presentations:

BigBlueButton UI Update

Tyler Copeland gives an update on the work to evolve the BigBlueButton user interface.

BigBlueButton Project Update

Fred Dixon gives an update on the project.

BigBlueButton HTML Client Update

The HTML5 development team gives an update on the progress to create an HTML5 client for BigBlueButton.

We had a lot of fun at this summit, including an evening out to a local puzzle room where we tried to solve all the puzzles and escape from a room in 45 minutes. I think some members thought debugging BigBlueButton was easier than the puzzle rooms :-). Thanks to the Code Factory for providing us the space for the summit.

Nice tweet from Boston College

Just saw this tweet from Boston College. Looks like they are using BigBlueButton from within Canvas.

tweet2

We’re feeling the love.

BigBlueButton Summit VII: Porto Alegre, Brazil

We just returned back from another great developer summit in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This was our seventh developer summit. The BigBlueButton project holds developer summits every six months to bring the core developers and committers together to review and coordinate development on the project, do code sprints, and enjoy some good meals and company together.

2015-11-19 19.15.51

The project has come a long way from it’s first developer summit. Now that we have released BigBlueButton 1.0-beta, looking back to previous summits, we can see how the earlier planning helped us to reach this milestone. At this summit we had the largest number of developers (19 in total) working together on the project.

    Alexandre Kreismann
    Anton Georgiev
    Calvin Walton
    Chad Pilkey
    Danny Perrone
    Felipe Cecagno
    Fred Dixon
    Gabriel de Campes
    Ghazi Triki
    Leonardo Daronco
    Lucas Freire
    Lucas Zawacki
    Mario Gasparoni Junior
    Max Doumit
    Maxim Khlobystov
    Oleksandr Zhurbenko
    Oswaldo Acauan
    Pedro Marin
    Richard Alam
    Tiago Jacobs

We thank the following organizations for helping make this summit possible:

At the end of the summit, the teams made two presentations to the community (using BigBlueButton of course) on the main activities: BigBlueButton core and HTML5 client. For those that missed the live presentations, you can view the recordings below.

BigBlueButton Project Update

BigBlueButton HTML Client Update

Thanks to everyone who traveled to Porto Alegre, Brazil. It was a great time! If your looking for a place to hold a developer summit, we definitely recommend Nós Coworking