Blog

BigBlueButton 0.81 released


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We pleased to announce BigBlueButton 0.81, the eleventh release of our open source web conferencing platform for on-line learning.

Our vision is that every student with a web browser should have access to a high-quality on-line learning experience.  This release represents over a year of development effort and over four months of testing.  It is our most significant step towards reaching our vision.  

For details on the feature and setup instructions for BigBlueButton 0.81 see release notes and installation.

Thanks to everyone that worked, tested, and gave us feedback on this release!

Presentations from BigBlueButton Developer Summit III (Porto Alegre, Brazil)

Last week we wrapped up our third BigBlueButton developer summit.  Many thanks to Felipe Cecagno, Leonardo Crauss Daronco (and the other members of the Mconf team) for their great hospitality during the week.  Below is the list of developers attending the summit (and their respective organizations):

At the end of the week, the team gave four on-line sessions to the BigBlueButton community detailing the progress of the week.  These sessions were open to anyone.  At the end of each session there was a Q&A.

To view the recordings for each session, click the images below.

Session 1: BigBlueButton Project Update

This presentation gives an update on the project’s achievements this year, our progress towards the release of BigBlueButton 0.81 (our eleventh release) and a look ahead at the road map for the next release.

session1

(presentation starts at 23:00 mark)

Session 2: Integrating WebRTC

Web real-time communications (WebRTC) offers native audio in Google Chrome and Mozilla FireFox with no plugins.  This presentation gives an update on our progress to incorporate WebRTC audio in BigBlueButton.

session2

(presentation starts at 9:30 mark)

Session 3: HTML 5 Client

The HTML5 team gives an update on the current design (front-end/back-end) for the HTML5 client.

session3

(presentation starts at 21:00)

Session 4: Native Mobile Client (Android and iOS)

This presentation gives an overview of the preliminary work to build a native mobile client (Android and iOS) for BigBlueButton.

session4

(presentation starts at 16:00 mark)

Special thanks to AllWorkingBrasil for the great co-working space we used for the summit.

These presentations were given and recorded with BigBlueButton.

Welsh Localization Now in BigBlueButton

Curon Davies, e-Learning Adviser for the Jisc RSC Wales, have contributed the Welsh localization for BigBlueButton. To quote the article:

Several further education colleges within Wales already use the open-source BigBlueButton to provide a virtual classroom environment that is integrated with their Moodle virtual learning environment. This allows a web conference with audio, webcam, chat, video, and screen sharing and presentation slides along with other office-based documents. BigBlueButton had a user interface available in 20 fully translated languages with a simple drop down selection allowing a change of language mid-use.

Many thanks  for helping to extend BigBlueButton to another market of remote educators and learners!

 

 

 

BigBlueButton Summit III: Porto Alegre, Brazil

The BigBlueButton team is meeting together this week in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to advance development of BigBlueButton in the following four areas:

  • BigBlueButton core
  • HTML5
  • WebRTC
  • Native mobile client (iOS and Android)

Here’s a picture of the team arriving at Sao Paulo Airport.

summit

We want to give everyone a detailed update on our progress at the end of the week.

We will be giving a series of presentations to the BigBlueButton community this Friday, November 1st, starting at 13:00 (GMT-4).

To join, login to:

http://summit.bigbluebutton.org/
password: welcome

(This login will be active 24 hours before the summit)

Agenda

All times are in Friday, November 1st Eastern Daylight Time (GMT-4).  Each session will have a Q&A at the end.

13:00 – 13:40 — BigBlueButton Project Update

Fred Dixon, BigBlueButton Project Manager, will give an update on the project’s achievements this year, the progress towards the release of BigBlueButton 0.81 (our eleventh release) and a look ahead at the road map for 1.0.

13:50 – 14:20 — Integrating WebRTC

Web real-time communications (WebRTC) offers native audio/video in Google Chrome and Mozilla FireFox with no plugins.  The use of WebRTC would lower the latency of audio in BigBlueButton.  Gustavo Salzar will give an update on our efforts to incorporate WebRTC into the BigBlueButton core.

14:30 – 15:00 — HTML 5 Client

The HTML 5 team (Mohamed Ahmed, Felipe Cecagno, Leonardo Daronco & Gary Deng) will give a status report on the progress to implement the HTML5 client.  This work has been going on in parallel to the core development.

The presentation will cover UI design of the HTML5 client, the architectural changes, and the planned efforts ahead for the project.

15:10 – 15:40 — Native Mobile Client (Android and iOS)

We’ve started work on a new project to create native mobile clients for Android and iOS devices.  This presentation will give an update on our progress to date and the plans ahead.

Everyone is welcome to join the above sessions!  

Statement on Accessibility for BigBlueButton

A significant chunk of the development effort for 0.81 went into making BigBlueButton more accessible, specifically for blind (or partially blind) students using a screen reader (JAWS) on the Windows platform.  To achieve this, we worked with an external company (David Berman Communications) to assess the accessibility gaps in BigBlueButton throughout our development cycle.

Below is the accessibility statement that will be posted to bigbluebutton.org when 0.81 is released.

Compliance Analysis and Opinion
The BigBlueButton project is striving to create an accessible online experience for all users of BigBlueButton.

The BigBlueButton project recognizes both the regulatory and usability benefits of complying with government standards for accessibility, and so strives to both comply with those standards and use them as a guideline for making BigBlueButton more accessible for persons with disabilities and difficulties. In support of this, the BigBlueButton project arranged a compliance analysis of how BigBlueButton fairs when judged against standards established by the government of the United States (Section 508), the WCAG 2.0 standards, and the IASR regulations established by the Government of Ontario’s AODA legislation.

The BigBlueButton project requested that David Berman Communications of Ottawa, Ontario apply standard tests used for accessible electronic documents to BigBlueButton. This report summarizes the findings and provides an expert opinion.

Methodology
In order to assess the overall accessibility of BigBlueButton, we carefully selected a statistically-relevant and horizontally representative sample test path for automated and manual study, as well as assessing the overall structure and common assets of the product. We studied the pages in their publicly-available state, at time points in July and August 2013.

WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Expert Opinion

It is my professional opinion that the provided test path for BigBlueButton meets or exceeds all applicable Level A guidelines of the W3C WCAG 2.0 Guidelines, except for the following:

  1. The Webcams are not labelled in an accessible way.
  2. During the first twenty seconds or so after visitors enter a room, while functionality is still coming on stream, some users will not be aware that all features have not yet loaded; therefore, a number of components will present themselves as inaccessible until the load is complete.
  3. The private chat feature is not accessible.
  4. For presenters, whether the site is WCAG 2.0 Level A compliant or not depends upon the type of presentation they are making (as well as inaccessible content they may choose to show in the presentation pane).
  5. The tutorial material is not accessible.

Usability testing
In addition, we administered qualitative testing of the product by test users with substantial disabilities (blind, low vision, developmental, and mobility). All substantial issues discovered were brought to the attention of the developers.

David Berman, r.g.d., cgd, fgdc
David Berman Communications