BigBlueButton HTML5 Prototype Running on an iPad

The BigBlueButton team has been working on creating an HTML5 interface for BigBlueButton.

The first phase of the project is to create an HTML5 client that supports two-way chat, and one-way presentation, user list, audio and video.  We definitely want to support iOS devices with an HTML5 client and yesterday we got the first working integration of streaming audio and video for the HTML5 client displaying on an iPad (see screen shot below).

BigBlueButton iPad Prototype

The ongoing work on an HTML5 interface for BigBlueButton is occurring parallel to the development effort on BigBlueButton 0.81.  The HTML5 client will not be part of the 0.81 release; rather, it will be merged into a subsequent release.  We also have plans to revise the HTML5 UI Design.

While getting an HTML5 client running on iPad is still in the prototype stages, it was cool to see it working!


Revisiting the HTML 5 UI Design

Revisiting the HTML 5 UI Design

Recently, at the BigBlueButton HackFest, Tyler Copeland, BigBlueButton’s UI designer created a revised user interface for the HTML 5 client. The revisions were based on using the current HTML 5 prototype, along with initial feedback from current BigBlueButton users.


Recordings from BigBlueButton Summit 2012

It was a productive day of workshops and collaboration with the BigBlueButton community during the summit.  Here are the recordings from the sessions.

Overview: Growing the BigBlueButton Community

Fred Dixon, BigBlueButton Project Manager, spoke of the history and growth of the BigBlueButton project (click image below to playback recording).

Session #1: BigBlueButton User Experience Feedback

Bruce Tuji chaired a session on feedback for BigBlueButton. Bruce shared his experiences using BigBlueButton at Carleton University.

The feedback from the community on improving the usability included

  • Create a ‘pre-flight’ checklist to give the user feedback (before they join a BigBlueButton session) if their browser or bandwidth is sufficient to run the client
  • Simplify the interface for testing the user’s audio
  • Add checks to a ‘pre-flight’ checklist that checks successful execution of Java for desktop sharing
  • Enable some feedback to user during the session if their bandwidth is insufficient

Click image below to playback the recording.

Session #2: BigBlueButton Product Road Map

Fred Dixon chaired a session on feedback for the BigBlueButton Product Road Map.

The feedback from the community included

  • Enable simultaneous editing of whiteboard
  • Enable the moderator to adjust the sensitivity of a user’s microphone

Click image below to playback recording.

Session #3: Improving the BigBlueButton Architecture

Richard Alam, BigBlueButton’s Chief Architect, chaired a session on evolving and improving the BigBlueButton Architecture.

There was discussion on support for the HTML5 architecture and the consolidation of components in BigBlueButton server. We also discussed the ongoing work to refactor the client and server and investigation on WebRTC.

Click image below to playback recording.


Session #4: Development Process

Fred Dixon chaired a session on evolving and improving the BigBlueButton’s development process.

The feedback from the community included

  • Support for Ubuntu 12.04
  • Offering a long term support version of BigBlueButton
  • Use of IRC for supporting BigBlueButton community (and why we currently don’t use IRC)
  • Better management of branches in github repository

Click image below to playback recording.


Overall it was a great day of collaboration among the BigBlueButton community. We look forward to holding the next BigBlueButton summit in 2013.

Mozilla Ignite Funds the BigBlueButton Project

The BigBlueButton project was among the ten open source projects that received funding (between $7.5 – $10k) in the first Development Round of Mozilla Ignite, a program supported by Mozilla and the National Science Foundation to accelerate the creation of next-generation applications that can revolutionize healthcare, education, public safety, energy and more. See Mozilla’s announcement.

The funding was awarded based our proposal of  Open Source Web Conferencing Platform, the progress we’ve made since September in building an HTML5 client (see previous video #1, video #2), and the following pitch to the Mozilla Ignite judges.


During this project we’ve been working with Chris Kennenberg, Webmaster, Dearborn Public Schools. The funding awarded by Mozilla Ignite will go to Dearborn Public Schools to support testing of the HTML5 client in 2013.

Mozilla is a great organization and their support is helping to accelerate the development of BigBlueButton.

BigBlueButton at University of West Scotland

The University of the West of Scotland has recently finished testing BigBlueButton. Darren Rickets, Project Manager/Technical Lead for ICT, discusses their group’s experiences with using BigBlueButton the outcomes from the tests in the following video (click the image below to play).

BigBlueButton - The Open Source Web Conferencing Platform

Many thanks to Darren and the University of the West of Scotland for sharing their experiences. See full report: The technical and pedagogic issues of using BigBlueButton with distance learning at the University of the West of Scotland.