Community Call: Update on 0.81

We held a BigBlueButton community call today to give everyone an update on our progress towards 0.81 beta. You can watch a recording of the call here (or click the image below).

In a nutshell, we still have more work ahead before we reach beta, but we’re definitely getting closer.

Updates to the BigBlueButton UI

For the current development of BigBlueButton 0.81 (which will be our eleventh release when it is finished), we are thinking about how we can take some of the HTML5-based design ideas (see link) and apply them to the current interface. We’re not talking large scale changes here; rather, we’re looking at small adjustments within the bounds of the Flash environment to update the product’s usability and design.

Here’s the current BigBlueButton interface:

Not bad.  It’s served us well for over four years.  Here’s a mockup of our current thoughts on updating the look and feel of the Flash-based BigBlueButton client.  It shows the Participants window instead of individual Users and Listeners window (see previous post):

It has a consistent colour scheme (dark blue, grey and white) similar to the HTML5 interface, with updated minimalistic icons, grey used for the module and white as background.  The final design for 0.81 won’t look exactly like this mock-up, but it will be long these lines.

Open Invitation to attend BigBlueButton Summit: December 5th, 2012

BigBlueButton Summit 2012
December 5th, 2012 (9AM – 4PM)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Over the past four years the BigBlueButton community has worked closely together to develop, test, and deliver releases of BigBlueButton, its source web conferencing system.

We (the core developers) delivered the tenth release on June 19, 2012. We’re now working on the 11th release which is steadily moving towards beta (see what’s planned for BigBlueButton 0.81).

To accelerate the development efforts and further engage our community, we’re inviting all members of our community to join us — either in person or remotely – for a series of collaborative workshops during a one day event on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012.

The summit will be held at

The Code Factory
246 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1P 5E4

Don’t worry if you can’t travel to Ottawa – you can join any of the workshops remotely via BigBlueButton (of course!).

There will be four workshops, each focusing on a topic that is key to the growth of the BigBlueButton project. All workshops will be recorded.


9:00 – 9:30 – Growing the BigBlueButton Community

- Overview of activities to grow and support the BigBlueButton Community (Fred Dixon)

9:30 – 10:45 – Workshop #1: Improving BigBlueButton’s Usability
In this workshop we invite others to give us feedback on their experiences using BigBlueButton. We’ll discuss topics such as:

- What areas of BigBlueButton cause the most problems for usability?
- What areas of BigBlueButton can we improve to reduce the support efforts?

(15 minute break)

11:00 – 12:00 – Workshop #2: Review of BigBlueButton’s Road map
We invite others give us feedback on the product road map and emphasis of features they want to see in coming releases. We’re looking for feedback both from academic and commercial markets.

We’ll discuss topics such as:

- Does our road map reflect the needs of distance education?
- How can we improve the modularity of BigBlueButton to enable more commercial companies to embed it into their products?

12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch (at The Code Factory)

1:00 – 2:45 PM – Workshop #3: Evolving the BigBlueButton Architecture
This workshop will center around a technical discussion on evolving the BigBlueButton architecture to meet the needs of our road map. Topics include:
- How do we make BigBlueButton more stable (we’re never satisfied)?
- How do we make BigBlueButton more modular?
- How do we best evolve the APIs?
- How do we best evolve the architecture to support an HTML5 client?

(15 minute break)

3:00 – 4:00 – Workshop #4: Review of the BigBlueButton Development Process
This workshop will look back at previous development cycles and discuss ways we can continue to improve the BigBlueButton development process.
- How can we best apply our development resources to putting out a really solid 0.81 release?
- How can we continuously improve our documentation, project management, and development process?

If you’re using BigBlueButton at your university or college, or integrating it into a commercial product or service, we invite you to participate in one or more of the above workshops.

These workshops will be broadcasted live and recorded using BigBlueButton. To join any workshop remotely, go to
password: welcome

Note: This server will be available 24 hours before the event. The recordings will be made available after the summit finishes.

To register to attend the summit: and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates!

Mozilla WebFWD Graduation Video

On September 19th, the BigBlueButton project officially graduated from WebFWD, an open source accelerator program from Mozilla.

During our participation in WebFWD, Mozilla helped us raise the visibility of the BigBlueButton project and provided us access to Mozilla’s technical, user interface, marketing, and product development resources.  In particular, we greatly benefited from the mentoring provided by Diane Bisgeier and Pascal Finette, two of the WebFWD principals.  

During the program, we visited the Mozilla offices in Mountain View three times, and during the last visit, which was the graduation, the video gurus at Mozilla interviewed Fred Dixon, the project manager the BigBlueButton project, and created this WebFWD graduation video for BigBlueButton for us to share.

Nice video — thanks Mozilla! 



BigBlueButton HTML5 Client Video #2

We’ve made more progress on implementing the BigBlueButton open source web conferencing platform as an HTML5 client since our first post two weeks ago.

We’ve just uploaded video #2 that demonstrates the BigBlueButton HTML5 client synchronizing its slides with other clients (click on the image below to watch the video).

What’s next?  We’re now working on implementing more whiteboard events (circles and text) and streaming audio to the client.  This work is part of our entry for the Mozilla Ignite Challenge: High Quality Open Source Web Conferencing System.

This HTML5 prototype is still work in progress and not ready yet for others to build and test (we’re working on it!).