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Advice for online events

From: Ark
Subject: Advice for online events
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 19:12:26 -0500

Hi list,

A small update about my mail.

We started with our online events last week. As I mentioned, most people in the group are learning about virtual communication and free software. They're from other areas than computing, like medicine, physics, etc. I'm the only computer engineer there.

We decided to use, temporarily, the BBB instances provided by scaleway until late july. It's a way for all of us to learn about the dynamics of virtual events, and to improve. Initially, in the first event we just invited around 10 people. For the next topic, we'll invite a couple more to receive feedback, and we'll do that until we're satisfied. I'd guess we'll need just a couple of iterations.

In the next few weeks I'll follow your advice and find a bare metal server to rent and use the BBB scripts to install the server before events. I have to applaud the guests and the invited experts for their compromise with free technologies and I want to thank you all for your kind advice.

There were some troubles. BBB has no native Android client. That can be a good thing, but has its downsides. For example, some people have really old cheap devices with old versions of their browsers, with not much disk space to update. The BBB mobile client does not work there. Other person had a really poor internet connection, so the sound quality was bad. And for some reason, since Wednesday the Scaleway instance had some issues, so people had to refresh the site a couple of times for it to work. It was weird. Anyway, our balance of the tool was good, and we believe next time it will be better.

Thanks again.

El mar., 9 jun. 2020 a las 11:49, Ark (<>) escribió:
Hi everyone and thanks for your kind answers.

I checked a couple of BBB hosted providers but they are quite expensive for our use case. We're starting with one or two events a month, and their monthly subscription seems like too much for just that. I think we'll choose the path of a VPS with a script to install everything and destroy the VM afterwards. I'll take a look at your suggested VPS. I even found a script in the list archives to use as a base.

By the way, I found this french provider: They're offering free BBB conference rooms until the end of July. I proposed to my group to make a couple of tests of the software features with them before starting the events. They seem to have kind of a BBB template with Ubuntu to auto install everything but have not tested it. And I didn't check the _javascript_ trap issue either.

Some of the people I've been testing with Jitsi Meet and BBB have poor internet connections. There are some teachers who work in rural areas and I noticed that Jitsi Meet requires more bandwidth than BBB. Not sure why, maybe is for the V8/V9 codec thing. BBB had no sound issues while a conversation with Jitsi was impossible sometimes.

The whole university can't even spare a VM even for a limited time on one
of their servers?

The university can, but we're doing the events with the university library. I'm not sure what's the problem but I think it's internal bureaucracy. The IT and the library are like different departments, so they have to go through a lot of trouble to get the resources. We're planning on presenting a project to them, but that may take a whole year before getting somewhere.

Thanks again for your comments and your time.

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