[Proposal] Switch from Zoom to Jitsi (or BBB)

For general meetings, like the “maintenance working group” one.

For me personally. that would be technically better, as they both allow me to turn off other peoples webcam, with which I can safe mobile internet bandwidth, without having to ask everyone to to turn off their webcam for me.
In general it would make sense as we are about Open Source, and these two are open source, while Zoom is not.

You raise a very valid point regarding workflow software options being in alignment with the open-source values of the IOPA, Robin. I have used Jitsi for some time and find it to be a stable, viable alternative. However, I’ve only just used the free version and am not aware of the benefits of pro.

An important consideration beyond openness (at least to me) and features is security (which as we know is oft a symptom of the most widely adopted product; hence all of Zoom’s issues following the boom during the pandemic for online education) and support lag for fixes to security flaws (also a known with Zoom; an example - servers were not configured to have the space to have layout randomization/ASLR enabled - big oversight that caused some significant fallout for enterprise users earlier this year).

This is all to state - I am interested to hear what others have to say, and am board with making the shift to an open-source solution if it meets the needs of the community.

I’m all for using a open source equivalents and I do use Jitsi and BBB as well as Zoom. Unfortunately in my experience Jitsi and BBB still do not hold up in terms of audio latency and stability for group conferences where some participants have bad internet connections.

Cool, thanks for that feedback Kaspar. Any others you may recommend based on prior use (Apache OM/Nextcloud/Jami/others) that appear to be up to snuff in your experience?

I mostly use Zoom and Jitsi. BBB only when I had meetings with Open Source Ecology Germany folks. In fact, the problems we had with BBB were not of stability and latency as with Jitsi but there did seem to be some technical and UX issues if I recall correctly.

I guess BBB is worth investigating as a solution if these technical and UX issues can be overcome. I just worry about time wasted on things like this.

In FabCity Hamburg (FCHH) and OpenSourceEcology Germany (OSEG), both, we are using BBB and Jitsi only. In FCHH mostly jitsi, since tow years, since half a year BBB. in OSEG jitsi since 5 years, and still for smaller meetings a lot, for bigger and regular ones, BBB.
I can;t comment about large meetings (30+ participants with cameras), as we do not often have that, but other then that, it works well for us in practice so far.
To me, Zoom is a technical nightmare (commenting about use under linux), in opens a lot of windows, many of the half hidden/with strange modalities, it has parts of the settings hidden in some strange web interface to whom one only has access with admin rights (???), and it works much worse when on the road then both jitsi and BBB.
It is quite likely that Makers4Humanity (m4h) would give us access to BBB room if we asked them nicely (that is what FCHH does and OSEG did for 2 years, before hosting their own BBB instance).

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Hi @hoijui => let’s revive this thread. It sucks that we couldn’t hear you at the community call. Jitsi keeps failing in the working group calls. I’ll look into BBB!

thanks a lot, barbara! :slight_smile:
… yes please! tell me if you need help. we (OSEG) could probably provide a test room for you guys on our BBB instance, so you can easily test it for a few meetings and then look for your own, if it fits.

Zoom on Linux, in my experience, is really terrible to use, in many ways. It tries to be smart: goes to full-screen every now and then, without being prompted to, minimizes without being asked to, moves to a different desktop while doing so, and disregards everything about UI design that we are used to from software.

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For a long time I would have agreed with Kaspar that pragmatism has kept me using Zoom for stability of call reasons (over alternatives like JitSi). BBB remains quite stable, but with an interface that causes me confusions still despite weekly calls in BBB.

Zoom however now reliably crashes for me, interestingly the thing that seems to cause it to crash now seems to be the crash report dialogue that comes up as it detects it crashed last time. So I am less convinced by Zoom’s stability now.

@hoijui I have found that Zoom from the browser in Firefox on Linux now works far better than it did a year ago.

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ahhh … thanks julian, will try that next time. I imagine that would be less annoying, indeed.

So do you lean towards BBB or jitsi at the moment?

I would be interested in giving BBB a go - I haven’t been thrilled with Jitsi over time for group meetings (1:1 is more feasible). I have heard from others as well that the UI isn’t a great experience.

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@hoijui and @schutton : could we give BBB a go within the portability work? Instead of thinking about it too much, just planning the next video calls for the group of people who work on that to test BBB over a couple of calls, see how to set up a test room under OSEG’s instance…


I lean towards JitSi in general for personal calls because of hosting requirements. I think BBB is more stable for large calls like the IOP calls. I just find getting everyone, in and connected to the audio quite painful…

My main beef with the BBB interface is that the meeting presentation is always the largest thing on my screen and it so often isn’t used. The icon that looks a bit like an x in the top right corner of the presentation is the fullscreen icon not the close one… this gets me almost everytime!

HAHA! :smiley:
INDEED! I have the same issue with the presentation and the “fake close” icon. but there is an actual close icon for the presentation, on the bottom-right corner of the presentation view. took me a long time to find it (2 years? :D).

I’ll send you the link to a BBB room for a trial for the next conference, @BarbaraSchack , by email

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Thanks - looking forward to giving it a go :+1:t4:

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