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pbrown2
Community Participant

Big Blue Button in HTML 5?

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I'm glad Canvas offers the Big Blue Button app automatically.  However I think it's a major drawback that Big Blue Button is flash based rather than HTML 5.  In my experience flash based software tends to be a lot slower and glitchier.  

Is there any prospect of BBB offering an HTML5 version to Canvas users?  When might this be available?  

Thanks

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
ffdixon
Community Champion

Hi Peter,

We are working to finish the first release of the HTML5 for BigBlueButton before the end of the year and release it to our open source community.  You can expect it to be integrated into our hosting environment (and available as an option in Canvas Conferences) in early 2018.

The first release will target mobile users and implement the viewer (student) capabilities minus two-way video (that will come in a subsequent update).  With this target, we want to enable user on Andorid and iOS devices (iOS 11+) to join into a BigBlueButton session.  Users of desktop, laptop, and Chromebooks will still use the Flash client.

The system will support users joining either from the current Flash client or the new HTML5 client in the same session.

> However I think it's a major drawback that Big Blue Button is flash based rather than HTML 5. In my experience flash based software tends to be a lot slower and glitchier.  

I can only say good things about Adobe -- they provide a solid platform that works the same on Mac, PC, *and* Unix.  In the past 24 months, we've seen over 20 million minutes of usage on the Free Tier for Canvas Conferences alone with very few issues tracing back to a problem with Flash itself.  It's been solid.

Adobe has announced they will continue to support Flash for another 3 years (end of 2020).  Today, Google has Flash built-into Chrome and Microsoft has Flash built-into Edge in Windows 10.  Both Google and Microsoft keep Flash up-to-date for you (Microsoft delivers updates to Flash via Windows Updates).

While I realize Flash has been a favorite topic of discussion, you can look forward to improvements to *both* the BigBlueButton Flash client and the HTML5 client in 2018.  From the point of view for the instructor and student, not having to download any software to start Canvas Conferences is a plus.

In the long term, we'll be moving Canvas Conferences to a pure HTML5 client (long before end of 2020).  And since users will be able to join vie either the Flash client or upcoming HTML5 client in the same session, we expect to have a smooth transition as the HTML5 client reaches feature parity with the Flash client.

If your interested to follow our progress, you can try out the latest builds of the HTML5 client at BigBlueButton - Open Source Web Conferencing (this is our HTML5 test server).

260241_pastedImage_2.png

Try joining with your mobile device (if it's an Apple device, make sure it is running iOS 11 (or later)) and with your desktop or laptop browser at the same time.

Here's a screen shot of me drawing in the Flash client (on the right) and seeing the results on the HTML5 client (on the left).

260242_pastedImage_3.png

We're looking forward to the first release of the HTML5 client too!

Regards,.. Fred
BigBlueButton Developer

View solution in original post

21 Replies
kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @pbrown2 ‌

Let's ask someone who knows and is a regular participant in this Community, Fred Dixon CEO of Blindside Networks which developed the product.

 @ffdixon ‌, Can you help Peter out?

pbrown2
Community Participant

Thanks Smiley Happy

Hi again,  @pbrown2 ‌

One of my fellow Coaches found a post where someone else had asked the same question, and Fred responded. Check it out here Conferences moving from Flash to HTML5 

Thanks for the link  @chofer ‌ !

pbrown2
Community Participant

This is good but Instructure Con 2017 has happened already I think and yet as best as I can tell the HTML5 version of this product is not available in Canvas.  

SO perhaps we need an updated answer on this.  Thanks Smiley Happy

ffdixon
Community Champion

Hi Peter,

We are working to finish the first release of the HTML5 for BigBlueButton before the end of the year and release it to our open source community.  You can expect it to be integrated into our hosting environment (and available as an option in Canvas Conferences) in early 2018.

The first release will target mobile users and implement the viewer (student) capabilities minus two-way video (that will come in a subsequent update).  With this target, we want to enable user on Andorid and iOS devices (iOS 11+) to join into a BigBlueButton session.  Users of desktop, laptop, and Chromebooks will still use the Flash client.

The system will support users joining either from the current Flash client or the new HTML5 client in the same session.

> However I think it's a major drawback that Big Blue Button is flash based rather than HTML 5. In my experience flash based software tends to be a lot slower and glitchier.  

I can only say good things about Adobe -- they provide a solid platform that works the same on Mac, PC, *and* Unix.  In the past 24 months, we've seen over 20 million minutes of usage on the Free Tier for Canvas Conferences alone with very few issues tracing back to a problem with Flash itself.  It's been solid.

Adobe has announced they will continue to support Flash for another 3 years (end of 2020).  Today, Google has Flash built-into Chrome and Microsoft has Flash built-into Edge in Windows 10.  Both Google and Microsoft keep Flash up-to-date for you (Microsoft delivers updates to Flash via Windows Updates).

While I realize Flash has been a favorite topic of discussion, you can look forward to improvements to *both* the BigBlueButton Flash client and the HTML5 client in 2018.  From the point of view for the instructor and student, not having to download any software to start Canvas Conferences is a plus.

In the long term, we'll be moving Canvas Conferences to a pure HTML5 client (long before end of 2020).  And since users will be able to join vie either the Flash client or upcoming HTML5 client in the same session, we expect to have a smooth transition as the HTML5 client reaches feature parity with the Flash client.

If your interested to follow our progress, you can try out the latest builds of the HTML5 client at BigBlueButton - Open Source Web Conferencing (this is our HTML5 test server).

260241_pastedImage_2.png

Try joining with your mobile device (if it's an Apple device, make sure it is running iOS 11 (or later)) and with your desktop or laptop browser at the same time.

Here's a screen shot of me drawing in the Flash client (on the right) and seeing the results on the HTML5 client (on the left).

260242_pastedImage_3.png

We're looking forward to the first release of the HTML5 client too!

Regards,.. Fred
BigBlueButton Developer

View solution in original post

larry_kirk
Community Participant

Hello Fred, 

Would you be able to advise any further on the "early 2018" release date more definitively, for integration with Canvas ?

Many thanks,

Larry Kirk 

jbrady2
Community Champion

 @ffdixon ‌

I was wondering if there are any further updates on the switch to HTML5? I recently needed to hold a conference with my students so that a face-to-face class could be held virtually instead of being cancelled due to illness, and it would have been much more convenient to do this from my mobile device, as I was not near a computer when the class would normally begin. However, since I could not use conference in the mobile app, I had to delay the start of class until I could get home. Any info would be helpful.

ffdixon
Community Champion

Hi Jeffery,

> I was wondering if there are any further updates on the switch to HTML5?

We're getting closer.

You can continue to try out the latest builds of the HTML5 client at https://test.bigbluebutton.org/.

While we originally targeted only viewer (student capabilities) capabilities for the HTML5 client, we've recently added some presenter capabilities, such as the ability to upload a presentation and advance the slides.  This means you will be able to present from your iOS (iOS 11+) or Android device.

We're still have some work left in two-way video, but all of the other core viewer capabilities -- two way audio, view presentation, participate in public/private chat, respond to polls, share emoji -- are in place.  

I'll post a follow-up message in a few weeks giving everyone a further update on our progress.   We're looking forward to releasing the first version of the HTML5 client for BigBlueButton (Canvas Conferences) too!

Regards,... Fred
BigBlueButton Developer

larry_kirk
Community Participant

Thanks Fred - good to know progress is being made, regards, Larry