Re: Jitsi video calling for the General Meeting tomorrow

Sebastian Crane

Dear James,

First off, I've got great news: Fosshost have accepted my application
for SPDX hosting! I have been informed that we are now on their queue.
It's probable that new DNS records will need to be created to point to
the Fosshost meeting servers, in which case I shall start a thread in
the SPDX Tech list.

Heh, I wouldn't go that far ... all video meetings are heavy on the
server, but we coped by scaling the linode instance up to something
rather expensive.

This year we're hoping to try out their clustering which debuted in
BBB 2.3.
I wish you the best of luck for 2021's event :) Kudos to you for
starting early with the infrastructure planning; that can make all the
difference during the event.

BBB doesn't have a concept of host. It has users and admins (who are
sometimes called admins and sometimes moderators), but you can run a
conference call with only users (you uncheck the "wait for moderators"
button). We did traditionally run every plumbers room with at least
two admins at all times for redundancy and made sure the rooms
couldn't start without a moderator because of our specific

Since SPDX meetings are open to all, the control isn't as desirable.
... we have an anti harassment policy so we needed the assurance we
could deal with any potential situation fast. LPC is somewhat well
known, so we also worried about the equivalent of zoom bombing
(although that didn't happen).
(I'm sure you're aware, but for the benefit of people reading who may
not know Jitsi or BBB both systems allow participants to be kicked out
of the room if necessary)

Jitsi's flexibility is really useful in ad-hoc situations: if the
Legal Team wanted an impromptu meeting, say, that could be done
without any scheduling or administration.
The BBB frontend greenlight can do exactly this. By default anyone
can register for an account and create their own room.
I think Jitsi and BBB have a fundamentally different paradigm with
regard to this. IRC is a system that I'm very familiar with and am a
great fan of, and I'd say that Jitsi is to video calling as IRC is to
text chat.

The rooms are not created so much as they just exist, and people can
join and leave at will without needing an account. Jitsi URLs, just like
IRC channel names, are typically short, meant to be memorable and often
meaningful. For example, compare:


I know which one I prefer ;)

Also as in IRC, by default the rooms are open, but if you are the only
person in the room you may optionally make yourself a moderator to lock
the room.

That we are able to have this discussion is a testament to the choice
and freedom that we now have with video conferencing. And we haven't
even brought up GNU Jami yet! :)

... you could mute me without disturbing the chairman.
Yes, that's a feature of BBB too ... anyone can mute anyone.
Thank you for letting me know; I had assumed this was merely a
client-side feature.

None of this is to imply that Jitsi won't work equally well for you
given your requirements. The big thing that made us go for BBB over
Jitsi was the presence of an on-line whiteboard, which is likely
totally irrelevant to a SPDX meeting.
Thanks for your perspective on the two systems. I'll admit I'm not quite
convinced yet, but I really appreciate that you've brought to my
attention features that I hadn't come across as merely a attendee on

As it happens, Fosshost provide both Jitsi and BigBlueButton hosting.
How about we take up Karen Sandler's gracious offer of the Conservancy
BBB server for this week's Legal Team call, in order to evaluate the
software in a real meeting?

I wrote in my Fosshost application that the preference was Jitsi, but
I'm sure they would be happy to set up BigBlueButton instead if that's
the consensus.

Looking forward to your response!

Best wishes,


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