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Universities and colleges are increasing moving their lectures on-line. There are about 150 commercial web-conferencing systems that could be used for distance education, but very few viable open source alternatives. The BigBlueButton project has been working for the past two years to create a viable choice for an open source web conferencing system for distance education.
BigBlueButton is not a small project: in addition to its own code, it uses fifteen other open source packages: asterisk, activemq, asterisk-java, Flex SDK, ghostscript, groovy, grails, imagemagick, mysql, nginx, red5, swf tools, scala, tomcat6, and OpenOffice. This talk will cover the real-world challenges we’ve faced in managing the growth of this project: specifically, UI design, testing, packaging, and integration with other open source and closed source products.