[kwlug-disc] KWLUG - The Kitchener Waterloo Linux User Group new content notification: 2009-12-29 22:08

webhost at kwlug.org webhost at kwlug.org
Tue Dec 29 22:08:47 EST 2009


Greetings mail-forum-merge,

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Recent content - 1 new post
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1. Web conferencing
Published Blog entry by Raul Suarez
[ http://kwlug.org/node/714 ]

All the tools and methods described on the previous posts work very
well
with a small number of people sharing a desktop or collaborating, given
that access must be granted and computer addresses shared, they work
well within a trusted group. 
For situations where you need to collaborate with "untrusted" people or
with a large number of people, the best option is to use web
conferencing software.

As the slide indicates there are many on line providers where you can
subscribe either for free or small monthly fee and you can start
hosting
conferences on their servers. There are a few with Linux Clients, some
"even" allow to share the Linux desktop.
Here are some examples of hosted services:

DimDim: Free/Paid, no Linux desktop Sharing, FLOSS version
Elluminate: Free trial/Paid, Full platform support, hosted
Yugma: Free/Paid, Full Linux support, hosted

The market is moving so fast that I'm expecting that this list will
grow and change quite rapidly in the next few years.
For the KWLUG presentation I decided to focus on two Open source
applications, OpenMeetings and WebHuddle that can be self hosted on
your
own servers, branded, and otherwise modified.
OpenMeetings:

UI implemented in OpenLaszlo compiled to Adobe Flash
Desktop sharing implemented in Java
Document sharing, white board, Desktop Sharing, Audio/Video
conferencing
Ideal for intranet conferencing
Runs under Red5 (Flash media server)


Pros:

Nice interface
Skinable
Actively developed
Administrator manages rooms and user permissions the rooms. Specific
users have access to specific rooms
Two different types of rooms: Audience (Moderated), Conference
(non-moderated)
Very light on the server side
No viewer installation required (Installation required to share the
desktop or to use the Flash viewer)
Allows sharing MS Office and OpenOffice documents
Documents can be uploaded by any presenter while in a meeting
LDAP enabled

Cons:

Users must have a Flash and Java enabled browser
Resource intensive and slow on the client side due to the Flash
implementation
All users must register. (you can create a "generic" id but any person
using it may change the generic ID profile, including the password)
No remote control

WebHuddle

Implemented in Java
Document sharing, white board, Desktop Sharing, Audio conferencing
Ideal for intranet/extranet conferencing
Runs under Jboss (Flash media server)


Pros:

Simple interface
Non-registered users can join meetings. Users must know the host's
email and the meeting's password
Very light on the client side
Very light on the server side
Allows sharing a screen region instead of the whole screen
Offers meeting recording functionality

Cons:

Users must have a Java enabled browser
No functionality to recover a forgotten password. (although there is a
workaround)
No video sharing
Only allows ppt, sxi (old open office) or gif/jpeg
Shared documents can only be uploaded by meeting owner before the
meeting
No remote control.

Summary
Web conferencing is an excellent collaboration technique for
distributed groups as well as a great medium for presentations to
remotely dispersed audiences.
Whether you set up the server yourself or you use a vendor hosted
solution, you can be sure that there are options for Linux, try them,
you have nothing to loose and a whole lot to gain.
On the next two posts I will show you how to install the two servers
described in this post.


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