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Kopano, Jitsi, BigBlueButton - why Kopano?

  • I excitedly installed Kopano Meet, but then realized that I had to make an account with them ( in order to use the app with anyone outside of my immediate Cloudron install; even then, the number of guests could only be 10.

    However, if I understand correctly, Jitsi and BBB don't require me to register with them if the service is installed on my own server (in this case Cloudron), nor will it require other guests to my video chats to register.

    So why did Kopano get on Cloudron first if it is handicapped right off the bat from being usable to a wider group? And why not redirect any time and attention give to Kopano to Jitsi, and BBB, and the upcoming TURN server (which will also enliven the Riot app I hear)?

    I'm not meaning to complain or anything, I love the work you all are doing with Cloudron!

  • Kopano is first probably due to the fact that it’s being packaged by the upstream developer directly.

  • Staff

    Yeah, @fbartels (kopano team) has been helping us out a lot personally to help Kopano packaged. As for jitsi, we have been working on it for almost 2 months now ( and it's just a very difficult app to package. We have Nextcloud talk working, this should be out shortly.

  • App Dev

    Hi @scooke,

    what you're writing is simply not true. You don't need an account from Kopano to use guests (we just recommend to buy a subscription for our software, since it gives access to our turn service, and you know, it pays our bills 😉 ). But the turn server part is kind of void on Cloudron now anyways, since Cloudron provides it directly.

    As for the guest access, this is simply a matter of (additional) configuration:

    The limitations listed on the pricing page are currently not enforced and we are still playing a bit with the numbers and the price tag to find an optimal model.

  • @girish said in Kopano, Jitsi, BigBlueButton - why Kopano?:

    We have Nextcloud talk working, this should be out shortly

    Woohoo! 😄

  • Staff

    @scooke you could help us to get other apps like jitsi also packaged, if you ask those app communities about a Cloudron package if you want. This might raise some awareness on their side and could help speed things up.

  • @girish Are you getting any support from Jitsi devs upstream for packaging the app if it's difficult?

  • @fbartels Well, I guess I’ll install it all over again, but the first time there was no way for me to start a call and share the URL and have the guest simply join. If there is a way then it wasn’t clear. Even after I went ahead and made an account the guest still couldn’t join without making their own account. True or not, I did not find Kopano, the first time, to clearly and evidently allow this. Even if I need to edit that config file and turn on guests, it still isn’t clear. I’ll try again. I’ll let you know my experience with more detail.

  • @nebulon Yeah, I’ll start on this. The best I’ll prob do is try to increase awareness... I took a shot at the Cloudron Build from my Terminal last night and couldn’t figure out the naming conventions to properly enter the repository stuff, so clearly I’m not to sharp when it come to coding! And the dire warning about using the Cloudron Build Service app on my production server scared me away from going that route.

  • App Dev

    @scooke said in Kopano, Jitsi, BigBlueButton - why Kopano?:

    f there is a way then it wasn’t clear. Even after I went ahead and made an account the guest still couldn’t join without making their own account.

    Where did you make the account then?

    Dialogue to add guests to groups will only be present once guest access has been configured for the application itself. So for now if you want to use Kopano Meet with someone on your cloudron, he needs an account on your cloudron installation.

  • @fbartels I made the account at the url that is suggested in the Cloudron-Kopano documentation, post-install. I haven't bothered to re-install yet to see what it was. You wrote, "So for now if you want to use Kopano Meet with someone on your cloudron, he needs an account on your cloudron installation." which is exactly one of the limitations I was experiencing, and which led me to conclude that having Kopano available is sort of a dead-end in terms of being able to simply host a video call and have guests join in with just the url. In fact, your own response, which adds to the confusion (this detail about to me visible in the description** before installing it, if I had known, I would not have bothered), has convinced me to not bother trying it again. I know how it went the first time. Simply put, the Kopano option here on Cloudron (I have no issues with Cloudron!!) is not feasible as a ready-to-go alternative to Zoom or Jitsi or BBB except for a narrow set of details: only people with accounts on my cloudron can use it as 'guests'. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'm the only one with an account on my Cloudron.

    ** I went back to read what the app description says and I find there are two statements there that are not accurate.

    1. "To introduce Meet in Cloudron there will be no user limits in the beginning." Yes, there is one big limit: Only those who have accounts on your cloudron can join a call. That is a huge limit.
    2. "Guests can join group meetings with just one click on a link." Not true. At the very least there is the Cloudron account limit, plus I simply did not find that to be true. There was no clear obvious way for me to make a call and share the link and have a guest simply click that link to join it. Sorry.

  • @scooke I too would very much like to use Kopano Meet with external users (without them to login into my Cloudron), so like you I think it would be a great feature to have but still, I think we should be grateful on the fact some developer bothered making a Cloudron package even if there are limitations for now and not be too harsh or focused on criticisms and enjoy that we got a videoconference app running on Cloudron. And maybe kindly ask for support if you're trying to do something which you cannot do on your own (I believe the Kopano Meet Cloudron app has an open source code which you could be modify to add the functions you want, if you know how to do it).

    As @fbartels explained, Kopano does have this functionality, it "just" needs to be configured. Now the "just" doesn't seem very straightforward and yes it'd be great if someone could package the app with that function turned on. Maybe @fbartels can help? Personally I'm not a developer so I can't help with this but appreciate any work anyone can put into this or into anything else that makes Cloudron better.

  • @avatar1024 I suppose after the Zoom debacle I have been wary of hyped-up products. Yes, I am grateful for all who take time to make different apps available; they all work with Cloudron to make the platform amazing. But the way Kopano has been presented thus far on Cloudron feels too much like Zoom; being offered one thing then finding out there are catches. I mean, at the very least, I think that if the two points I made at the end of my previous post had been addressed before Kopano went live on Cloudron, I'd still be happy to promote it. Thus far the various apps I've been happy to install and use on Cloudron all did what they were promised to do, but not Kopano. I suppose I am being more verbose about this exactly because of the growing need to go online and, I hope, a growing awareness of Cloudron... and I worry that if others sign up looking forward to using an alternative to Zoom, like I was initially with Kopano, and then discovering there are all these extra steps and limitations, that it could lead to a decrease in trust in Cloudron itself.

    I am not convinced Kopano "just" needs to be configured to allow url-only guests. I installed it twice. The first time I was asked to make an account at Kopano to be able to host calls. That seemed to defeat the purpose of using it on Cloudron. The second time I looked more in detail, and the configuration that "just" needs to be tweaked clearly said that I would need to connect it to a TURN Server, and Kopano's TURN service was recommended, and there I found that the sign up would limit me to 10 people only who also need to have their own Kopano account... Now, I am willing to admit I was wrong about all this, but as I mentioned before, there was no clear, obvious, without a doubt option to initiate a call and let guests connect with just an url. If the doumentation can be made clearer, that might help. With the various Jitsi options out there, and webex, I could just start a call and share the url to let others connect. Not so with Kopano on Cloudron. I think I saw someone else make a comment about how smooth their Kopano calls were... maybe if I can find that comment that person can explain how they did it without having to make any account elsewhere and without any one else needing to make accounts. However, this is all mute for me anyway since the current limitation is that only those with accounts on my cloudron can connect. Well, I am the only one. ... I need to stop! I keep going around in circles! I do appreciate your gentle admonishment about criticism.

  • @scooke said in Kopano, Jitsi, BigBlueButton - why Kopano?:

    I think I saw someone else make a comment about how smooth their Kopano calls were... maybe if I can find that comment that person can explain how they did it without having to make any account elsewhere and without any one else needing to make accounts.

    I think that was @yusf mentioning a good one-to-one experience with Kopano Meet. Note, however, that the new built in turn server for Cloudron is only available in Cloudron 5.1 and unless you've got a brand new install or you've emailed you wont be on that yet.

    To be clear @scooke are you testing Kopano Meet on 5.0.x or 5.1?

    BTW, I've just tested Nextcloud Talk on Cloudron 5.1 with myself logged into Nextcloud plus 3 non-Cloudron user guests and it mostly worked great (one person couldn't see/ hear another, but the rest of us could all see/ hear everyone else 🙂 ).

    I did very briefly try out Kopano Meet (must do so again soon...) and couldn't see any out-of-the-box way to invite Guests to join (on Nextcloud Talk it's simply a matter of sharing the url)... and then when I clicked the screen share button my whole laptop froze 😕 (haven't tried to reproduce this yet)

  • @jdaviescoates I am still on v5.0.6, and so perhaps once I upgrade to v5.1 the issues might be resolved.

  • Staff

    @scooke indeed you would need Cloudron 5.1 and only then you can install the latest Kopano-Meet app, which is using the built-in turn addon. We are only rolling out 5.1 slowly currently to users willing to test this functionality. Guest mode being enabled in Meet will also likely come, but as with any other app, the package and its configuration is improved as we go and gather user feedback, I don't think it is fair to complain about advertised features not working yet. Generally given the complexity of video conferencing, we are very happy to be able to work together with @fbartels on this. It is far from the norm that we do get help from the app authors directly.

  • @nebulon You are all doing amazing work, thank you!