The Opencast Summit 2021 was the first International Opencast Summit that took place entirely online. This resulted in a huge increase in the number of participants. While previous summits were attended by about 80 participants (in person) the 2021 Summit was attended by 170 participants via web conferencing.
In order to better understand why so many participants attended the Summit and what could be improved for future meetings, a short survey was send to all Summit participants. This survey was filled out by 22 participants, 8 of these attended the Summit for the first time.
Overall the participants were satisfied with the Summit and were glad it took place at all. Accessing the talks via BigBlueButton and attending online seems to have worked well. New participants pointed out that they liked the variety and range of topics in the presentations. However, the “conference feeling” was missed by many. Being able to talk to people one on one during breaks was missed.
Of the 22 participants who filled out the survey, 14 would have been able to attend the Summit in person, if in person attendance had been possible. For 8 that would not have been the case. Of these 8, 4 attended the Summit for the first time. Some of the participants (7) furthermore stated that they would prefer to meet online for future Summits while 15 would like to meet in person if that’s possible.
For future Summits the Board thus has to consider that while many people in the community would like to attend a Summit in person, there is a considerable number of people who would like to or are only able to participant online. This poses a challenge for future Summits and raises the question of how future Summits should be organized. While this question has been not been answered, the Opencast Board is working on a concept for a way forward that addresses this challenge.
The Apereo Foundation announced the Apereo Fellows for 2021. We are happy that one of the chosen Fellows is from the Opencast community.
Maxilmiliano Lira Del Canto has been announced as a Apereo Fellow. Maximiliano is a software developer and consultant who works for the University of Cologne in Germany in the Regionales Rechenzentrum (RRZK). He graduated as a Telematics engineer from Santa Maria Technical University, Valparaíso, Chile. He has been a member of the Opencast community since 2015. In 2018 he began contributing code, documentation, translations, and answers to questions about Opencast. Maximiliano also participated as release manager for the version 7 of Opencast. Some of the key areas that he has contributed to involve the use of GPU processing in media systems and the development of tools for Opencast.
During his time as a Apereo Fellow he will continue helping development within Opencast, as well as helping other adopters and speaking at conferences about his work.
The call for participation for the international Opencast summit 2021, hosted virtually on April 6-9, 2021 by TU Graz, Austria is out.
If you are interested in the use and management of academic video in general and Opencast in particular, or if you interested in Opencast development, you are invited to submit a conference session until February 21.
For more information, visit the conference website at:
The 2021 Opencast Summit will be hosted on April 6-9 2021 by TU Graz, Austria.
Obviously, it is highly unlikely we will be able to travel in April so the summit will take place online, thanks to Ypatios and his colleagues for making this possible. Based on the successful online summit of the German-speaking community in September this year we will avoid long online sessions and are planning to spread the programme across four days and possibly parallel tracks for shorter daily sessions; details will follow early in 2021.
If you are interested in supporting this event, please consider volunteering for the programme committee, which will publish the call for proposals, review papers, and schedule the programme for the summit.
With that, the board would also like to thank everyone for their contribution to the Opencast community in this extraordinary year. Enjoy the holidays and take care!
Opencast 9 has been released. The release notes can be found in the documentation.
Important changes in this release are:
Opencast now requires an external Elasticsearch server to function
Paella is now the default video player
The encode worfklow operation now completely replaces compose, which is dropped now
MariaDB JDBC driver
A completely new system for securing static file content has been integrated into Opencast 9.2. While is is not active by default for compatibility to older 9.x releases, it can be easily enabled and used to ensure access to static files has the same security checks you are already used to from the player and from other user interfaces.