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Opencast Summit 2021 Survey Summary

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.

Opencast 10

Opencast 10 has been released. The release notes can be found in the administration guide documentation. Important changes in this release are:

  • A new workflow operation handler has been added: conditional-config. This workflow operation handler can used to evaluate a list of conditions and set a workflow configuration variable accordingly.
  • JVM metrics have been added to the metrics endpoint. This way Opencast’s memory and CPU behavior can be monitored more closely using Prometheus.
  • Opencast Studio, Elasticsearch and many libraries across the project have been updated.

2021 Apereo Fellows

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.

Community contribution by ssystems and their customers

The Opencast board is happy to report German software provider ssystems (https://www.ssystems.de/) has contributed a significant amount of money to the Opencast community. It is part of ssystem’s  policy to obtain a “community contribution” as part of the services they are providing to their customers. The Opencast board honours this support and would like to express its thankfulness to both ssystems and their customers.