We have been investigating various approaches to improve the chat experience in BigBlueButton.
- How can we make it persistent between conferences?
- How can we make it more secure and offer end-to-end encryption?
- How can we bridge to existing chat platforms?
First we followed an approach to completely replace the built-in chat module, but as it is heavily integrated with other modules that strategy would likely not be upstreamable and BBB 2.5 came with a number of improvements for the built-in chat module. So better just bridge and get best of both worlds?
Our PoC implementation lets an independent node.js service (based on nest.js) forward messages from a matrix chat room to a BigBlueButton meeting, and vice versa by using the Redis message bus.
Our module can be launched on any BigBlueButton server. We will talk about challenges, options to extend the service to other chat frameworks and planned future work. Development work was done by fairkom (Austria/Europe) at our fairblue lab and was sponsored by NLnet foundation within their NGI Zero program.