I certainly must share the blame for the Hangouts hype. I thought there was a way to make it work for our purposes.
As far as BigBlueButton, I’m not sure the webcam functionality is even necessary for the purpose of the dev calls, as Demian’s process with Wimba had been to post a text agenda and then narrate the specifics. According to https://code.google.com/p/bigbluebutton/wiki/FAQ#How_many_simultaneous_users_can_BigBlueButton_support, it appears that 25 users is just the arbitrary number they chose for a baseline install. Regardless, I would think that even a limit of 25 would be ok for the short-term, though planning for the future is obviously desirable.
From: Joe Atzberger [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, August 5, 2013 12:57 PM
To: Mosior, Benjamin
Cc: Demian Katz; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: [VuFind-Tech] Developers Call Update
I want to apologize for setting us off down the Hangouts path without realizing that we would run into this structural limitation. My problem with Wimba is that (at least in the version Villanova provides) it is incompatible w/ Ubuntu. Since BigBlueButton installs on Ubuntu and is *very* open source based (even uses Grails!), I doubt there would be any problem there. But it would not be reasonable to expect Villanova to provide additional hosting hardware, since they already installed and support a given solution. The question is whether anyone *else* wants to give it a run.
However, note that even BigBlueButton's "classroom" interface is limited to 25 people. That may be enough not to bother us in the short term, but between that and the pre-1.0 release version, it might be problematic. Any VuFinders have experience with it? I expect web vidchat scalability is an ongoing problem on any platform.