Breakout Rooms?

@Julius_Muller I’m not convinced drag-and-drop is the best way of selecting people to talk directly to. For me, dragging and dropping involves too many small, even micro fine motor movements to be done quickly. I’d much prefer simply clicking on or mouse down on someone’s image. But I can imagine if you create a small sub-group, you could drag thumbnails of images to such a group like a file to a folder and then say click on that “folder” like push-to-talk to that group momentarily. Or enter that “folder” and you’re essentially in a room with the larger meeting attenuated or muted.

Once you say something to another participant (or subset of participants), they too need to have this “folder” of participants created on their end.

If you have more than one of these “folders” or side-rooms active, it’s going to be really difficult to know who just asked you something in which side-room. Even more difficult to deal with if there’s chatter going on in multiple side-rooms at once.

To do this cleanly in such a way that it’s usable is not so easy in my opinion. It can’t be complicated to use or very few people will use it.

Trying to think this through a bit more. Let’s say you create a room by whatever UX necessary. It could be drag-n-drop, it could be selecting participants from a drop-down. For the moment, let’s not worry about that. You have a main meeting which people are in and you manage to create a sub room like a folder of participants.

Let’s say you enter that room/folder, either momentarily by holding down the mouse, double-clicking it, dragging your image to it…whatever, but you are somehow in this sub room. Even though others are in the room, their images could be shown as grayed out or faded in some way to indicate that you don’t currently have their attention. You could then cause some action to ask them to join you in the sub-room, either momentarily by them holding down the mouse on the room or double-clicking or dragging them selves there. When they are in the room, the outside meeting is attenuated (or could be attenuated with someone in the sub-room is talking?)

I’m starting to wonder if a pull-someone-aside feature (like push-to-over-talk) is a separate (though related) idea from better breakout rooms. A push-to-over-talk could be done as a very simple 1-to-1 way to quickly say something to one other person. Want to say it to two people? Maybe you’ll have to repeat yourself or go to the trouble of somehow multi-selecting 2 people with ctrl-click and then hold the mouse down.

I made breakout rooms for my LMS. It’s really not that hard if you have usernames and IDs anyway, and a socket.io server controlling each user’s API. The approach I took for the form was when a user is clicked, they disappear from the forms for the other break out rooms.

Then I found BigBlueButton and haven’t used Jitsi since. All my coding for breakout rooms in Jitsi was used for about a week.

If the API had the ability to set dominant speaker, I would probably make a website with all of these advanced features wrapped around the public Jitsi servers. But it doesn’t, so the moderator thing is always going to be an issue, so there’s no point. You can only solve the moderator problem with if you host Jitsi yourself.

@mgrant Mabe my approach is ment for different use cases. My Idea behind this drag and drop thing was to have an intuitive user interface. You can only drag your own videoframe across the room and see where others dragged theirs, just like in a real-world room where people walk around. I did not think about features like pull-someone-aside or push-to-overtalk, but they seem to be very useful and could mabe be possible on top of this drag and drop thing too.

@Julius_Muller I see. In principal it sounds ok. I would suggest not getting to hung up on drag-and-drop which may not work everywhere. But the information you are sending to the system is that you want to join a side conversation. Whether the UX is dragging your video box or selecting something from a dropdown or double-clicking it, I wouldn’t force the exact UX here to be drag-and-drop.

How, in your thinking, are these side conversations created?

@mgrant I thought these side conversations would be created not by any plan but just spontanously by people “walking” across the screen. So there would dynamically grow new side rooms while others dissolve. Wether the User Interface is with drag and drop or by selecting something from a drop down menu is mabe not that important. The drag and drop thing was just the first idea that I thougt would possibly work.

@Vladimir_Knobel, thanks for the feedback, if you want to share more details would be really appreciated. On the networking area conversation can be up to 4 people (maybe 6 soon), focus on meeting and networking. The breakout rooms would be to discuss about specific topics, content oriented.

@gtilflm, yes kind of a similar approach. I am using the jitsi sdk inside React.

There is an issue reported on the bug tracker requesting the breakout rooms feature, progress can be followed there.

@mgrant I see a lot of interesting feedback from you here. Perhaps you’d like to contribute it on the existing bug report about it.

Doesn’t seem to me there will be much progress. It’s pretty clear that this feature is not on the roadmap. That said, a Jitsi team member described how it might be done by a developer using the External API.

Just to let you know that we have deployed this feature inside Veertly, if you want to have a look and provide feedback would be really appreciated: https://app.veertly.com

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I tried creating a test event but couldn’t figure out how to do it, I was caught in endless registrations and forms :frowning: Perhaps consider simplifying the workflow.

You are right, this login process still needs to be improved.
You can try the demo to have a look and ping me o telegram @joaoaguiam to help you with the creation of an event.

Also a duplicate of this topic at https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet/issues/4787#issuecomment-626213513 . It seems there is already one that wrote it and want to make it open source after code cleanup.

I created https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet/wiki/Jitsi-based-solutions-for-breakout-rooms to list and compare all known Jitsi-based solutions for breakout rooms. Unfortunately since then, edit access has been removed so presumably most people can no longer update it. I will complain about this elsewhere and try to get it fixed.

great job @joaoaguiam! This looks like it will be a great product for future events.

See Edit access for jitsi/jitsi-meet wiki was removed

I had the hardest time finding this again, so I’m guessing others may not have seen it.


I realize this is more of a front end implementation, but a combination of this and having multiple “fish bowls” and perhaps a separate room for each bowl still visible for everyone might be a good solution. It’s definitely unique.

Unhangout http://unhangout.media.mit.edu uses jitsi and is based around breakout rooms (though there’s no central room so to speak)

Thanks @josephbrundige, if you want to know more and what is coming in the future just let me know on t.me/joaoaguiam

The platform we’ve build around Jitsi is specifically focussed on breakout rooms and the facilitation aspects of this.

The work the Jitsi team is doing is awesome and really great at providing the basis to do this type of stuff but if you don’t want to have to setup all the platform infrastructure yourself, we provide the is a public facing saas product.

As the wiki page mentioned (https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet/wiki/Jitsi-based-solutions-for-breakout-rooms) we don’t currently have good mobile access and are just using the Jitsi mobile app, but will soon release custom iOS and android apps to solve this in the next month.

www.videofacilitator.com