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Glossary

B

BigBlueButton

BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing system. Here you can create conference rooms to which you can invite other users via link. You can then communicate with each other in these rooms via audio, video and chat. You can also upload and send files, draw, use a virtual whiteboard and share your screen. The moderator controls a room and can remove participants from the conference, as well as revoke or grant rights in a very granular way. It is often used for school and teaching events, as learning platforms such as Moodle can be easily integrated and it offers a number of features out-of-the-box to make life easier in teaching events.

C

Container

A container or a software container is a virtual environment in which all components of an application are collected. The container can therefore be executed on a wide variety of computer environments without any further adjustments. It is therefore extremely flexible.

G

GNU/Linux

GNU/Linux is an operating system which consists of the Linux kernel and a wide range of GNU software. The birth of GNU/Linux is probably the famous post by Linus Torvalds on August 25, 1991, in which he introduces his “baby” but at the same time announces that it will probably never become something big and professional.

A few years later the world looked already completely different:

More and more software producers and especially internet companies took up the topic and the OS GNU/Linux. As a Unix-like system, it was designed for true multi-user operation and integration into networks. Both topics became more and more important with the growing Internet, so that GNU/Linux could rapidly gain in importance.

The icing on the cake was the easy portability to other computer architectures: GNU/Linux was quickly available for a variety of very different systems from the classic Intel architecture (i386) to the mainframe (zSeries). Later, it was added to small computers like the Raspberry PI and even cell phones, so that today an incredibly wide range of systems is covered.

There are many different “distributions” (coordinated software package around the kernel) which make the operating system extremely versatile. A large part of the digital infrastructure and especially cloud infrastructures now run on Linux.

Grafana

Grafana is an open-source application that can graphically display data from various databases across platforms. The raw data (e.g. numerical values) can be output in various display forms (e.g. graphs or statistics) and combined into dashboards (overview pages). Grafana is used for monitoring systems because it provides a good way to clearly display the data that is generated during monitoring.

J

Jitsi Meet

Jitsi Meet is a primeval rock in the field of open source web conferencing solutions. In recent months, the project has certainly made great leaps in development due to the growing demand for corresponding solutions during the Corona pandemic and not least due to its use in the Phoenix project as a component of a digitally sovereign government workplace.

In addition to classic features such as video, audio, chat and screen sharing, Jitsi Meet offers some nice add-ons. These include customizable video backgrounds, polls or even animated feedback options like applause.

Next to BigBlueButton, Jitsi Meet is the OS web conferencing solution with the widest distribution.

M

Monitoring

Monitoring refers to the supervision/observation of systems, parameters, functionalities or processes. It ranges from the monitoring of technical details and functions to the observation of derived key performance indicators (KPIs). Individual systems or entire infrastructures can be included in monitoring.

There are a number of open source software solutions that address the technical aspects of monitoring on the one hand, and on the other hand also those that take care of the clear compilation and presentation of the collected information.

Especially when it comes to summarizing and clearly presenting comprehensive data from complex systems, Grafana offers exciting possibilities.

In this way, monitoring offers completely different levels of detail for different addressees. In the core, however, the information remains whether everything is running as expected or not.

O

Open Source Software

(also FLOSS - Free Libre Open Source Software).

Free Software in the narrower sense is defined by 4 freedoms:

  • The freedom to use a program for any purpose.
  • The freedom to study how a program works and to adapt it to one’s own needs.
  • The freedom to make copies for others
  • The freedom to improve the program and make these improvements available for the common good.

These freedoms make it clear that open source and free software are not about “free” as in free beer, but rather about “free” as in freedom of speech. So less about free, but more about independence, flexibility and self-determination.

As philosophical as this may sound, the development model of OSS, the access to the source code and the freedoms mentioned bring quite pragmatic and strategic advantages for use in the company. On the other hand, they also imply - if one wants to participate in the development process oneself - some obligations.

Due to the possibility that the user/user gets through the access to the source code, there are quite decisive advantages, especially for the use in safety-critical infrastructures, because one can understand exactly what a software does.

The adaptability also allows the use for very individual requirements and opens up immense innovation potentials. In addition, there is no indissoluble dependence on a single manufacturer - a major risk associated with proprietary software solutions is therefore eliminated.

Free software is a big plus, both from an economic point of view and in terms of sustainable digitization.

Whether software is considered open source or free software depends largely on the licensing conditions.

More information on FLOSS can be found at the Free Software Foundation Europe, for example.

V

VoIP

VoIP is the short form for “Voice over IP” and stands for the transmission of voice over IP-based networks or the Internet. This technology has been replacing classic analogue telephony more and more for years.

The term covers the entire field of digitization of telephone systems and telephones. A special procedure is not defined. A protocol that defines the transmission of voice data is SIP, for example.

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