OERu Web Services as of February 2021
The OERu offers a wide array of online services, all Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), for the benefit of its global learner community, its partner representatives, and educators in general.
As of this writing, in February 2021, we run the following production systems:
- a WordPress multisite - our course delivery site - https://course.oeru.org
- 3 standalone WordPress instances - organisational content managed websites: https://coep.nz, https://oer4covid.oeru.org, https://oerfoundation.org
- 2 Drupal 8 sites - our information tech site (this site!) and our H5P learning object builders - https://tech.oeru.org, https://h5p.oeru.org
- 2 Discoursen - market leading, full-featured forums - https://community.oeru.org, https://forums.oeru.org, https://test.forum.oeru.org
- NextCloud - https://docs.oeru.org - for file sharing and many other uses, including collaborative online document/spreadsheet/presentation authoring with two "office" services:
- CollaboraOffice - https://collab.oeru.org - and
- OnlyOffice - https://onlyoffice.oeru.org
- BigBlueButton - a large scale real-time video conferencing and educational collaboration platform - https://speak.oeru.org) along with a
- COTURN server - https://turn.oerfoundation.org
- Mautic - mailing list automation management - https://mautic.oeru.org
- Rocket.Chat - rich chat service - https://chat.oeru.org - comparable to Slack or DIscord (but better, because it's open source, and we control the data).
- Keycloak - authentication and identity management system for Single Sign-on system (not yet launched) - https://login.oeru.org
- Mastodon - Twitter-esque but distributed and federated open source social network - https://mastodon.oeru.org
- Mailcow - a full multi-tenanted SMTP/IMAP/POP email system with active spam filtering, user self-service, DKIM configuration/management, webmail, & much more - even virus scanning for Windows clients - https://about.oerfoundation.org - supplying all email services for the oeru.org, oerfoundation.org, and coep.nz domains.
- YourLS link shortener - https://oer.nz
- Matomo - website analytics (like Google Analytics, but without leaking private information) - https://stats.oeru.org
- Mahara - online academic portfolio tool - https://portfolio.oerfoundation.org
- Moodle - market leading learning management system - https://moodle.oeru.org
- SilverStripe - our main OERu website - https://oeru.org
- MediaWiki - collaboration platform for OER development built on the same platform on which Wikipedia is built - https://wikieducator.org
- GitLab - a software developer version control/collaboration tool (https://git.oeru.org)
- LimeSurvey - survey tool (https://survey.oeru.org)
- BitWarden - password manager and cross-device sync service - https://safe.oeru.org - our howto for hosting your own.
- Etherpad-lite - simple collaborative editing platform - https://etherpad.oeru.org
- Semantic Scuttle instance - a collaborative public website bookmarking service - https://bookmarks.oeru.org
We also maintain development and testing/staging instances of most of these services. Our services are all hosted on virtual Linux servers (we mostly run Ubuntu Linux) provided by commodity cloud hosting providers via Docker and Docker Compose. In future, we expect to move to "just-in-time" scaling via Kubernetes (or similar).
Wow, what an inspiring set…
Wow, what an inspiring set of services! Very cool. I just wanted to provide my 2cts on a number of candidates that may be interesting to have a look at, plus some thoughts :)
- I'd consider replacing Rocket.Chat for Matrix Communities + Chatrooms and have the instance federate with the 'matriverse'.
- Instead of Mastodon I'd go for Pleroma as they are more lightweight in resources, feel more modern, more standards-compliant, and as a way to help equalize power balance on the fediverse.
- I found it as an exemplar of domain-driven design production app (not using it), but Open Edx might be worth looking at: https://open.edx.org/
- I'd look into having a static site generator part of the stack. Jekyll is easiest, but maybe Hugo because it is more versatile.
- For a static site CMS that also has a user-friendly UI you can look at Grav. It can be installed on a shared hosting provider by just copying via SFTP in most cases.
- I've looked at Keycloak in the past, but never used. I hear it is hard to set up and maintain. Not quite there yet, but interesting, is Authelia. Recently featured on Hacker News. It places all the user management, Auth/authz, SSO on your reverse proxy, alleviating your apps from the responsibility. See https://github.com/authelia/authelia and check the Roadmap.
- Personally, though less feature-complete, I like Gitea to Gitlab. The former is true FOSS (I use it on codeberg.org and feels great), and the latter has big corp in the driver seat (wouldn't be surprised by an e.g. Amazon takeover in the future).
- As a CI/CD to Gitea a self-hosted Drone is a good option. https://www.drone.io/
- Though not fully feature-wise on par with Semantic Scuttle, the Tiny Tiny RSS is actively maintained and easily installs on shared hosting providers. See https://tt-rss.org/
Wow, I'm aware of a few of…
In reply to Wow, what an inspiring set… by Arnold Schrijver (not verified)
Nice! I'm aware of a few of those and am keeping an eye on them, but a few others are new to me, and much appreciated! I'm a big fan of Matrix (and Element/Synapse) but when I was choosing a FOSS chat system, Rocket.Chat was by far the most mature... and it's still very impressive, but I'm keeping tabs on Matrix clients (I'm a big fan of open standards) and I'll implement any R.C plugins that allow us to be Matrix compliant!
I'm familiar with OpenEdX (my colleague in the OERF was, I believe, involved in that project in the early days) but for various reasons, we decided it's not appropriate for what we're doing...
Regarding Mastodon and Pleroma (which is an annoyingly unpronouncable name), I'm pretty happy with former at this point...
I've played around with Grav a fair bit and I like quite a few of its ideas (I'm a big fan of Markdown) over the past couple years (including building a couple sites with it), but have decided to stick with technologies (like Drupal) that I already know quite a lot better...
We're definitely looking for something a bit more "current" than Semantic Scuttle... will have a look at tt-rss.org to see if it addresses our use cases... I've recently encountered (and am looking at) https://bitbucket.org/bibsonomy/bibsonomy/wiki/Home#markdown-header-bib… - jury's still out...
As for Gitea and I agree with the assessment of Gitlab... I reserve the right to switch to SourceHut or Gitea down the track... waiting for the time being, but watching things closely! Thanks very much Arnold!
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