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This is the fourth (and last) in a series (1, 2, 3) of quick updates on travel and meetups I attended this year, for or because of LibreOffice / The Document Foundation. The next LibreOffice event you’ll definitely meet me will be the annual LibreOffice conference, this time in Aarhus, Denmark, on Sep. 23-25th.

As I keep saying every year, FOSDEM is really the FLOSS event to go for me. If I could attend only one, I’d be hard pressed to choose between LibOCon and FOSDEM – it is that great. Fortunately, that hard choice is not upon me. The TDF board therefore uses FOSDEM for one of the two in-person board meetings (the other one being during LibOCon) per year, and also tries to have a hackfest adjacent to it. Which is rather economic on travel, since lots of people are around already.

The LibreOffice project was again co-running the Open Document Editors devroom, and this time, we hit some true home runs. Especially for the mobile topics, the room was full to the gunwales. I was looking after our own small lightning talks track, with the following talks (slides linked):

  • Jos van den Oever about font embedding in ODF (slides/demo)
  • Asheesh Laroia about ODF support in EtherCalc (slides)
  • Your truly with the Nice Slides in Seconds! pitch (slides, /code)

Next to looking after LibreBaby and socializing with tons of people on the hallways, I attended only a few talks myself. Beyond our own dev room stuff, I recall a home-made GPS watch talk, and one about making your tests fail via randomized parameterization, which were both great.

The monday after, we had a full day of TDF board meetings (good progress there on annual budget planning, and a number of smaller items), and the UX hackfest in parallel. I used the opportunity to corner both Michael M. and Michael S. on ODF topics, with now hopefully much better mutual alignment. On the actual hacking front, I spent most of the time finishing up my markdown slide generator project, the result of which was mentioned on this blog already.

Pair programming, UX hackfest

Pair programming, UX hackfest

This is the third in a series (1, 2) of quick updates on travel and meetups I attended this year, for or because of LibreOffice / The Document Foundation.

On March 19-20th already, the 2nd LibreOffice hackfest in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria took place at the ULPGC. Thanks to Fran Santana and the team from the university for hosting us, and my new company CIB for sponsoring food & drinks and diners – and a very significant infusion of people into the LibreOffice ecosystem!

Scheduling was perfect, we reportedly had the worst weather of the year thus far, so sitting down & hacking really was the only alternative. Accordingly, a number of things got done, bugs fixed, and stuff/folks bootstrapped.

There were a few encouraging contacts to local LibreOffice users, and very interesting conversations with students, some of them really new to the ideas, concepts & the way of life inside a FLOSS project.

On a personal note, I’m very happy to report that travelling, and working, with a 1.5 year-old is very much possible in FLOSS land. Both university and hackfest attendees were lovely, understanding, and forgiving LibreBaby the occasional cries of joy (and anger). :-)

This is the second in a series of quick updates on travel and meetups I attended this year, for or because of LibreOffice / The Document Foundation.

On invitation by Michael and his Collabora crowd, this year saw the first LibreOffice hackfest ever on English soil, conveniently located, and helpfully scheduled in parallel to the annual Cambridge beer festival.

Attendees and host were great, my attention this time evenly split between hacking, personal talks, and very well-organised and entertaining evening activities (see below). I even fixed a bug! :-)

This is the first in a series of quick updates on travel and meetups I attended this year, for or because of LibreOffice / The Document Foundation.

Thanks to Florian, the German LibreOffice community again had the opportunity to meet in person, to work and plan activities for the coming 12 months. As usual, this meetup took place in the Linux Hotel in Essen, a lovely location, and conveniently placed in the middle of Germany. The event took place a few weeks ago already, during the weekend June 19-21st. Bubli went first, since I could only join Saturday evening due to a conflicting family event.

The meeting was a blast, and with a virtual group like the LibreOffice community, a most welcome (and far too seldom) opportunity to connect in person. The agenda was packed, and a number of activities identified there got started already (IT & Business trade fair, updated flyers).

Martin and Italo, cooking

Martin and Italo, cooking

Sunday morning plenary session

Sunday morning plenary session

Was great to be there, and very encouraged by the newly-invigorated German LibreOffice community spirit! On that account, and if you’re able to read German: there’s a very nice and in-depth special edition of the iX computer magazine available, covering Office productivity in general and LibreOffice in particular.

LibreOffice and The Document Foundation continue to grow, with a succession of events especially in Europe that left me lagging substantially in reporting back here.

LibreOffice conference 2012

In no particular order, three weeks ago, the 2nd LibreOffice conference concluded in Berlin. It took place at the conference center of the German ministry of Economics and Technology, clearly one of the best locations I’ve ever been for such an event.

Below you see the reinforced organizer team’s swag production line on Tuesday morning, in a hurry to equip the late-arriving green LibreOffice conference backpacks with giftware. In the end, we were lucky and all was ready & done for the registration at Wednesday morning.

swag production

Tuesday swag production

Tuesday afternoon then had a number of meetings, including TDF board and ESC. Below you see Italo with Olivier and Leif in the background, getting ready for the annual in-person board meeting.


Italo at the board meeting

For me, the conference was stressful and terrific at the same time – and we were more than grateful that it went so smoothly and successful in the end. A million hat tips to our organizing team, lead by Jacqueline, and to the two federal ministries for co-hosting. Most rewarding again for me, was meeting all the wonderful people from the community in person. Below you can see those of the roughly 180 that were still present on Friday evening.

group pic

Group picture

As we speak, the organizer and video teams are still busy populating the LibOCon 2012 reviews page with the slides and video footage; once that’s concluded there’ll be a separate announcement.

openSUSE conference 2012


SUSE hackers at work

Team diner

Team diner in Prague

After that, the SUSE crowd migrated a few hundred kilometers to the south, into the beautiful city of Prague (one would think, into warmer climate – but nope, while I was out in tshirt in Berlin, Prague had us stay inside hacking, with single-digit temperatures and drizzling rain). There, we attended both the openSUSE and the SUSE labs conference, and had some more focused team allhands sessions.

Great to see the many excellent SUSE hackers again, and to spend facetime especially with the LibreOffice team.

LibreOffice QA weekend

qa weekend

QA weekend


Pizza for QA volunteers

And even earlier, already end of September, the German-speaking community had their annual QA weekend meeting, at the lovely Linux Hotel in Essen, Germany. Was very happy to meet our QA volunteers in person there, sometimes for the first time, as with Florian Reisinger, who very energetically led through most of the QA topics. I can’t enough stress the importance of talking to people face2face every once in a while, we sorted out a number of issues there, that I believe would have festered much longer otherwise. With the ongoing fund raising for 2013, TDF will continue to organize those and similar events, and predominantly help with travel sponsoring for community members.


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