zaterdag 15 oktober 2011

Report from LibreOffice conference

Already the start of last day of the wonderful first ever LibreOffice conference.
Before preparing the final bits for my presentation on QA (improving the Development / QA cycle - so that means a talk about understanding the interesting and complicated interaction between development and QA-community, and hopefully some smart contributions from the public to get seemingly random improvements) let me post some notices on the event.

First there is a great number of presentations and discussions. We started with an impressing overview, by Italo, Michael and Florian, of the first years' achievements of TDF. Impressive numbers, some polished to an very shiny state. But hey, marketing is marketing after all, and also without the footnotes that would make some of them look more realistic: we may be very proud with the people that are involved and all product improvements and the tooling and community that are set up!

Nice words about those were spoken by Simon, at the evening organised by the Region Paris. Also on that evening, Charles and the Region introduced us to some importatn new steps: a LibreOffice Online, and ports to Android and iOS. You must have seen others referring to this great news.
So then the presentations. Sadly again I failed in triple-cloning myself, so could only attend part. But there were great ones about the structural improvements (footprint, speed, ..) of Calc, QA tooling, better interacting with users and usability improvements, web and ODF-services, improvements in Impress (.pptx import), the great contributions from students sponsored by this years Google Summer of Code.

Another topic that is unavoidable, is the split off in Apache OpenOffice. At the conference we've met people from IBM, working with Apache OpenOffice, among them friends from the old project, that now work there. Much has been said and written already on this a bit sad situation, also recent.
After talking and thinking about it again, for me there are two points. One crucial thing is, that in my opinion it would have been better if IBM would have objected when Oracle wanted to donate to Apache. The second: it is not reasonable to expect that we try to solve IBM's problem by breaking down our LibreOffice community - even more because of the high uncertainty of the outcome.
Just for the IBM people involved I hope they find the people and inspiration to do the right things.

So back to our conference. I've been to quite some conferences in the past. Always great to talk and meet with so many people. Additionally this year I have an extra feeling of sparkling energy, that I could trace down simply to a higher and wider spread community and developer activity: more than in the past it is about people from all regions building connections and hacking their pet pieces of code for making the best free office productivity suite in the world even better.
Thanks to all (the volunteers organising the conference, the people from the locations hosting it, the sponsors helping covering the costs, and the participants) to make this event to what it is!
(link to presentations will follow)

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