LibreOffice Conference

On September 7-9, the technology conference of the LibreOffice Suite, a suite of open source and free software that are a worthy replacement of the Microsoft Office suite, both in terms of security and features, was held.

LibreOffice was originally launched in 2010, as a project adapted from OpenOffice, which has unfortunately closed down in recent months. It depends on TDF or The Document Foundation, a free software foundation based in Berlin, Germany. This package contains programs for word processing, creation and editing of tables, presentations, diagrams, drawings, creation of databases and mathematical formulas. It is available in 110 different languages. LibreOffice has been officially developed for Microsoft Windows (IA-32), Linux (IA-32 and x86-64) and OS X (IA-32).

I was present at this conference along with 2 other members of the Open Labs community in Albania. The conference was held in the city of Brno, Czech Republic, at the Faculty of Technology. Presenters were contributors from all over the world, most from countries like Italy, Germany, USA, Taiwan, Japan etc. Each of them presented on a particular topic and had long discussions on how this suite could be extended to ordinary individuals and government organizations and administrations. As you can see from the photos, a large part of the attendees (where the total number was 130), were over 30-35 years old, which I didn’t like, and to be honest, I expected to have an average aged about 25-30, but it seemed these people knew what they were doing and confident in the words they were formulating.


Brno University

Main hall presentation

Personally, I had a double presentation together with a friend of mine, where we presented over 30 minutes the situation of the LibreOffice community in Albania, from the beginning and the difficulties we encountered, to this day and what we could do more much to the future, in an effort to further spread the ideology of open source and free software to all.

My presentation

After the end of each day of the conference, the organizers made sure everything was perfect. We visited many historical sites in this city, from its center, museum, markets, to the Brewery (Czech Republic is the first place in the world in terms of annual beer consumption per person). We visited the offices of Red Hat, a very large company created around 1993, where we discussed and developed a hack hour, then had fun playing billiards, ping pong and so on.

Fun time

Working area

As I said a little above, the beer in the Czech Republic is very high quality, certified at the Charlie bar, where everything was organized to perfection. There are over 5 universities in Brno and out of 400,000 inhabitants about 100,000 are students, where I noticed that the streets were empty, due to their absence. The residents were generally very approachable and communicative.

Charlie’s beer

Something that had to be taken as an example and applied in our capital was the transport system (tram, urban, etc.) and their accuracy.

Tram in Brno

The weather was steady and temperatures were ideal, allowing us to stay in the company of other contributors. In conclusion, I would like to add that it was a memorable experience and I hope to be present next year at this conference in Rome.

The photos are licensed under CC-BY-SA 4.0, owned by Angelo Lushka, Italo Vignoli and Enio Gemmo.