I’m a member of LibreOffice Japanese Team; working in the backyard of Japanese community. Driving translation, reporting bugs instead of people who can’t use English and attending FLOSS events in Japan.
In the team, my main task is translation of LibreOffice UI, and sometimes Wiki pages, and I’m one of the administrator of Pootle Japanese group. And now I have lots of interest about outreaching (I’ll talk about it later). It might be a special, I’m a “printer” guy. I have strong interest about the future of printing; not only print something from desktop application (e.g. LibreOffice), but also using mobile device, from cloud service, etc. In the future I want to get involved about printing related enhancement of LibreOffice.
In what other software projects have you been involved?
Ubuntu and GNOME (mostly translation), and OpenPrinting; standardize group of unix-like printing environments.
Where do you live (and/or study)?
Very east side of Tokyo (Katsushika-ku).
What do you do when you’re not working on LibreOffice?
My work is technical investigation of current FLOSS technologies, e.g, NoSQLs, Private IaaS Platforms, something something… includes LibreOffice also.
In private, reading books, sitting in front of my laptop and many many tweeting, or sometimes reading blogs or news. And just now I’ve started Yoga. It’s pretty good.
I love running rivers with a kayak. Most of 60 rivers I’ve visited, includes US and New Zealand. Paddling is wonderful :)
When do you usually spend time on the project?
About translation or Facebook pages administration, mostly off time of weekdays. Our LibreOffice meetup (read below) also are in weekday night. I guess almost 10 hours per week.
How did you hear about LibreOffice?
Because a friend of mine is the key person of Japanese LibreOffice (and former OpenOffice.org) community.
Why did you get involved? Is LibreOffice popular in your native-language?
Because my friend mentioned above need my help. At that time I had surprised how people in the community is active, full of love for LibreOffice itself, “wow it’s really nice community” I thought. That’s why I still spend a time for the community.
In Japan, LibreOffice is getting big I feel, but still “OpenOffice” as a brand is bigger than LibreOffice. If someone want to find fee-free office productive suite, he might google “openoffice.”
What was your initial experience of contributing to LibreOffice like?
Checking most of all printing-related UI translations and correcting because my special is printing.
What have you done since then?
About translation, I have expanded my area from printing-related to any other UI, and not only UI, but also some Wiki pages or else.
Now my most important work is to drive our own (LibreOffice-titled) event in Japan, and share them to global.
First, I’ve started monthly LibreOffice meeting “Kanto LibreOffice Study Group” (Kanto means around Tokyo area). This meeting might deal with widely theme from using how-to to introduction to development.
Then I administrate two Facebook pages: one https://www.facebook.com/LibreOfficeJa is for all of Japanese LibreOffice related people to discuss about LibreOffice in Japanese, and another https://www.facebook.com/LibreofficeStudyJapan is for LibreOffice meeting owners in Japan to exchange knowledge how to host meetings or anything else.
And I feel it’s important that we, Japanese community should let global people know how we’re active and share success stories and problems.
What would be your best suggestion or advice for anyone interested in getting involved in the localization of LibreOffice?
Don’t worry about English. If you can’t understand some translated string, the translation might be wrong. Please teach us. It’s first step to join us. No English is needed. We always need proofreading.
And LibreOffice community is very active, full of love, lots of nice people and easy to join.
What is your vision for the future and/or what would you most like to see improved in LibreOffice?
My currently interest is how to reach non-FLOSS, non-geek people in Japan to tell how LibreOffice is good for them. Most of them only know MS Office, few of them know also OpenOffice but not know LibreOffice. We need to reach them and get feedback what they want, and tell them to the global.
Of course migration in large companies and local governments from MS Office to LibreOffice is big issue, so we need supporting companies in our ecosystems in Japan. But this issue is out of focus for me as a community guy…
Anyway, my another point is writing codes. Because it is easiest way to put Japanese local requirements, but in Japan very few people have done that. So I want to became a developer and I also grow some young developers of LibreOffice.
Thanks a lot for your answers and time!
Interview by Charles-H. Schulz.