LibreOffice Conference attendee report: Brett Cornwall

Brett helps out with TDF’s infrastructure, and joined us at our recent LibreOffice Conference in Rome. Here’s what he had to say about the event – and a couple of photos too!

2017’s LibreOffice conference marked my first visit outside of the United States. I arrived some days before the conference so that I might explore a city that has contributed so much to western culture.

Both the city’s cleanliness and transportation impressed me – I’m used to New York City’s standard of cleanliness. A genuine surprise smacked me when I noticed that pedestrians have authority over cars on smaller streets; whereas pedestrians find a window in which to cross between cars in NYC, Rome pedestrians are expected to strut their tender meat-bags into moving traffic and expect cars to stop for them. While the practice of assertion is easy enough to pick up, I can’t help but wonder whether this is a significant cause of accidents.

I was ill-prepared for long walks down cobblestone pathways: I’ve experienced flat pavement for long enough that I didn’t even think that the city would be plastered in cobblestone. Perhaps this is why women wear more practical footwear in Rome than in the States.

The most enjoyable presentations during the conference typically featured education and TDF’s roles, successes, and failures. Such talks illuminated the challenges that face those that deploy LibreOffice on a large scale.

The camaraderie exhibited by the members was a great inspiration. A well-organized group fixated upon a common cause brings change, and I saw many people fixated on success.

Working on LibreOffice has given me opportunities to learn tools previously unknown. I have since adopted some of them outside of work here, and I’m sure that I’ll learn more.

This is the first time in many years that I ‘joined up’ with a high-profile community. I’m glad I did, and I hope that I help LibreOffice to succeed in making a kick-ass office suite.

I would like to thank Sophie Gautier for all of her hard work and for helping me get to Rome; Guilhem Moulin for recommending my invitation and entrusting me with work; and TDF as a whole for welcoming me into the community. Thank you!

Thanks to you too, Brett – we’re glad to hear you had a great time! And to others reading this who attended the conference, drop us a line with your experiences (and some photos!) and we’ll post them here as well.


  1. By Ali Isingor