Annual Report 2018: LibreOffice Hackfests

Most LibreOffice developers are working from their home offices, so hackfests provide a unique opportunity to spend some time working shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers. In 2018, LibreOffice developers and community members met at four hackfests in Brussels, Hamburg, Tirana and Munich.

Brussels (Belgium), February 5-6

The first hackfest of the year was organized at ICAB in Brussels immediately after FOSDEM, the largest European gathering of FOSS developers and advocates, which is organized every year at ULB (Brussels Free University) during the coldest weekend of the winter season. The hackfest was attended by over 30 people, equally split between those focused on development and those taking care of non technical tasks such as localization, documentation, certification and marketing. In term of development, there were achievements in various areas of the office suite and in quality assurance.

Hamburg (Germany), April 6-8

The community gathering started with a walk through the fascinating Hanseatic city of Hamburg, with its river, canals and lake in the centre (Binnenalster), and a sample of local food at the Groeninger Privatbrauerei.

On Saturday, around 45 people attended the hackfest, divided in two groups: the first focused on coding for fixing bugs and working on new features, and the second on the meeting of the German-speaking LibreOffice community. Developers worked on different topics, like making drawing layers ODF conformant, migrating old database to HSQLDB, speeding up VLOOKUP, and improving LibreOffice Viewer on Android, plus other random bits related to bugs, regressions and new features.

German community members discussed about bringing in potential new contributors, developing materials for courses (both online and in schools) about LibreOffice, and creating a new “Get Involved” flyer and page on the website, both in German. And at the end, we relaxed with drinks and food!

Tirana (Albania), September 27

As part of the LibreOffice Conference in Tirana, Albania, this “hacknight” was held at the Destil from 7:30PM to 11PM with over 100 participants, which have covered tasks such as development, localization, documentation, quality assurance, certification and marketing. In fact, the conference brings together a large number of community members from around the globe, and the hackfest is for many contributors the very first opportunity to meet face-to-face after months or even years of interaction on mailing lists and IRC.

Munich (Germany), October 26-28

In late October, CIB hosted a hackfest at modulE in Munich, Germany, with 25 participants over the three days. The meeting started with a few presentations on Friday evening, with Andreas Kainz showing the amazing progress on the NotebookBar design. During the event developers were able to fix several bugs and polish some new features for the upcoming LibreOffice 6.2 major release, while German community members discussed non-technical topics such as marketing and local events. Of course, there was Italian pasta, like in every hackfest in Munich. The meeting ended with a quick city tour and beer at the world-famous Hofbräuhaus.

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