Members of The Document Foundation help to steer the LibreOffice project and community. Today we’re talking to Petr Valach from the Czech community…
To start, tell us a bit about yourself!
I was born in Brno, but for nearly 30 years I’ve been living in Prague. I work for a software company where I am member of a mobile applications project. But IT isn’t my only hobby. I do lots of things – personally, astronomy and physics are the most important for me. There is nothing quite so interesting. And I am happy when astronomical or astronautical institutions (for example, the International Space Station) use free and open-source software.
I was member of the scout movement, so scouting is one of my “hobbies” too (it’s not a hobby, but lifestyle). In the Czech Republic, there is something special, a mixture of pure scouting with the education system of our boys’ book author, Jaroslav Foglar. He lead his scout group called The Boys from Beaver River for 60 years and wrote over 20 books, which are bestsellers. Indeed, Jaroslav Foglar is the most successful author in the Czech Republic, who directly or indirectly influenced literally everybody here. I am a member of the community associated around him, and member of Foglar’s association. Recently we’ve had meetings in the Foglar group clubhouse every month.
I am a member of the editors of OpenOffice.cz (focused on LibreOffice and OpenOffice.cz) and LinuxEXPRES (focused on free and open-source software generally). I am lead editor at ExoSpace.cz, which supports these magazines and websites, the Czech community around LibreOffice, other astronomical and astronautical magazines and more.
Why did you decide to become a member of The Document Foundation (TDF)?
I think that I can improve my work by being am member of TDF. Membership gives my work more importance. And I am in connection with other people – and it is very important to be informed. So I believe that I will contribute to the foundation by membership.
What are you working on in the LibreOffice project right now?
As mentioned, I am member of the OpenOffice.cz editors and I propagate LibreOffice via ExoSpace.cz. I try to support LibreOffice via this media – I try to support members of TDF during conferences and so on. But the most important thing is that I use LibreOffice and learn more and more about it; LibreOffice is absolutely my favourite software.
Anything else you plan to do in the future?
Better Czech manual and education materials – that’s what is most needed. I like documentation work, so I will be happy if I find more time to contribute to this topic.
Thanks to Petr for all his contributions – they are really appreciated! Czech users can explore the website and get involved with our community.