Annual Report 2019: LibreOffice Conference

(Note: this is a section from The Document Foundation’s Annual Report 2019, which will be published in full in the coming weeks.)

The LibreOffice Conference is the annual gathering of the community, our end-users, developers, and everyone interested in free office software. Every year, it takes place in a different country and is supported by members of the LibreOffice commercial ecosystem.

In 2019, the conference was organized in Almeria by the Spanish community, and took place from Tuesday, September 10 to Friday, September 13. Most of the conference took place in the Universidad de Almeria, next to the sea, but some social events and meetups were held in the city itself.

Over 100 people from across the globe attended the conference; for several people, it was their first LibreOffice Conference and therefore the first time they could meet other community members in-person.

On Tuesday, before the main conference presentations got underway, there was a community meeting. Various members of the LibreOffice community joined for informal talks about marketing and localisation of the software, and what we can do to bring more people into the project.

Conference Tracks

Wednesday kicked off with the opening session: a welcome and introduction from the university’s staff; the “state of the project” (summarising the last 12 months of activity in LibreOffice); quick introductions to the TDF team, Board of Directors and Membership Committee; and messages from the sponsors.

During the conference, there were over 70 talks, workshops and feedback sessions on all manner of topics. Some talks focused on technical aspects, such as continuous integration, build systems and debugging, while others were geared towards the community and other non-technical matters – for instance, getting new contributors, how the Membership Committee works, and reports from events in Asia.

In addition, community members and developers gave talks about LibreOffice Online, the PDF export feature, SmartArt editing in Impress, reproducible builds, and a neural machine translation plugin for the suite. Videos of most of the presentations – and a quick summary of the whole conference – are available on TDF’s YouTube channel as a playlist:

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Additional Events

Outside of the conference tracks, various social events and meetups took place over the four days. On Tuesday evening we had a welcome party outside the accommodation, with drinks and light snacks. A beach dinner party was held on Wednesday, with more great local food to try, while a hackfest took place on Thursday, giving developers the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder and discuss ideas in person.

On Friday, the conference organisers took us on a visit to the Alcazaba – the city’s castle – parts of which date back around 1,000 years. We had an entertaining guided tour with excellent views over the city as the sun set. Once the tour had finished, many people headed back into the city to sample tapas. Finally, on Saturday there was another guided tour, this time through the city’s historical downtown area.

So much of this was made possible thanks to your generous donations. If you find LibreOffice useful, support us with a donation so that we can continue to build our community, share knowledge, and improve LibreOffice for everyone!

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