Community Member Monday: Pranam Lashkari (Collabora/GSoC)

Today we’re talking to Pranam Lashkari from our Indian community, who is working in the LibreOffice ecosystem at Collabora, improving the web-based version of the suite…

First off, tell us a bit about yourself!

Pranam! (It means namaste, and yes, that’s my name too ๐Ÿ˜‚). I live in Rajkot, a city in the middle of the state of Gujarat in India. I am a computer engineer who started working on open source projects as a student, to expand my knowledge, which later got me into Google Summer of Code – twice as a student, and this year I became a mentor and a maintainer of one of the Boost C++ Libraries called GIL (Generic Image Library).

The eagerness for always working in open source led me to work with Collabora Productivity, where I’m privileged to work full-time to take LibreOffice development further. So far, all the code I have written in my life is open source.

When I am not programming, I like to spend my time playing cricket (or any sport), doing some observational astronomy, or reading things related to science.

You can find me on LinkedIn and GitHub.

What are you working on in the LibreOffice project right now?

Most of my work is focused on LibreOffice Online, which also happens to be the project behind the mobile version of Collabora Office. I started by removing the Poco framework, and then adding major features like smooth scrolling in mobile.

Currently, I am working on desktop browser version of LibreOffice Online, where I try to align features with the core version. On the other hand, in the mobile version, I solve different bugs in mobile wizards and enable new features which are not yet available in mobile. While working on the mobile wizard, I also try to optimize the performance wherever possible by avoiding and reducing unnecessary communication with the server โ€“ and making things look more snappy on mobile.

Why did you decide to become a member of The Document Foundation?

I love it when my code is used by people. Having a large number of users of LibreOffice attracted me to be a developer in TDF projects, and I am very thankful to Jan Holesovsky and Michael Meeks for giving me this wonderful opportunity and helping me get started and grow.

At first, I wasn’t aware of the existence of such programmes where one can become a member, until I received an email inviting me to apply to become a member of TDF because of my continuous involvement in TDF projects the last six months. I decided to apply for the membership because it would help me align the development with the goals set by the organisation, and get a clear picture of further required development.

The best way to move forward is by collaborating and becoming a part of the project. By becoming a member, I also wish to give my feedback on decisions and strategies.

Anything else you plan to do in the future? What does LibreOffice really need?

In my work for Collabora, we focus on what our customers and partners most want to be done next – always something interesting.

Finally, one thing I would like to add: working on these projects which are involved in changing the user experience forever is one of the best experiences I have had as a developer. I would like to thank Collabora and TDF for this.

TDF says: we’d like to thank you, Pranam, for all your work! A strong and healthy ecosystem is essential for the future of LibreOffice, so we’re glad you’re enjoying working for Collabora and improving LibreOffice Online. Cheers!

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