Community Member Monday: Sarper Akdemir

Today we’re talking to Sarper Akdemir, who is a passionate supporter of free software and is helping to add new features to LibreOffice…

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I live in Istanbul, where I am pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering at Istanbul Technical University. I like to hack code, cook, play bass, and rice some desktops in my free time. My primary computer is a Thinkpad X220 – such a cutie – and I use Emacs to hack on it.

On April 28 2018, Istanbul Technical University Software Freedom Club (ITUGnu) organized an event called “Free Software Summit”, which introduced me to free software. After that event, I decided to join and be an active member of the club, in the hope of learning more about free software and the hacker culture.

People in ITUGnu informed me about a summer camp called “Mustafa Akgül Free Software Camp”, which is a non-profit organization where people all around Turkey volunteer to teach attendees about free software, with courses ranging from GNU/Linux system administration to IT law.

I took a workshop there that Muhammet Kara gave called “LibreOffice Development Workshop” which got me started hacking on LibreOffice.

After the workshop, I decided to keep contributing to LibreOffice and apply to the Google Summer of Code. And I was lucky enough to get selected as a Google Summer of Code student in the past summer.

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

Throughout the Google Summer of Code period, hacking on LibreOffice daily was a lot of fun and at times challenging. While doing so, I got to interact and learn from the community of developers, especially my mentor Thorsten Behrens (CIB). Since being in the LibreOffice community is so rewarding, I wanted it to be official with a TDF membership – and having a say in what the future holds for LibreOffice is, of course, a plus.

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

I finished my Google Summer of Code project that introduced physics-based animation effects to LibreOffice Impress. And right now, I’m looking forward to fixing some bugs, starting from the ones related to animation effects.

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

Since LibreOffice is one of the core utility pieces that the end user looks for in a computer, I think it is also an important piece for end users to achieve freedom. Therefore, I think LibreOffice can always use more robustness, so I will be fixing as many bugs as I can in the future.

Other than that, in the near future I’m trying to organize an event under ITUGnu to help some fellow students to contributing to LibreOffice and other free software projects.

Huge thanks to Sarper for his work on the new Impress animations, and Thorsten, his mentor, for supporting him. We hope to be in the next Google Summer of Code, but in the meantime, everyone with some C++ knowledge is welcome to explore the LibreOffice source code and try some EasyHacks. We’ll be there if you need help!


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