LibreOffice at FOSDEM - Call for Papers

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DatesFebruary 5-6, 2011
LocationULB Campus Solbosch,
Brussels, Belgium

When and where?

On Sunday 6th February from 09:00 to 17:00 in room H.2214. We have to leave the room by 17:30 the latest.

NEW: We also have a stand in the H building for both days!

Sunday dev-room schedule

Time Title Speaker
9:00 - 9:30 Accessible authoring with LibreOffice Christophe Strobbe
9:30 - 10:00 Happily hacking LO - a beginners perspective Surendran Mahendran
10:00 - 10:30 Marketing to Developers: Lets grow the community Italo Vignoli
10:30 - 11:00 Localisation for the next LibreOffice András Tímár
11:00 - 11:45 Understanding the writer core Caolán McNamara
11:45 - 12:15 Wikihelp - moving our help on-line Jan Holesovsky
12:30 - 13:00 Lunch and Easy Hacks to get involved with (while you eat) Michael Meeks
13:00 - 13:30 The Document Foundation, four months in the making Charles Schultz
13:30 - 14:00 Kicking off the LibreOffice Design Team Christoph Noack
14:00 - 14:45 Impress hacking - An introduction Thorsten Behrens
14:45 - 15:30 The future of the spreadsheet Kohei Yoshida
15:30 - 16:00 Writing import filters for beginners Fridrich Štrba
16:00 - 16:30 A new build system, with unit testing Björn Michaelsen
16:30 - 17:00 The difficulty of forking ... how to prepare for it Anne Nicolas, Michael Scherer


The room will have the following equipment:

  • 100 seats
  • a video projector with VGA cable
  • wireless internet

For stocking material overnight, we have a large room that will be locked from Saturday 18:00 to Sunday 09:00. However, there is no insurance whatsoever and we take no responsibility for stolen or damaged goods, even though there is a security team at the venue, including during the night.

More info


For questions mail
Discussions with developers and code hackers take place on 


Understanding the writer core
Session/duration 45 mins
Speaker Caolan McNamara
Biography is impressive.
Abstract The writer core, has traditionally been a thing of magic and mystery. Come and

understand how layout can tie you up in knots, and take forever to get right, experience the amusement of 'loop free' layout, and get to grips with a key piece of the LibreOffice core.

Additional speaker info
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) todo insert from: TDF_McNamara_Caolan.jpg

Easy Hacks to get involved with
Session/duration 45 mins
Speaker Michael Meeks
Biography to follow.
Abstract The LibreOffice project has a load of easy hacks listed, that you can use as a ladder to climb into the code. Come and hear how you can get started with some really easy things, and move on to some of the more interesting problems in the code-base. Come and suggest tweaks and improvements that you think could be turned into an easy hack for others to work on.
Additional speaker info
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) todo insert from: TDF_Meeks_Michael_gray_small.jpg

Happily hacking LO - a beginners perspective
Session/duration 30 mins
Speaker Surendran Mahendran
Biography to be filled
Abstract How to have fun while hacking LO.
Description Will be sharing some of my fun experiences as a beginner while working towards my first patch, the scope for beginners like me to learn and have fun at the same time in the project, about the abundant encouragement and positive energy from the community and a little bit about the feature I chose to work on.
Additional speaker info to be filled
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) to be filled
Writing Import filters for beginners
Session/duration 30 mins
Speaker Fridrich Štrba
Biography Swiss comedian, Communist by birth.

Come and find out how you can strike a blow for freedom, and also, simultaneously import all of your beautiful legacy documents into the sparkling world of ODF.

Additional speaker info
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG)

Accessible Authoring with LibreOffice
Session/duration 50 minutes
Speaker Christophe Strobbe
Biography Christophe Strobbe is a researcher specialised in web accessibility; he has been working for the research group DocArch (Document Architectures) of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) since 2001. He has contributed to the European projects VISUAL (2001-2004), IDCnet (2002-2005), BenToWeb (2004-2007), USEM (2007-2010), AEGIS (2008-2011), STAND4ALL (2009-2010) and eGovMoNet(2008-2010), and to a number of university projects with the goal to increase accessibility of the university's ICT infrastructure. During the BenToWeb project he also contributed to the Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM). He has been a member of W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) since April 2005 and co-facilitator of WAI Test Samples Development Task Force (TSD TF) since July 2006. In the AEGIS project, which develops much of its software under open source licences, he is involved the LibreOffice/ extensions odt2daisy and odt2braille.
Abstract The odt2daisy and odt2braille extensions forLibreOffice and Writer enable authors to export content to formats for specific needs: digital talking books in the DAISY format and Braille, respectively. These formats are aimed at "print-impaired" users, which includes both people with visual impairments and people with certain cognitive limitations (e.g. dyslexia). Both odt2daisy and odt2braille are being developed as part of the AEGIS project and are available on SourceForge.
LibreOffice/ Writer also enables authors to make word processing documents accessible, which is an essential requirement before exporting to any other format. The tutorial and demonstrations will introduce attendees to accessible authoring with LibreOffice Writer and to the extensions for creating DAISY books andBraille. Accessible authoring covers topics such as images, document structure, tables, list, language identification and the use of fonts and colours.
Description This tutorial is aimed at anyone who uses LibreOffice or Writer to create content. Nobody should assume that his content will never be read or used by people with disabilities.
Additional speaker info -
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) None.

Impress Hacking - An Introduction
Session/duration 45 mins
Speaker Thorsten Behrens
Biography to follow.
Abstract Impress is the presentation application of the LibreOffice project, and has lots of nifty features, but also areas in need of improvement. This talk gives you the how and whereabout, to grok the basic design, subsystems in use, and should enable you to start hacking on Impress in earnest. Also included: a little walkthrough of plans, upcoming features, and crazy ideas.
Additional speaker info
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) todo insert from: TDF_Thorsten_Behrens_gray_small.jpg

The Document Foundation, 4 months in the making
Session/duration 45mn
Speaker Charles-H. Schulz, Michael Meeks, Thorsten Behrens... anyone else from the SC? Italo Vignoli
Biography ..
Abstract On the 26th of September 2010 the birth of the LibreOffice project was announced. Ever since that time, the project has grown in size, contributors, infrastructure, etc. It will be a both a retrospective of what we started with as a team, what we accomplished and where we're heading in terms of project and vision.
Description ..
Additional speaker info It will be a multi-speaker event.
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) ..

Wikihelp - LibreOffice on-line help
Session/duration 45 mins
Speaker Jan Holešovský
Biography to follow.

The LibreOffice built-in help, as we know it, is not really easy to edit. It uses a custom XML markup, full of IDs with no meaning for a normal man, impossible to preview without actually building a new LibreOffice version. We wanted to change that - convert to a wiki for easier editing both for the developers (authors of the features), and the documentation team. And of course, we need to do this all easy for the localization team too. The last step is to create an off-line help from all this again, so that even people without a reliable Internet connection can access the help.

Additional speaker info
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) todo insert from: TDF_Holesovsky_Jan.jpg

Future of Calc - what's on our mind.
Session/duration 45 mins
Speaker Kohei Yoshida
Biography to follow.
Abstract There are many areas of Calc that need improvement. But before we get to that, let's reflect on what improvement we have made in Calc in the past prior to LibreOffice launch, what we have done and are working on after the launch, and what we plan to do going forward. Main focus areas are: re-work of the formula interpreter via Ixion, performance enhancement in Calc core as well as file format filters, and improve testability of the code in general.
Additional speaker info
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG)

Marketing to Developers: Let's Grow the Community
Title Marketing to Developers: Let's Grow the Community
Session/duration 30 mins
Speaker Italo Vignoli
Biography to follow.
Abstract The community is a key asset of The Document Foundation. Developers are a key component of the community, and their number has grown steadily since the day of the announcement. We must grow the number even further, though, and the session is meant to find marketing strategies and tactics capable of attracting other developers and community members.
Additional speaker info I must leave for the airport at 3:30PM
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG)

Localization of LibreOffice Next
Title Localization of LibreOffice Next
Session/duration 20 mins (if you accept my talk, please schedule me before 14:00)
Speaker András Tímár
Biography András Tímár started to participate in free software localization projects in 1999. He is the maintaner of Hungarian translation of Mozilla, and now LibreOffice.

The plan is to make localization of LibreOffice easy to non-technical people (translators), but at the same time we should give the freedom to all translations teams to choose their preferred tool or method to translate. On the other hand ~110 languages need to be maintaned and managed while keeping the footprint and traffic in git as low as possible. We need to study best practices of other free software projects and adapt them to our specific needs.

Additional speaker info
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG)

The difficulty of forking, and why you should not do it, yet prepare for it
Title The difficulty of forking, and why you should not do it, yet prepare for it
Session/duration 45 mins
Speaker Anne Nicolas, Michael Scherer
Biography to be filled
Abstract Forking a project is never a easy task both on social and technical level. Mageia, like Libroffice, is a big project born from a fork, and faced several issues regarding community and infrastructure. The lessons learned from forking can be generalized to any software project.
Description The talk will explain the difficulty of forking a big project ( namely a linux distribution ), the hurdle and problem that the project will face, and how you can fix them, and plan to prevent them if the need to fork appear again in the future.
Additional speaker info to be filled
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) to be filled

Kicking off the LibreOffice Design Team

Title Kicking off the LibreOffice Design Team
Session/duration 30 mins
Speaker Christoph Noack
Biography Christoph Noack made his first experiences with one of the predecessors of LibreOffice in the ages of DOS - and got a strong supporter of both the software and the idea of open-source in general. During his time with, he was elected to the Community Council, and he happily served in the role of the User Experience Team Co-Lead to improve how users can interact with the software.

Today, he takes part in the creation of The Document Foundation and serves as one of the Steering Committee Deputies. But still, his aim is to improve the User Experience by participating in the new LibreOffice Design Team.
And also in his day job, he works in the field of Human-Machine interaction, but this case he works for a German consumer goods company.


LibreOffice aims to be a great tool for people to let them create, edit and share any kind of information - enabling them to turn their ideas into documents. But offering that much capability doesn't require the software be complicated for all the different users ... The LibreOffice Design Team wants to "Make it just work, and look great, too!" by offering User Experience Design and Visual Identity Design.
But what does that mean? How does the team work? How does it make a difference for the rest of the LibreOffice community? Together, we'll have a look at this initiative - what we've achieved so far, how we currently work, and how we may cooperate in the near future to support software development, the website team, and the marketing people.
Even better, take the chance to make LibreOffice a great product - add your ideas, your thoughts and join this talk.

Additional speaker info (none)
Speaker Photo (128x128 PNG) todo insert from:TDF_Noack_Christoph_gray_small.jpg