LibreOffice Hamburg Hackfest 2018 After Action Report and: Where’s next?

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, it ain’t nothin’ honey, if it ain’t free

— Janis Joplin singing “Me and Bobby McGee” by Kris Kristofferson

Years ago, I opened one of the first LibreOffice Hackfests in Hamburg with the motto inscribed in the Hamburg city hall: “Libertatem⁠ quam peperere maiores digne studeat servare posteritas”. This year, the LibreOffice Hackfest came back to Hamburg: to the office of freiheit.com.

freiheit
Carolin, Jessica and Lena from freiheit.com helping me opening the Hackfest
(c) 2018 Thorsten Behrens. All rights resevered.

If your German is as good as your Latin, you will find some common ground between those facts about the 2013 and 2018 Hackfests: freedom.

On the other hand, a lot has changed: For one, the 2018 one more explicitly invited the local LibreOffice community too to support a better exchange of ideas between non-code and code contributors. This was natural in the earlier days, when the project was smaller, but now is something we need to have actively focus on.

Even more importantly, this was the first “Hackfest: the next Generation” and we had two mentors sponsored by the Document Foundation to help contributors to improve LibreOffice in ways they deem important: Armin Le Grand from CIB and Miklos Vajna from Collabora. Armin worked with Regina on layers in Draw, a topic Regina requested as a topic for the Hackfest. Miklos helped a lot of contributors with a wide set of issues, his own report has the details.

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Armin and Regina churning away on layers in LibreOffice Draw.
(c) 2018 Bjoern Michaelsen. All rights resevered.
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Miklos on one of his many mentoring missions in Hamburg.
(c) 2018 Bjoern Michaelsen. All rights resevered.

Of course, there was a lot more going on, and Mike has written an excellent overview of all the good things that happened.

Personally, I was extremely pleased with these results and think the “Hackfest: the next generation” format should be repeated. The question is: Where? The key to answer that question is finding a location that will be attended by people who profit from mentoring the way those that worked with Miklos and Armin in Hamburg did.

So if you think: “A Hackfest is an awesome thing and I want one in my local community”, collect ideas that people — existing and future contributors — who would attend are interested in working on. Reginas reply (linked above) is an excellent example of how to do that.

If there are topics to work on, a local Hackfest should be easy to support. I will likely call for such proposals again soon, but should you already have concrete topics and locations you want to share, dont hesitate to send them to Board Discuss on your own initiative. Rest assured we will welcome them!

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Hackfest or Barcamp? Your Call!
(c) 2018 Bjoern Michaelsen. All rights resevered.

Finally: Thanks again to freiheit.com for hosting us!

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