In Memoriam of John McCreesh & FOSDEM 2016

I was about to write about the main topic of this post, namely FOSDEM 2016 when we learned of the death of someone who was a really nice and gentle human being, John McCreesh. For those who may not know John, it’s important to say that while he was not as famous as Ian Murdock, he was definitely one of the pillars of the community for long years. He served as a volunteer there in various capacities, but mostly as one of the marketing project lead. During his tenure, he had to deal with complicated situations and several challenges. John was, I already wrote it, a gentle human being. He managed to help build and strengthen the community and make it bloom even when times were dire. He was nice, always listening to others, soothing and comforting people around him. John knew the value of peace and moving forward. His origins (he was born in Northern Ireland if I’m not mistaken and his family origins are quite interesting in that regard) and upbringing made him respect anyone who was coming towards him and his welcoming stance gained him many friends and many open source volunteers. In some cases, his generous and kind attitude helped him make people stay in the project even as they had every obvious reasons to leave.

It is not known that John was one of the key people who helped push the LibreOffice project. He had no desire to appear as a leader, and no more time to contribute as his new involvement in the local government left him little time. We have lost a beautiful and precious being – I could sign this with my Document Foundation hat anytime.

Let’s now get back to the original topic: FOSDEM 2016. I will be there at the LibreOffice booth and I’m quite excited about it. I do not yet know if I will have time to attend all the sessions I have bookmarked but below are a few of them. Hopefully we will meet there?
OpenDocument Editors room: an obvious choice. But there are some really nice sessions there, especially if you want to hear about the Android and cloud versions development.
Desktops room: Converged experience with Ubuntu phone apps. This one is going to be popular I think. Have a seat in advance.
Open Source Design devroom: intriguing. I like that these kind of initiatives exist and such talks can take place at FOSDEM.
Security Devroom: there’s the first session about PCI-DSS testing that could be quite good… let’s see.
Guile track: functional package management with Guix could be quite fun. In fact, Guix is really fun and promising I think.
Distros track: the whole track is a must, I will really try to attend it.
– So is the Office track. Seriously, Michael Meeks will introduce you to LibreOffice Cloud version. Just be there!
Virtualization track: microdatacenter with Raspberry pi and Kubernetes. Waow. Much good. Must go. Nice. Super cool.

I hope to see many of you at FOSDEM!

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