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Apache OpenOffice 4.1.4 released

Spotlight: On Developers and Technology

Spotlight 14: Gianluca Turconi

2001 September 11

Editor's note. This biography was written well before Gianluca initiated his Marketing project proposal.


I am 29 years old. I have studied law at the Catholic university in Milan, Italy. Currently, my main job is writing, either novels (I am not too famous, however. Fortunately, I succeed in selling them, anyway) or strictly legal material.

Well, I began using the OpenOffice.org suite after the 625 release. I was looking for an application that was suitable to an independent professional man who primarily worked in his home office. Openoffice.org was what I was looking for. I have to add that OpenOffice.org helps me in what I normally do in my life, and has created new Job opportunities for me, but it has also disclosed new perspectives to me for the future. In fact, with it, I approached for the first time the Open Source world and I have been fascinated with its philosophy. If on one side I was surprised to see so many persons working for free, on the other, I think I have understood their motivations. Everybody contributed to the achievement of a result not for personal or selfish interest, but to give something unique to the world. This is what I intend for progress of the human kind: effective tools to satisfy our own demands at contained or, even better, no costs. This is the same idea that Henry Ford had in his mind while he was building his automobiles, but it has been transported to planetary level! From this realization, I'm widening my own job. I have started to search the Italian and European laws about this subject and I have discovered that too many difficulties still exist in my country for the diffusion of the Open Source concept and that people are needed who will work to eliminate them.

I discovered the existence of OpenOffice.org almost by chance. I was reading a specialized magazine of the computer sector when I saw an image that attracted my attention. It represented the butterfly that is the logo of StarOffice. The title of the article said: ' StarOffice is finally free! '. I continued to read, discovering what OpenOffice.org was. The first time that I visited its website, I told myself: ' No, I don't have anything to give to this community'. In fact, I don't have any C++ experience and I thought that there was no space for me here. If I had followed that first impression, probably I would have lost a great adventure. Instead, I wondered what skills of mine could serve the community. I can speak three languages, besides Italian, and I have a 18 months experience as StarOffice user. I added the two things and I looked for a project that was right for me. Initially, I had chosen the project of localization, which still interests me a lot, but then, when the user FAQs project was founded, I realized that was the better solution. Now, the original project has been widened into and Documentation one and I am even surer of my choice. Here, I can share with other users my experience. I teach and I learn at the same time.

If I can add a thing before concluding my discourse, I would say to all those people who want to participate in the OpenOffice.org community, but they felt themselves inadequate to the task: "Folks, every person is unique with his skills and defects. Our community wants to merge the former ones to archive a common aim and it could miss just your contribution to reach it. So, try before giving in!." That's all.

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