Years ago, I became a full-time Ubuntu user and was looking into the options I had for contributing back. Being a Brazilian, one of those options was naturally helping with the Brazilian Portuguese translations.
Shamefully I never went forward with it, but during my brief experience one name caught my attention: André Gondim.
André’s name was literally in every Launchpad translation I tried to help with. I started seeing it in core packages, then in packages of applications I liked, and then in packages I had chosen randomly just to see how omnipresent his name was.
I realized he wasn’t someone who translated applications he personally used or liked: he translated everything he could find, just out of a desire to help. Because of this, me and many others from the Ubuntu community greatly admired him despite not knowing him personally.
Likewise, me and many others from the Ubuntu community were deeply saddened when we learned that Gondim passed away yesterday due to health complications he had fought against a great part of his life.
And because many of the blog posts written about him today are in Brazilian Portuguese, I decided to write this article in OMG! Ubuntu! to translate those feelings to a greater audience. This seems like an adequate tribute to someone who dedicated so much of his time to translating Ubuntu.
André started as a translator and the volume of his contributions came to a point where it became very difficult to find a Brazilian member of the Ubuntu community who didn’t hear about him.
Such volume wasn’t ignored by the Community Council, who was quite fast in approving him as an Ubuntu Member:
<sabdfl> +1 from me on the back of a strong track record in translations
<dholbach> wow… definitely +1 from me too
<dholbach> MikeB-, elmo?
He eventually rose to leader of the Brazilian Translations Team and member of the Brazilian Community Council.
He maintained a blog, where he shared tips and tutorials, and was a constant presence in Free Software events and symposiums, where he gave courses and lectures. Those who knew him personally always emphasize how he was a passionate advocate and, above all, a great human being.
Gondim leaves a wife, a family, a huge number of friends, and an uncountable amount of people who benefited from his work.
I hope this article encourage others to follow in his footsteps and contribute, because filling the gap that he leaves will definitely not be easy.