Absent but Present
by Carlos Rodriguez, Editor, Spanish Joomla Magazine
We achieved a magazine entirely in Spanish! Undoubtedly big words, or at least at that moment they sounded really big. But they were words that made my ears resound and raised my desire to work for the first time in a community project. This effect on me was produced by a person who I admire greatly, but above all respect. His name: Manuel Rubio.
Manuel is the type of person who in my opinion, you want to have at any Open Source project. It has to be Open Source, otherwise the "man does not accept any proposal", because that is the main condition. Despite being an older person, he adapts very easily to constant changes in this troubled world we have today. Moreover, he has some wild ideas which at times made me think he had traveled to the future and came back to tell us what would happen.
I remember those times when we were "conspiring" to get the magazine in Spanish ready. There were endless chats between him, Guillermo Bravo and myself. But most interesting of all is that after a long time talking about that, Guillermo and Manuel stayed on talking about many other issues which were new to me, and all I could do was read what he was typing in the chat window. I always tried to say something, but could not. The man silenced me with his well-founded opinions.
For me, Manuel was always the driving spark. He never tired, and always had time, but not because he didn't do anything else. It was quite the opposite, because he had responsibilities as a husband, social responsibilities, etc., but somehow he found the time we all wish we could find in the 24 hours of a day, to pursue what he likes most: Joomla and its community.
Like all human beings, he is not perfect. He has his own vision and criteria for anything in which he is involved, because fortunately or unfortunately, he does not involve himself in anything lightly. He documents and practices, over and over again, so that his every opinion is well-founded. Surely this can cause discomfort in many people, and I confess at times has caused me a great headache. But it was all done on the basis of friendship. There were never any fights or anything like that. I always tried to say something, but could not. The man silenced me with his well-founded opinions.
Manuel has many different experiences at the professional level: ceramist craftsman, entrepreneur, designer, art gallery manager, director of marketing, sales teams coordinator ... among many other skills. You see, with this background, how could he not be the driving spark. This phrase comes to my mind: "When I grow up, I want to be like him."
He discovered Joomla in 2008, when he was looking for a tool that would facilitate the creation of websites. From the moment that he realized that Joomla is guided by a community, he did not think twice. Since then, he gradually gained confidence, through his desire and interest to make the Joomla community, and especially the Hispanic Joomla Community, grow. That is why he helped in the Hispanic Magazine, and why he joined in translating the documentation of Joomla. In fact he is the coordinator of the Spanish language, a faithful member of the Barcelona JUG, co-founder of the J!Plus project, tester of the new features of joomla... The list is very long if I add all the ideas that he wants to see visualized in the project.
You see my friend, even though you are no longer with us, I speak in the present tense because although you are absent, your ideas and actions will always be present.
by Alice Grevet, Co-Editor, Joomla Community Magazine
Manuel was a driving force in the birth of the Spanish Joomla Community Magazine, exactly two years ago. The effort was led by Carlos Rodriguez and Guillermo Bravo as well, but Manuel and I shared a time zone. That made him a lifeline in the coordination of transforming an entirely English website into Spanish. And we did it communicating in French the whole time!
In our long Skype chats throughout that process, I discovered a man with a great sense of humor, strong opinions, and an ability to work long hard hours on a project. He never dropped the ball, and faithfully communicated information to his team mates. Sometimes we didn’t see eye to eye, but it was always easy to pick up where we left off, with no hurt feelings. Criticism from Manuel never felt personal. We got a lot done.
I was thrilled when project funds came through to send him to the Joomla World Conference in Boston in 2013, and I was very pleased to get to meet him. In person he was more soft spoken and smiled a lot more than I had expected. Manuel had an elegance that came from inside.
It is hard to think that Manuel is no longer with us. He made us all better, and we are really going to miss him.
Manuel’s own words, taken from the 2013 Spanish magazine launch interview, send a beautiful message of who he was, and what he thought:
“This kind of group work requires patience, generosity and objectivity, in addition to managing your time and work effort. It is important to be able to listen to the opinions of others and choose the best option regardless of your point of view. I really consider it a personal and group exercise that helps us to know how to live better in the world.”
“Joomla brings together two things I love: technology, and the opportunity to give of myself.”
Rest in peace, mon ami.