Thursday Feb 25, 2010

Reminder: Verify OpenSolaris Accounts

Reminder: when we moved from the old tonic database to the new application for account management, all users had to verify their accounts on the new system. That involved logging in, following a couple of prompts, and saving. That's it. Painless. Multiple mails were sent to everyone. But, as is human nature, a few people have still not validated their accounts. So, if you haven't verified your account on the new system, you are now in the Inactive state and that means you won't be able to log in or put back code or vote or post to the forums or edit the site. Just ping website-admin at opensolaris dot org and we'll reset your account. That's a private list, by the way, and we have people in the US, Europe, and Asia managing user accounts so mails only sit on that list for a very short period of time.

Here are more contacts for OpenSolaris Help.

Tuesday Feb 23, 2010

OpenSolaris Lightning: Tokyo Dev Summit

Masafumi Ohta, Hiroshi Chonan, and Hisayoshi Kato did a lightning talk about the Japan OpenSolaris Community at the Tokyo Developers Summit. Japanese video. Good photos. :) 

Contributing to OpenSolaris & XWiki

This is very cool. Robert Antoni, who is a contributor in the OpenSolaris Internationalization & Localization Community, posted mail to website-discuss and i18n-discuss about a really interesting contribution. He localized the XWiki application resources file into the Catalan language. So after that contribution is integrated into XWiki, we'll be able to pick it up when we update our implementation of XWiki as well. And that will help the OpenSolaris community localize into Catalan. So, both communities benefit from Robert's contribution. Really excellent.

Auth is already available in the Catalan language, and the new SCM Console will be as well when we deploy sometime in March. It will be good to have the underlying XWiki interface localized as well.

More information about contributing:

Monday Feb 22, 2010

A New OpenSolaris Voting Application

To make formal voting on the OpenSolaris project painfully easy, Bill Rushmore has been updating the voting application and he deployed the new version today. Voters will no longer need SSH keys since poll is now integrated with the auth database, and voting will be done via a new web front end with encryption so the command line is no longer necessary. Those were the two main complaints previously. So, now voters can just go to, click on a poll (if you are not logged in the system will prompt you to log in), and then point/click on a ballot. Easy.

Poll will be available to current Core Contributors (see recent audit and database clean up mail) for testing for one week. I updated the website project's announcements and roadmap pages. Here is information on all the 15 applications that make up

Friday Feb 12, 2010

Updating the OpenSolaris Participation Page

I'm starting to update the Participation page on by adding context and pointers to Communities, Projects, User Groups, and Subsites that have published contribution documents. In other words, if you run any kind of group in OpenSolaris and take contributions, I'd like to build out a collection of links so we have one place to send people who are new or who may want to review a variety of ways to get involved. It's quite common to trip over new groups in this community that take contributions that I've never even heard of, so from time to time I intentionally go out looking for this information. And since the OpenSolaris community is distributed across many websites and social networks around the world, I'd like to attempt to collect more ways to contribute that are off of But the requirement is focused on contributing. I'm not interested in a massive list of spaces (we already have a million of them), I'm only interested in groups that encourage people to contribute directly to a given project. Send mail to jimgris at sun dot com and I'll update the page if I get some good links.

Wednesday Feb 10, 2010

Who Understands Communities? The Kids.

The 18-29 year olds are different. 'The Empathic Civilization': The Young Pioneers Of The Empathic Generation. And I think it bodes pretty well for the future of emerging international communities of all kinds -- technical, scientific, political, environmental, medical, etc. The article seems focused on American and/or Western people, but I wonder what this generation of kids is like in other parts of the world since culture so significantly affects opinion and action. Regardless. If you want to learn about community you need to get around people who do community. Kids. Oh, and by the way, for those above 40 or so, you don't lead in this situation. You follow. Then after you participate and contribute and earn your way you can lead in your area. But remember, everyone leads and everyone follows. That's what I like about communities. Leaders aren't special and opportunity isn't restricted. The kids seem to know that. Why don't we?

Tuesday Feb 09, 2010

Tokyo2Point0 020810

I went to the Tokyo2Point0 event last night. There were 250 people there with another 150 online, so it was a packed time for sure. Really nice to catch up with a bunch of people. I haven’t been to one of these events in many months. Just been too busy. It was also to good to see Michael Sullivan do a short talk on OpenSolaris as well.

Auth Update: Early

We had planned to update this week, but Alan and Martin finished this phase of the work early and deployed the upgrade last Friday. It's always cool to get something done, tested, and out the door early. This latest version of offers the following changes:
  • New public information screens displaying much more detail about user, collective, and governance relationships (these screens will be accessible via each XWiki Collective in the near future as well).
  • The ability to download the data from the public info screens in multiple formats.
  • New screens in each private user account displaying summary data from all the user's relationships with start and end dates.
  • The addition of eight languages (so Auth is now localized into 25 languages).
  • Some miscellaneous bug fixes and probably some stuff I missed.
Also, some of the elements on the page (headers and footers, basically) are now dawn via a new web service that has also been localized, so as we integrate all of the subsites with we'll start to layer a common look/feel across the entire site. This will take some time and come together in pieces, but the latest step is encouraging. Also, when the new SCM Console at is deployed, it will be localized as well (the first set of localizations is already done). Please note that all of these content localizations are contributions from the i18n/l10n community, so people from around the world are directly helping evolve the site. If the community didn't contribute this work, the site would be in one language: English. So, these contributions are huge. Here's how to contribute site localizations.

And finally there has been a bit of confusion on some lists recently about how the community is organized and the various roles/rights people have on the site. If anyone has any questions, please read the Roles & Collectives document first. It's the only document on the site that explains all the roles and all the collectives and all of the website and governance privileges. Send questions to website-discuss.

Friday Feb 05, 2010

OpenSolaris Rocks Serbia

Here is a nice example from Serbia demonstrating the value of building a local OpenSolaris community. It can lead to some very interesting organizations paying very close attention to what you are doing. Congrats, guys! Some of the OpenSolaris User Groups are doing some really interesting work out there, and they are contributing to the overall community in a very big way.

Building International Communities in Tokyo

Here are two really nice articles in the Japan Times talking about the international tech community in Tokyo:
The articles describe the meta community here, and that's where we OpenSolaris guys hang out. By contributing to the larger community, we've found that the OpenSolaris community here is growing and earning its way right along side everyone else. There are language and culture barriers to overcome, but we all are making a great deal of progress. It's quite common now to find OpenSolaris developers, administrators, and users participating in multiple international communities, which, of course, helps us to learn in return. And the Web 2.0 community is growing in size and diversity as well. Also, since the tech community locally is well connected globally, we can extend our reach around the world by just interacting right here at home. Here's my photo archive as well (mostly Linux & OpenSolaris).

Tuesday Feb 02, 2010

Half Way to Closing the Stage

We said at the October 27, 2009 move to that we`d keep available for 6 months with a snapshot of the content we migrated to the new site in case people needed it as a reference for cleaning up their Collectives. Or if some files didn`t migrate properly, we could do those manually. Or if people just wanted to check formatting. Well, this is a reminder that we are half way though that time period, and will be decommissioned at the end of April 2010. If you need to reference your old content, please do so before that time. We`ll send monthly reminders until the final date. And I can`t believe it`s been three months already. Time flies, having fun, and all that.

Monday Feb 01, 2010

OpenSolaris in India's Digit

Abhishek Kumar, the leader of the Mumbai OpenSolaris User Group in India, surely gets the star of the month for getting OpenSolaris into Digit, India's largest IT magazine. There will be a 100,000 copies of this special 96 page mini book -- "Fast Track to OpenSolaris" -- on Install, ZFS, DTrace, Source Juicer, etc. Check out the contents of the February magazine shipment. Nice to see OpenSolaris on one of the DVDs. See Abhishek's announcement here. Beautiful cover on that mini book, eh?

Sunday Jan 31, 2010

Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group 013010

There were two sessions (beginners/advanced) at the monthly Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group on Saturday:

OpenSolaris Study Group 013010

OpenSolaris Study Group 013010

A third concurrent session will be opened hopefully starting in February or March. More info soon. Subscribe to ug-jposug and ug-tsug to participate.

More info about the OpenSolaris communtiy in Japan here. More OpenSolaris photos here.

The Wonders of Propaganda

How could I not read an article in USA Today with a headline like this? Psychologists: Propaganda works better than you think.

It's true, of course. I find propaganda is a remarkably effective tool, and it's far more sophisticated in democracies than it is in totalitarian societies (see Chomsky here and here and a million other places, and also see David Barstow's reports on the media and the Pentagon -- video, article, article -- for a well-known and recent example). But what I found most interesting in the USA Today piece was the assertion that accurate information may not counteract propaganda very well and actually could help transmit it. If that's true, would it make sense to be more assertive in communications to drive the agenda and then to ignore critics (or at least the vicious and extreme ones)? I suppose this strategy wouldn't necessarily work in all cases, and there are certainly some very effective techniques to deposition attackers. But just tossing out good information in a attempt to thwart the bad stuff may not be a good use of time. Having the good information well documented so you can rapidly point to it for those interested is required, of course, but it's the never-ending iterative arguing that I think I'm done with. I've been trying this for about a year now, and I find it more effective than my earlier pattern of responding to everything in an attempt to change minds. I gave up. Plus, it's not as exhausting.

Propaganda fascinates me. I keep track here:

Saturday Jan 30, 2010

Leadership via Action

So many people claim they lead. Maybe they have a big hairy title or powerful position or know someone special, or maybe they just have lots of cash and feel we should all follow along quietly. There`s even a whole industry of "leadership" with books and seminars and all sorts of guys spinning up what it means to lead. I used to think all that was pretty cool (or interesting to study, anyway), but not any longer. Spotting leadership is simple. Look around the room, look for who`s talking and for who`s doing. Follow the ones doing. Chances are those people won`t bark orders to you, but instead they`ll encourage you to work right along with them and you`ll want to. You see, real leaders don`t duck when things get hot. They don`t get hard to find when things get confusing or uncertain. They don`t tell others what to do, either. They just step up and act because things need to get done. Leadership is demonstrated via action, and anyone can lead because anyone can act. Everything else is chit-chat.

Thursday Jan 28, 2010

OpenSolaris: My Original Pre Launch Email in 2005

Earlier today I was thinking about the original "good luck" email I sent to the OpenSolaris Pilot Community just before we opened the project in June of 2005. Fortunately, the opensolaris-discuss public archive actually goes back 9 months before we launched, so this mail survives in the open and from the other threads you get a glimpse into some of the very earliest conversations taking place when the project was private. Anyway, what strikes me is how different the situation was back then, how utterly conservative we were, and how my thinking has changed as a result of my experiences all along the way. A day after I sent this email, we opened. See my opening blog here, and the result of that opening announcement here. History. Always enlightening.

[osol-discuss] Good Luck and Thank You

Jim Grisanzio Jim.Grisanzio at Sun.COM
Mon Jun 13 17:27:01 PDT 2005

Hello, OpenSource Pilot Community.

I just wanted to chime in before the fur really flies around here:

 Good Luck, and Thank You!

You all deserve Sun's thanks for your efforts and your patience this 
year. It should be wild day tomorrow, for sure, so light up those blogs 
and start talking, guys. The engineers are leading this launch tomorrow, 
make no mistake about it.

Oh, and if you want to bring someone into the program, you \*don't\* have 
to call me and sign another f\*\*\*\*\*\* NDA. Just do it. I can't tell you 
how happy I am to not have to dig out another NDA. Not that I could read 
the damn thing but whatever. It's such a cold way to start a friendly 
little conversation, don't you think? Also, I've tried to honor as many 
of your requests (and those from internal people) as possible to get 
people into the program. We ended up with 145, but quite frankly, dozens 
and dozens of developers never made it in due to lack of time or 
resources. We even had a dozen Chinese engineers all briefed, 
translated, and NDA-signed but couldn't get export control approval in 
time. It drove me nuts for three months. I'm more than a bit pissed 
about that one.

Anyway, I hope you are happy with the results of what we are all 
releasing. The core team here has worked almost non-stop for weeks on 
this to get ready for the final push. We wanted to do more, you know 
that, but hey, look at where we were last year and look at the potential 
tomorrow brings. Also, the OpenSolaris team internally really has been 
genuine in their intentions, I can assure you. At times we've not been 
as open as we could have been -- we get that -- but I hope you believe 
me when I say that many people on the team fought hard on your behalf 
all year long. Every time you told us we were full of shit on something 
we took it to heart and it went up line. There were a few, ah, heated, 
conversations regarding some of the issues that were discussed in the 
pilot. We won some and we lost some, but every time we moved a little 
closer to our goal of openness. As you've seen, this stuff takes time. I 
wish we could have exposed more of that process to you. Next time it 
will probably be easier to do that.

As this program has grown it's garnered attention from all across Sun 
and from Sun's competitors and supporters. Just recently, I've heard 
from executives and engineers traveling to South America and to Asia, 
and they report that there \*absolutely\* is massive community interest 
out there. Even Wall Street has noticed. Some people are probably a bit 
confused since the Solaris community was supposed to be dead by now. 
Well, too bad. It's too late. They lost their window of opportunity to 
crush us. Our next step is to stay positive and to engage the interest 
we know is there, make it tangible, and grow this OpenSolaris community.

In a very real way, you've all been part of something special here. 
You've helped change this company and potentially an entire market along 
the way. Some people may not know this quite yet, but they'll surely 
find out tomorrow. You are some of the most knowledgeable people in the 
world about Solaris, and you've help make OpenSolaris a possibility. 
Congratulations and we'll see you on the other side.


Tuesday Jan 26, 2010

Updating Website Community Space

Spent some time cleaning up the content in the Website Community yesterday. The transition to auth/xwiki is over, so I rewrote a lot of the content we had pointing to the project management docs and moved some content to archive to clean up the nav. I cut the amount of content on the top level page in half. Roadmap & Announcements updated too. Over the last few months, we've accumulated a huge amount of information about the website project and various community processes. Still streamlining. Next needs to address the front page of the site.

Monday Jan 25, 2010

Building Communities by Building Schools

"We don't want our babies to die, and we want our children to go to school"

That's what motivates Greg Mortenson to build communities because that's what women tell him in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They don't want their kids to die. So to help out, Greg builds schools -- in a region of the world that has known only war and poverty for generations. Hear Greg tell his story to Bill Moyers on PBS.

There are many more videos and articles about Greg and his foundations and books. Just a wonderful story all around. Even the highest levels of the U.S Military are now reading his book -- Three Cups of Tea -- and they are listening to him in the field because he knows more about the culture on the ground than most Americans involved in the battle over there. He's not fighting terrorism, tough. He's building community. There's a difference. The first action is defensive, based on fear, and short term. The second is offensive, based on inspiration, and long term. One breaks. The other builds. But this no hand out from some rich guy in the West or even a government program. Greg is not rich and he built his organization from pretty much nothing. And people of modest means -- and kids with pennies! -- create and drive these programs. Not the rich. Not the governments. In this case, individuals make the difference and that's why it's so inspiring. And the schools have to be earned, too. Educational leadership and resources are contributed from the outside, of course, but things are distributed and managed locally as well. Land is given for free and so is labor. This way the local community owns what they build.

This guys knows what he's doing, and he figured it out in real time. I just tripped over him today, but he's been doing this for sixteen years. I will study him closely. Everything he does represents a repeatable model for building community anywhere in the world for any purpose. Think you can't do something? Think it's too hard? You must check this out. Very cool.

Friday Jan 22, 2010

OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210: Photos

Some images from the OpenSolaris Night Seminar in Tokyo earlier this evening with presentations from Junko Yoshida, Mami Sueki, and Shoji Haraguchi. Video from Shoji Haraguchi here.

OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210 OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210

OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210 OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210

OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210 OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210

OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210 OpenSolaris Night Seminar 012210

Hundreds more images from the OpenSolaris community in Japan right here.

Updated XWiki for OpenSolaris

Chris updated our implementation of XWiki yesterday to v2.1.1, which fixes a bunch of bugs we had been living with while using v1.8. The current bug list for hub is on, so please file any issues there. Also note we doubled the number of languages we are supporting with this update (screen of 17 language codes). See the localization page if you want to contribute translations. More website application updates to come: auth, repo, and poll are on tap next. Roadmap here.


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