By jimgris on Feb 05, 2010
- Japan's techies strive to bridge culture gap (January 2010)
- Tokyo 2.0 a buzzing hub for online communities, entrepreneurs (April 2009)
There were two sessions (beginners/advanced) at the monthly Tokyo OpenSolaris
Study Group on Saturday:
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: http://blogs.sun.com/jimgris/tags/propaganda
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.
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
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. Jim
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.
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.
The latest version of auth.opensolaris.org is now in the Community Translation Interface for a localization update, and we are also now starting to localize repo.opensolaris.org as well. Because of many community contributions recently, auth.opensolaris.org already lives in 17 languages. It will be good to get the SCM Console at repo.opensolaris.org localized into a bunch of languages via the same process as we continue updating that application in the coming months. See the announcement from Ales on i18n-discuss for details about contributing to these these two website projects.
The localization of opensolaris.org -- which is
currently 15 applications -- will come together over time and in
various stages. But I really would like all of it localized into at
least two dozen languages by the end of this year. Should be doable.
So, if you are interested in participating, I wrote an outline about
how we are breaking this into pieces and how you can get involved: Localizing
Website Content. I will update the document as the project evolves.
See the Internationalization
& Localization Community for even more projects and
to i18n-discuss. Thanks.
Shoji Haraguchi just announced the next OpenSolaris Night Seminar in Tokyo. It will be on January 22nd in Jingumae. On tap will be Crossbow and Solaris Containers. Register early. These seminars generally fill up pretty quickly, and there's only room for about 100 people in the room. You know, we really could use some bigger conference rooms to hold these events. Lots of people are interested in OpenSolaris in Tokyo. See you there.
Nice article on the brain biology behind how scientists actually create science. Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up. Recognizing anomalies, making mistakes, being challenged, and engaging in conversation are all critically important elements that make science work. Context and perspective matter greatly as well. Seems all very human to me. I`m not so much interested in the brain chemistry that influences behavior in science (you can see this in partisan politics as well), but what fascinates me more is the notion that with this awareness you can dig yourself out of the natural traps that catch most people, and that can lead to new opportunities that only a few generally see.
From the article:
Modern science is populated by expert insiders, schooled in narrow disciplines. Researchers have all studied the same thick textbooks, which make the world of fact seem settled. This led Kuhn, the philosopher of science, to argue that the only scientists capable of acknowledging the anomalies — and thus shifting paradigms and starting revolutions — are “either very young or very new to the field.” In other words, they are classic outsiders, naive and untenured. They aren’t inhibited from noticing the failures that point toward new possibilities.
The "acknowledging the anomalies" bit from Thomas Kuhn is
key. It may enable
you to jump
paradigms or start revolutions, which is very cool, but in the process
it also gets you a lot of knives
buried deeply in your back. So acknowledge carefully. More than a few
people have ended up dead challenging paradigms throughout the ages.
Granted, the deaths are at the extreme, but why go through all that if
it`s not necessary. Start small. Pick off what you can. Even though
most people usually can't change the paradigms in which they live, they
can change the small things in their world by recognizing and resolving
anomalies that crop up every day. Then,
hopefully, over time the small changes add up to big changes. And
when you are focusing on this process, you are more apt to spot big
paradigm shifts coming along and you can jump when the opportunity is
So, don`t be afraid to poke around and change your position and screw
up from time to time. Failure
is important. It helps you succeed.
It's cool to see the localization of the OpenSolaris distribution moving right along with contributions going directly into the development builds. [i18n-discuss] The 2nd translation cycle of OpenSolaris 2010.03.
Since the transition to the Auth and XWiki applications in August and October, the website team has been updating (editing, deleting, moving, merging, rewriting) the majority of common content on the site -- all the stuff around the edges, the stuff not in Communities, Projects, User Groups, or Subsites. We're making good progress on these updates now as well as maintaining various project management documents for the website transition. Here is the initial list of two dozen files we updated recently. More coming. Send questions/suggestions to website-discuss. File bugs at defect.opensolaris.org.
Here are the most important content updates in this round:
After the winter break, we'll address more content issues (including the front page of the site), we'll deploy significant updates to the Auth and XWiki applications (both are being tested now), and we'll start working on some graphical and navigation issues across the site. Looking forward to it. We're making solid progress now, and we have a pretty good plan to continually evolve the site to support OpenSolaris engineering operations and community development programs around the world.
The OpenSolaris community in Japan participated at a charity event last night -- Tokyo's Biggest Tech Party Ever. I don't know if it was the biggest ever, but there were 400 people there throughout the evening from over a dozen tech communities in the city. Michael Sullivan, who leads the Tokyo OSUG and who got us involved in the event, auctioned off a bag stuffed full of OpenSolaris and Glassfish items (shirts, CDs, books, mice, pens, pads, hats, and whatever else we could find). Good time. Some images.
Members of the OpenSolaris Community in Japan will be participating in three community events this week Tokyo's Biggest Tech Party Ever (A Charity Event), OpenSolaris Hot Topics Seminar, and the Tokyo Linux User Group's Technical Meeting & Bonenkai.
Should be a pretty busy week to end the year around here. I'll take
some images. If you are in the area, stop by. After that I am taking a
couple of weeks off -- no email, no cell phone, no Internet, no
nothing. Just fresh air.
I stopped by the Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group meeting in Yoga today. The guys were running two consecutive sessions on ZFS, Solaris Internals, and Driver Development. Good turn out for a Saturday afternoon, too. About 35 people came to the sessions with another 30 or so contributing on IRC at #opensolaris-jp on Freenode. Here are some images:
The Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group grew out of the Japan OpenSolaris
User Group. Here are some links to more information about the OpenSolaris
community in Japan. And here is a stash of several years of images from OpenSolaris in Japan.
Sriram Narayanan posted some nice updates to advocacy-discuss the other day (here, here, here, here) from FOSS.IN in Bangalore.
It's excellent when people post mail like this to the community list
when they are out at conferences because it leads to discussion around
the world and helps generate ideas for the future. Connecting
communities globally is just as important as building them locally.
Here are some FOSS.IN images from Kumar Abhishek. See the Bangalore OpenSolaris Community here. And, of course, the BeleniX distribution goes here. I couldn't make it to FOSS.IN again this year. Bummed. Maybe next year.
Now that we've moved to XWiki, we should
about the business of
localizing more of the OpenSolaris website. This is going to take a
it will require work from the community and from the website
engineering team. It may also require some people from Sun and the
OpenSolaris community getting directly involved in the XWiki community,
which could prove interesting as the communities
benefit from each other's contributions. It's a big opportunity all
around, and hopefully we'll be able to build more OpenSolaris
development communities around the world by simply speaking more
languages on our website. There will be multiple steps involved to
localize everything, but at least we have some tools in place and a
much better platform from which to build some interesting localization
projects. So, here are the big three buckets:
Document translationsHere's what it looks like in a screen shot. Those eight languages represent the intersection between localizations supported on auth.opensolaris.org and those supported by the XWiki application itself. It's important that we build out that intersection so we can enable more languages on hub.opensolaris.org for the community to localize more general OpenSolaris content. So, when you click on a language code in that nav, certain elements on the screen will immediately change to that language, and the URL will change to language=[whatever language you chose]. After you translate and save the page, the right nav bar in edit mode will display the language code, and also at the top right side of the page the new language code (among whatever other translations are there) will display with a little flag icon. That tells users the page is localized into any number of languages. Pretty basic but we didn't have this capability on the old site.
You are editing the original document.
Translate this document in: cs de en es fr pl ru zh
What do you think? I certainly don't have this all figured out yet, but that's enough to start. On the old site, we started this project with the Portals, but that was a very temporary effort to fix a site that didn't support localization. Auth and XWiki do support localization (see XWiki's application evaluation here), so now we can move much faster on these early steps. Even longer term, we'd like to develop a system to automate some of this so we can do bulk translations and publish those documents automatically. One thing at a time
A couple of weeks ago we had a conversation on website-discuss (here, here) about some features of the new website that were not directly moved and/or replaced from the old site. Much of the discussion involved blogs. Put simply, blog aggregation on the site changed because the website application changed. We migrated to an entirely new application, one that offers substantially more benefits over the old one. But as a result, some of what was on the old site was not replaced (or may be replaced in new/better ways in the future). One item on that list was the old (badly broken) blog aggregation system we had at the top level of the old site. Some people have been concerned that we no longer have the ability to collect blogs on the new site. Not true. Here's a better way to look at it:
Before the migration to XWiki:
opensolaris.org used to have three levels of blog aggregation: (1) blogs collected at the top level of the site, (2) blogs collected inside Community and Project spaces, and (3) blogs collected at planet.opensolaris.org. That was nice, I suppose, but probably a bit over the top. Also, the processes for deciding what blogs to aggregate was distributed among the owners of each of the spaces on the site, all the mechanisms to collect the feeds were manual, and community members had no way to offer their feeds into a centralized database. But we poked along with what we had.
After the migration to XWiki:
The new opensolaris.org does not have a top level blog aggregation feature. But Collective Leaders, Affiliates, and Developers can still add blog feeds to their Communities, Projects, and User Groups and planet.opensolaris.org remains the same as it always has been. Also, we are exploring ways of providing a centralized blog feed directory via the site's new Auth database, so that blogs can be easily aggregated in Collective spaces or on planet.opensolaris.org or externally with whoever wants them. I like this idea a lot (via Alan Burlison) because it keeps the decision making process of what feeds to collect directly with the people closest to the action: Collective Leaders.
I do not support a top level blog aggregation system for all blogs in the OpenSolaris world because before you know it you have thousands of blogs, most of which have owners who are not necessarily directly involved in the community on the site. Then it all becomes too big and the value drops rapidly. It's too much centralization. That's what happened with the old system. And although some people have complained that they miss the old feature, I got a heck of a lot more complaints about it when it was live. Complaint #1 was that I was taking any blog off the street that mentioned OpenSolaris in any way whatsoever and that was diluting the overall content too much because too many of the bloggers weren't really involved in the community. Point taken. Also, I don't support the notion of screening blogs at the top level of the site because that makes the website team judge and jury as to who gets collected -- and that is most certainly not our role. We should be pushing content and projects and decisions into the Collectives where people are actively working their stuff and where they have edit privileges to their own spaces on the site.
Anyway, in the mean time, Collective Leaders, Affiliates, and Developers can add blog feeds via the XWiki RSS macro. Just edit a page, click on the macro tab at the top left of the edit box, scroll to select the RSS macro, and enter the data in the fields provided.
It's amazing how fast content goes stale. Man. Just give it a little time and it's toast. Fortunately, now that we are running XWiki it makes updating stuff jet fast (and it will be even better when we move to XW2). I like XWiki markup, too. It's just simple.
I updated about 20 pages with little nits here and there last week, and the more I look the more I find in need of updating. Over the next couple of weeks we have to update the FAQs, Roadmap, and Website Project substantially to give people a better idea about the current website plans now that the Auth and XWiki transitions are complete. More on those later.
I rewrote the Contacts and Help pages, too. I think these pages should be merged, though. I don't see any need to have both, but since they are currently separate I tried to write around that for now.
And, of course, the OSUG leaders table
remains in constant motion. I added several new OSUGs this last week or
so. User Groups come and go in waves, but the OSUG community remains
one of the most active groups on the entire site.
I also updated the Collective Life Cycle Instructions with a lot more detail and some important footnotes (especially the need to choose unique names for Collectives and the distinction between names and titles). The more I set up Collectives on the new site the more I find to document. Website infrastructure can be activated, deactivated, reactivated, transitioned, and terminated so I flushed out the document with more specifics for community leaders going through each phase. I am trying to make that document comprehensive so at least we have one place to send people for everything related to Collective life cycles. Even after the transition to the new site, which involved deleting and merging many documents, we are still way too fat on opensolaris.org. We have too many overlapping process documents that confuse people, so we are still trimming those down. Making progress.
A dozen international communities will be coming together in mid December for "Tokyo's
Biggest Tech Party Ever" (info here,
It's a charity event to benefit Room to Read. About 300 people are expected to gather in Roppongi, but I bet the number grows higher than that as the date approaches. I know a pile of OpenSolaris guys will be going, and I'll go for sure. I can imagine that thousands of very interesting photographs and videos will emerge from this gig, so I will shoot a set of photos myself. Here are some of the communities participating:
The international tech community in Tokyo is obviously a community of communities, and there is certainly some overlap in membership as well. But intentionally creating mega social events like this to bring multiple groups together has significant value because the more we mix as communities the more we learn from each other. To me, that's one of the core values of BarCamp as well. You build your own community locally, you then connect that community globally, and while you are doing that you intentionally mix with other communities so you remain flush with new ideas.
Toshiba now ships OpenSolaris on the mini NB200 (Intel Atom), which goes right along with OpenSolaris on the Portégé R600 and the Tecra M10. I have the M10. I hope to get light and thin with the mini soon (it's less than 3 pounds and under an inch thick so it fits right in your shirt pocket). This is really great news. OpenSolaris is getting more popular on these Netbooks, so the opportunity can only be huge. But I've been so busy lately, I totally missed this announcement. Right now Toshiba ships the OpenSolaris laptops to the US and the UK. When will they go global?
Multiple international communities came together for another BarCamp here in Japan last weekend, this time at the Yokohama International School about a half hour south of Tokyo. Back in May we organized a BarCamp in Tokyo, and I think we`ll do more of these events after this Yokohama effort. This BarCamp model for conference organizing is interesting and extremely efficient because it`s a flat structure and distributes tasks widely: everyone organizes, everyone participates, and the schedule is built live on site. Some OpenSolaris guys were there, and we gave out OpenSolaris t-shirts and CDs and other items. The theme for the event was 21st Century Education. Special thanks to kurisuteen for leading. Great event.
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