Friday Feb 05, 2010

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 hub.opensolaris.org that we`d keep stage.opensolaris.org 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 stage.opensolaris.org 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: http://blogs.sun.com/jimgris/tags/propaganda

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.

Jim

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 defect.opensolaris.org, 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.

Wednesday Jan 20, 2010

Community Leadership Summit: July 2010, Portland

Great to see the 2nd annual Community Leadership Summit booked for July 17th & 18th in Portland, Oregon. I was at the first CLS event last year in San Jose. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot as well. And I saw a bunch of OpenSolaris people participating by running sessions, too. If you build communities -- which means you run user groups, drive communications programs, create contribution mechanisms, manage engineering operations, host community infrastructure, evangelize the benefits of engaging, or contribute in other ways directly -- then you are a leader (leadership by doing, I mean), and the community would benefit from your experience. This is not a traditional conference where only a select few present. Instead, everyone can present. Check it out.

Sunday Jan 17, 2010

2 New OpenSolaris Website Translation Projects

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 information. Subscribe to i18n-discuss. Thanks.

Friday Jan 15, 2010

OpenSolaris Night Seminar, January 22, Tokyo

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.

Wednesday Jan 13, 2010

The Necessity of Making Mistakes

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 right. 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.

Tuesday Dec 22, 2009

OpenSolaris at the 2010 Japan Developer Summit

The OpenSolaris Community will participate at 2010 Japan Developer Summit in Tokyo February 18-19. Subscribe to ug-jposug and ug-tsug for more information.

OpenSolaris 2010.03 Translation Cycle Continues

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.

Saturday Dec 19, 2009

Updating Common Content: opensolaris.org

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:

  • Website Roles & Collectives (Updated):
    Start here to understand the context around all of the roles in all of the collectives on the site (including the elusive Electorate) and who has Website Privileges, Administrative Privileges, Source Code Repository Privileges, and Governance Privileges. It's all on one page.
  • Website User Guide (New):
    An outline of the essential tasks most users perform on the site based on the roles they hold and the collectives in which they participate.
  • Localizing Website Content (New):
    An emerging contribution model to translate all the content on the website.
  • Website Infrastructure Life Cycles (Updated):
    How community members can acquire new website infrastructure, and how that infrastructure is managed throughout various life cycles. All the spaces on the site have slightly different acquisition processes, but everything is documented on one page.
  • How to Participate (Updated):
    There are many ways to participate in the OpenSolaris Community. Advocate for the community, contribute code, report bugs, translate content, help new users get involved, port and maintain packages, write documentation, start user groups. How would you like to participate? Tell us.

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.

For updates, check the current roadmap (which we are building now). The 2009 roadmap has been updated and is final. Also, I will keep the announcements page up to date as we move into the new year.

Friday Dec 18, 2009

OpenSolaris Hot Topics Seminar in Tokyo 121909

I stopped by the OpenSolaris Hot Topics Seminar in Jingumae tonight ...

OpenSolaris Hot Topics 121909 OpenSolaris Hot Topics 121909

OpenSolaris Hot Topics 121909 OpenSolaris Hot Topics 121909

Here are the presentations and videos from the event from Shoji Haraguchi. Japanese language only. See Shoji's YouTube space for more OpenSolaris videos.

OpenSolaris at Tokyo Charity Event

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.

Monday Dec 14, 2009

OpenSolaris: 3 Community Events This Week

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.

Saturday Dec 12, 2009

Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group 121209

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:

Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group

Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group

Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group

Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group Tokyo OpenSolaris Study Group

 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.

Monday Dec 07, 2009

OpenSolaris at FOSS.IN 2009

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.

Thursday Dec 03, 2009

Localizing OpenSolaris Website Content

Now that we've moved to XWiki, we should go about the business of localizing more of the OpenSolaris website. This is going to take a while and 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:

1. Auth

Auth is already localized into 17 languages thanks to the contributions of the OpenSolaris community using the Sun Open CTI tool. In a few weeks, we will update auth, and then after that the community will be able to update the localizations for auth as well. The process of localizing auth is well known now, and we'll just move ahead as we have in the past. Auth is most important in this process because the more languages we can localize auth.opensolaris.org into the more languages we can offer on our implementation of XWiki at hub.opensolaris.org. Remember, hub is integrated with auth and part of that integration means that language preferences are set in auth.

2. XWiki

XWiki currently supports 21 languages in the base application. Now, if you go to the OpenSolaris website and edit a page, you will see the following text in the right navigation bar:
Document translations
You are editing the original document.
Translate this document in: cs de en es fr pl ru zh
Here'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.

Now, here's the challenging and/or confusing part from a social point of view. hub.opensolaris.org is not a wiki where anyone can edit and translate anything. The site is actually comprised of many applications and many spaces, but all of the content basically fits into three big sections:
  1. Common Content: This content includes the front page, project overview, FAQ center, roadmaps, site map, downloads, Collectives overview and navigation, navs, header/footer spaces and documents, style sheets, etc. Sun's Website Team manages the common content on hub.opensolaris.org, and requests to update and translate this information can be made on website-discuss. Contact information here.
  2. Collective Content: This is all the content inside all the hundreds of Collectives on the site -- Community Groups, Projects, User Groups. Leaders of those Collectives are responsible for managing their own content and for providing edit privileges to their community members. Contact information here.
  3. Subsites Content:This is all the content on the dozen or so applications, sometimes called subsites, that provide services to users and developers, such as cr.os.org (code review), jucr.os.org (source juicer), pkg.os.org (package), test.os.org (test), etc. And each subsite has an owner. The site map has more details. Contact information here.
So, you can only translate content where you have privileges to edit in the first place, and the site gets all that user access data from auth, which is set up to implement the structure of the community as specified in the OpenSolaris Constitution. It's actually not as complicated as it sounds (although it needs to get easier over time, we all know that). Here are the Roles and Collectives
we built into the new site, and that should be enough to explain the basic structure without having to read the entire Constitution. Basically, if you have edit privileges to your own areas on the site and you want to translate some content, then go translate content. Just do it. But if you want to translate content in an area of the site where you don't already have edit privileges, then you should contact the Leaders in those areas and ask them if they would be interested in having their stuff localized and if they would give you the appropriate editorial privileges to do that work. Can you imagine people saying no to that request? I can't. And the manual process of going out and talking to people will only increase the number of interactions community members will have with each other. That can only be good.

3. Subsites

The subsites should to get localized at some point, too. This can be accomplished in three steps:
  1. First, the website engineering team will build a backend web application to serve all the common graphical elements of the OpenSolaris website to all the subsites, so that includes the headers, footers, wordmarks, logos, icons, etc. This way, the entire website can have a common look and feel (as much as possible given that there are many applications involved). Also, the benefit of this concept becomes clear when we have to update common elements of the site or add new translations or templates. Then all of the subsites will be updated as well and those owners don't have to worry about keeping in sync with the rest of the site. Over time, all of the sites that make up opensolaris.org will look and feel more like one site (with single sign on via auth, of course). That's the goal anyway.
  2. Second, the OpenSolaris community will be able to localize all the content for that web application, and when we are ready we'll make it available via the Open CTI tool. So, even embedded text in icons will be translated.
  3. Third, OpenSolaris community members can contact the subsite owners and offer to translate that content, which can then be uploaded to each subsite by the Leaders.

Contribute Right Now

So, to sum up a bit, if you have language translations skills, here's how you can contribute to this crazy website localization effort:
  • Localize content in the areas that you already have privileges to edit.
  • Ask other Leaders in other Collectives if they would like you to localize their content. 
  • If you are a Leader of a Collective and you are not involved in localization and want your content translated, post to i18n-discuss and ask the Internationalization & Localization Community.
  • Ask the Website Team if they`d like the common content on the site localized. The answer is yes, by the way. We have updated a great deal of the site's common content (FAQs and such), and we continue to do so. So check with us first so we can remain in sync as much as possible.
  • Add more languages to auth via Open CTI by translating the auth resources file. Ask questions on i18n-discuss (subscribe here, archives here, forum here, blog here). A new auth resources file is coming soon.
  • Add more languages directly to the XWiki application at l10n.xwiki.org by translating the XWiki ApplicationResources file. NOTE: WE NEED A JAPANESE TRANSLATION OF THIS FILE! It's a big deal and would represent a gigantic contribution to the XWiki community as well as the OpenSolaris community. I am talking with the XWiki community about this as well (see thread beginning here and running about 15 messages). Currently, XWiki does not support Japanese (ja) among its list of 21 supported languages (it supports Japanese language text displayed on pages, of course, but not at the application resources level with menu and icons and the URL). Subscribe to the xwiki users list here.
  • Content translations are major contributions to this community. We take them seriously. Please read and sign the Sun Contributor Agreement (FAQ here), so everyone's rights are understood and protected. Here's more on contributing to OpenSolaris.

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

Posted to i18n-discuss at opensolaris dot org (here, here). Join the conversation there.

Tuesday Dec 01, 2009

Blogs, Blogs, Blogs

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.

Updates: Contacts, Help, OSUGs, Collectives

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.

Thursday Nov 26, 2009

Tokyo's Biggest Tech Party Ever: December 17, 2009

A dozen international communities will be coming together in mid December for "Tokyo's Biggest Tech Party Ever" (info here, 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 Ships OpenSolaris on the Mini

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?

Wednesday Nov 25, 2009

BarCamp Yokohama: Fall 2009 Photos

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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Tuesday Nov 24, 2009

O`Reilly Make Tokyo: Fall 2009 Photos

Monday was a holiday here in Japan so I went to the O`Reilly Make Conference and saw some of my Tokyo Hackerspace friends there -- among thousands of other Japanese Makers. Really good time.

Make: Tokyo, Fall 2009 Make: Tokyo, Fall 2009

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Make Magazine | My photos in Make blog (cool) | Make Conference News Video (Japanese)

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