Wednesday Oct 08, 2008

GNOME.Asia in China

Nice to see more open source conferences going to China. I can easily see that in the future the vast majority of my work will be done with significant connections to China. I'm especially interested in the China, Japan, Korea relationships, actually. Also great to see Sun sponsoring of the conference, and Sun engineers participating with technical sessions and community building talks.

Sunday Sep 28, 2008

Deathbed

Shock headlines and unsubstantiated assertions. That's what you'll find in this InfoWorld piece on OpenSolaris -- Is Sun Solaris on its deathbed? It's an unfortunate article because it's so obviously unbalanced, and it's sad to see the New York Times undermine its credibility by just reprinting the darn thing. But that's ok. The community can talk back now. There are many comments challenging the conclusions in the article right in the comments section, as well as some pointing to some legitimate issues on the project. I appreciate that. That's all welcome conversation. And I see other conversations about the article taking place on opensolaris.org, OSNews, LWN.net, and Slashdot. There is bound to be more of this back and forth in the media, but I think one of the better summary posts on the Linux vs OpenSolaris issue was written earlier in the year by Stephen O'Grady at Redmonk.

In general, there are certainly many things to criticize about the OpenSolaris project -- as there are about any project -- but this "death" bit that comes up from time to time seems way over the top, don't you think? I've commented about these issues so many times before I can't even remember, as have many others too. The only thing I'd say about the article is that I'm happy the Linux community is doing well, I think we can still learn a great deal from Linux about how they build community, and I think the real market battle is between all the Unix's and Windows. I hang out with the Linux guys in Tokyo, and I'm now trying to get to know the Linux guys in Beijing. It's great to be part of international groups like these two and others that openly welcome me and anyone who wants to participate. I see BSD guys in these communities. I see Ruby guys. MySQL and PosgresSQL. Java. OpenOffice. NetBeans. Eclipse. Web 2.0. Perl. Creative Commons. Etc. It seems to me that should be the model here -- communities getting together to share ideas about engineering, community development, and open source software.

Meanwhile, on the OpenSolaris project I think things have been looking up for a while now after some rough patches last year. We keep releasing source and binaries and building community around the world. We are also making progress on fixing some of our mistakes as well. See Simon on getting open, Bonnie on contributions, David on build 98, Tim on the future, the SCM project on infrastructure, Chris on the new wiki, Alan on the webapp, the OGB on the reorg, and Sun on Solaris. And there's much more, of course. Some really good stuff going on. It's hardly perfect, sure, but it's certainly far from death. And to all of those people out there doing all this hard work with passion and dedication for the technology and community they love, I'd say some of us are pretty jazzed about the future we are building.

Wouldn't you agree?

Thursday Sep 25, 2008

Beijing OpenSolaris User Group

And to wrap up the day, we did a session at the Beijing OpenSolaris User Group. Great to meet everyone!

Beijing Jiaotong University

I went to Beijing Jiaotong University with Shao-Ting and Chengzu Zhou today. We spoke to a group of about 60 college freshmen. I really love going to universities here. It changes my perspective. And it's hard not to feel welcome when people jump out of their skin to talk to you, and when students and professors and school administrators ask you to come back. I'm continually impressed by the level of English spoken here, and how eager students are to engage in English. People have even asked me to move here! Talking to administrators afterwards, I was not at all surprised to hear that integrating with the west is a top priority for the university. You don't have to hear that, though. It's obvious. Very nice day ...

Beijing Jiaotong University

Beijing Jiaotong University Beijing Jiaotong University

Beijing Jiaotong University Beijing Jiaotong University

Beijing Jiaotong University Beijing Jiaotong University

Beijing Jiaotong University Beijing Jiaotong University

Beijing Jiaotong University Beijing Jiaotong University

Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

I just got back from a couple of hours at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications talking to a small group of 30 students about OpenSolaris. Sun's Robert Sohigian also spoke about career opportunities these guys can expect to encounter as they finish school and enter the dynamic IT work place here in Beijing. It was a really nice night, and the students had a lot of interesting questions during and after the talks. Fiona set all this up and she has more here.

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications

Tuesday Sep 23, 2008

Dinner with Intel

Nice dinner tonight with some of the OpenSolaris engineers at Intel. I'm stuffed. :) Very cool time. Intel has guys here in Beijing and also in Shanghai as part of the Intel project on OpenSolaris.

Dinner with Intel

 Liang Kan, Wesley Huang, Jim Grisanzio, Tony Su, Jiang Liu

Dinner with Intel Dinner with Intel

Dinner with Intel Dinner with Intel

Meeting Globally

I had a nice meeting today with part of Sun's globalization team in Beijing. These guys are involved in a whole range of OpenSolaris engineering and community building operations around China -- user groups, education activities, release engineering, teaching, input methods, testing, and internationalization & localization. Great conversations. Thanks, guys.

Globalization Dinner with Intel

Globalization Globalization

Check out the two images above. That's a new handwriting recognition application written by Feng Zhu in g11n that will eventually make its way into OpenSolaris and offer a new way of inputing characters. The application is self-learning and makes character recognition easier. Users can define their own glyphs and mappings between glyphs and characters. Look for a source release in the Internationalization & Localization Community Group as part of the Input Method project in the coming months. Basically, you write on the screen and are presented with some characters as options. Chinese. Japanese. Korean. Sanskrit. There will be a web interface for the community to help input the thousands and thousands and thousands of characters into the database. Should be cool.

The characters in the screen shots below mean "move" in English. The second one is written more carelessly.

Monday Sep 22, 2008

Left in the Street in Beijing

I'm in Beijing for the week. Just got in. Really wild ride to the hotel from the airport. The driver got lost. Three times. Ok, it happens. Not a big deal. He was a charming fellow and trying very hard to please me. But each time he stopped and got out to ask for directions, he left the car running in the street. In the middle of the street. In traffic. With me in it. Now, Beijing is known to be a rather busy place. In fact, it's one of the most densely populated places on the planet. And with the lines on the road being mere suggestions, why would you park your car in traffic with a customer inside as you dart through oncoming traffic to ask for directions from the guy all the way over there on the sidewalk? I must admit, this has never happened to me before. Fortunately, the guys in the gigantic trucks were able to see the car in time and dodge around me with horns blasting. Got my attention, though, that's for sure.

Sunday Sep 21, 2008

Beijing Next Week

I'll be in Beijing next week to meet with the Linux and OpenSolaris communities and also hook up with students at Beijing Jiaotong University and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. Can't wait. Should be a nice trip. Also looking forward to seeing my Sun colleagues and our Intel partners as well. If you are around, please feel free stop by the OSUG meeting.

Wednesday May 21, 2008

Beijing: Linux, OpenSolaris, OpenOffice

Some images here from Robert Sohigian and Fiona Duan at the special joint meeting of the OpenSolaris community and the Linux community to hear the latest from the OpenOffice community. Expect to see this more and more activities like this as the communities get together to share ideas and collaborate.

Update: See Robert's blog on this.

Tuesday May 13, 2008

Community Collaboration in Beijing

Check this out --  Beijing OpenSolaris User Group 16th Meeting (May 20th, 2008). The Beijing OpenSolaris User Group is doing a joint meeting with the Beijing Linux User Group to hear a preso from Louis Suarez-Potts on OpenOffice. Cool. Nice to see the communities collaborating more and more like this.

Monday Nov 19, 2007

Language, Culture, Community, China

Check out Stephen Walli's online presentation for the China FOO event in Beijing -- My China FOO Presentation 一起建桥梁. Very impressive. He talks in English (well, Canadian English) and Chinese. I agree with Walli's opinions on language, culture, trust, and community. In his talk he tells the story about the China Open Source Summit he ran in Beijing (here, here, here), and he gives a real quick sense of how he dealt with contracts and trust in a new way. I can only imagine doing what he did, my goodness. I used to run a construction business in New York, and my customer and partner interactions were based largely on handshake. You get used to it. But at least I had the same language and culture on which to base the darn experience. Stephen did it across a rather gigantic language and cultural divide. It all worked out well in the end, and it wasn't quite a handshake but it was pretty close.

So, could the power of community be used to transcend some of these obvious language and cultural barriers? I don't know. I go back and forth on this. Language and culture are so critical to a functioning community and the understanding of even the most basic assumptions. And although open source communities are surely growing in a variety of languages and cultures, that's not the hard part. The hard part is linking the communities across their natural barriers and communicating with understanding. That's where all the good stuff happens.

Saturday Nov 03, 2007

OpenSolaris Day Beijing

Here are some pics from OpenSolaris Day in Beijing. It was a long day, but we had a nice turnout on a Saturday with about 180 people. It was great to see the Beijing OpenSolaris User Group for the final session, and it was great fun giving away the Ultra20 to Baojian Chang, a kernel developer in Beijing.

IMG_9811 IMG_9802

IMG_9703 IMG_9702

IMG_9710 IMG_9711

IMG_9714 IMG_9719

IMG_9721 IMG_9723

IMG_9729 IMG_9731

IMG_9736 IMG_9751

IMG_9743 IMG_9737

IMG_9733 IMG_9702

All pics from OpenSolaris in China here.

Tuesday Oct 30, 2007

Intel OpenSolaris Engineering in Beijing

I went along with Jim Hughes, Kathy Jenks, and John Jiang to meet Intel's OpenSolaris engineering team in Beijing yesterday. These guys are part of Intel's team in Shanghai working on the OpenSolaris project. I met Gerry Liu, Kan Liang, Tony Su, and Zhong Hui. Great to associate names with faces as we explore OpenSolaris on Intel.

Intel Beijing Intel Beijing

Intel Beijing Intel Beijing

Thursday Mar 29, 2007

2007 China Software Innovation Summit

I just got back from a few days in Beijing at the 2007 China Software Innovation Summit & Open Source Forum.

Open Source and Open Standards expert Stephen Walli invited me to present OpenSolaris and talk about our community building efforts. I'm always happy to talk about the OpenSolaris community, so I was honored to participate. It was great meeting some of the other speakers -- Mike Olson, former CEO of SleepyCat Software; Nat Torkington of O'Reilly Radar and Program Chair of OSCON; Christophe Bisciglia, senior engineer at Google, Taiwen Jiang, lead developer on the XOOPS project, Mikko Puhakka, founder of Open Tuesday in Finland; and Calvin Sun, software development manager at MySQL.

In fact, one of the best things about this conference is that I met a great deal of new people from a variety of countries, and I have a stack of business cards 3/4 of an inch thick. There were many students and professors there as well as government officials and developers from around China. The energy level was very high, and it by far the most interesting trip to China and certainly the most valuable from an Open Source learning perspective. Many exciting things are taking place in China, and it will be fascinating to participate in the growth of so many new Open Source communities. I hope to go back soon and keep going back.

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference Beijing Open Source Conference

My flicker set here. And Stephen's flickr set here. He even has some shots of me all dressed up on stage. Jing Jing, thank you for translating my slides. Amy, thanks for the advice, and I promise to install the Ubuntu DVD. :) And thank you, Stephen, for having me along. You ran a flawless forum.

Saturday Sep 30, 2006

OpenSolaris at Tech Days Beijing: 150 Photos

I spent a few days in China with the OpenSolaris community at Sun's Tech Days Beijing Conference. This conference tour is really growing in diversity these days. NetBeans participation is huge, and OpenSolaris is all over the place as well. I think we are all helping to build on an already successful conference series with the inclusion of these open source projects. NetBeans got involved in last year's tour, and OpenSolaris is getting involved this year.

OpenSolaris at Tech Days Beijing In Beijing this week, about a dozen Solaris executives, engineers, and managers from the U.S. and China participated in multiple events at the conference -- the Solaris track on day two, the OpenSolaris Day on day three, the Beijing OpenSolaris User Group meeting at Tsinghua University, the new Beijing Solaris Product User Group, and the University World Tour at the China Academy of Science (CAS) Graduate School of Engineering. That's a lot. But the demand is clearly there. Very impressive.

Interest in Solaris and OpenSolaris is running very high in China. The sessions were well attended, and they all offered solid technical content. Even I participated, though I don't talk about technology. I presented my OpenSolaris community story twice -- once to the students at CAS and once at the OpenSolaris Day at Tech Days. The CAS event went on for hours and hours on Thursday. It was a very hot day, and the room had no air conditioning. Yet a total of 650 students attended, and many were standing and sitting on the floor all over the place. Amazing. The OpenSolaris Day ran all of Friday, and there were about 165 developers or so. At the conference generally, well over a thousand people were exposed to various Solaris and OpenSolaris conversations during three days of events.

I took some shots from as many sessions as I could, but I clearly missed a lot of stuff. There was a professional photographer floating around with a real cannon for a camera, so I hope the Tech Days team posts his pictures someplace. He was shooting some nice stuff. I see Joey has some images, and so does John. There will probably be more in the coming weeks.

OpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days BeijingOpenSolaris at Tech Days Beijing

Thanks to the Tech Days team for having me around. And thanks to the Sun China guys for taking care of me, so I didn't get cluelessly lost all week with everything going on. It's so impressive the scale that these guys are dealing with. I'm looking forward to investing a great deal of time in China with you guys. :)

A call for open community participation. If you are doing interesting things with OpenSolaris and want to get involved with the Tech Days conference tour, let us know. Let me a comment or email me (jim dot grisanzio at sun dot com). We are looking for non-Sun speakers. Check the schedule for a venue near you. OpenSolaris Day is free, so please feel free to stop by.

Thursday Jun 10, 2004

My Captor

chinaI went shopping the other day at the Xiushui Outdoor Market in Beijing with some friends. Exhausting experience, but I loved it. You just gotta go there if you are ever in Beijing. If you go, though, be prepared. You'll not be alone. Walk through that entrance and you enter a different world .... I made a new friend in there ... this sweet kid here. She was a charming teenager who taught me an extremely valuable business lesson. One I'll never forget. Notice her, ah, gentle -- yet persistent -- negotiating technique in the picture below. Strong kid, I can assure you. You see, she wanted 850 RMB for a sweater. I wanted to pay 80. Ok, we were far apart, but who the hell knows what anything is worth in this place, so I decided "look around a little bit and come back." Wrong answer. She wanted to negotiate more.
 
It took me 10 minutes to get out of her 20 square foot booth (her store, actually ... one among hundreds lined up along the street). She had me cornered. I finally had to shove my way past her as gently as I could to get into the street so I could get away. She had amazing leverage in that little body of hers. After I got out of the booth, she chased me and grabbed my arm. Really strong kid. 
So, we took our negotiations to the street. You negotiate by tapping numbers into a calculator and going back and forth. Very little English in the place. There was a bit of yelling with this one, too. And back and forth we went. Right in the middle of the street. Now, I'm 6 feet and 185 pounds. She was 5 feet and probably 90 pounds. But she was fearless. And she had something else going for her -- she really wanted that sale. We still couldn't agree on a price, so I decided to try to leave again.

Wrong move.

After literally dragging her about 50 feet up the street -- much to the delight of the several hundred people watching this -- I started to break down. My heart was pounding. But strangely, she didn't even break a sweat. She probably does this more than I do. My friend, Danese Cooper, snapped this picture just as my captor won the battle and dragged me back that very same 50 feet to her booth. 100 RMB. Sold.

My lesson? Never give up. Never!
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