Thursday May 28, 2009
Monday Nov 17, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Nov 17, 2008
Sunday Nov 16, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Nov 16, 2008
Saturday Nov 15, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Nov 15, 2008
Yesterday Shao-Ting and I
stopped by Hefei University of Technology to meet with some professors
and students about starting an OpenSolaris User Group. We also met with Wei Liu, Sun's Campus Ambassador at at the university. Really great day
hanging out with these guys. Shaoting and Wei talked about the OpenSolaris
distribution, and I talked about some ideas to start a user group.
More images from Shaoting here.
Friday Nov 14, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Nov 14, 2008
A couple of days ago Chengzu Zhou (Ricky),
Edgar Liu, and I presented OpenSolaris to a group of graduate and
undergrad students at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC)
in Hefei, which is not too far from Shanghai. I understand that USTC is in the top 10 of Chinese universities, so it was a quite pleasure to speak there. We covered the new
features in the OpenSolaris distribution, the OpenSolaris Web Stack,
and the OpenSolaris community. It was great fun for three hours. The
questions from the students were excellent and their enthusiasm was
infectious. I'm continually impressed with how much Chinese students
are interested in connecting with the West.
Friday Nov 07, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Nov 07, 2008
I'll be in China next week for OpenSolaris activities in Hefei and Fuzhou -- user group meetings, gatherings with students and professors, and the ACM/ICPC coding contest at the University of Science & Technology. I have to remember to bring a jacket. The contest will be a bit on the formal side. Other than that, it should be pretty casual. I'm thrilled to be going back to see Chinese university students. Should be very cool. It's becoming my favorite activity on OpenSolaris. I'm also looking forward to seeing Shaoting, Chengzu Zhou, Edgar Liu, and Fang Li. These guys -- and many others -- are doing a great job building community in China.
Also in China: there will be new OpenSolaris User Groups soon. Shaoting recently sent a proposal to advocacy-discuss to connect two existing OSUGs in China to the main community on opensolaris.org. Today I set up those projects and updated the OSUG leaders grid. We are now at 78. Get infrastructure for your OSUG here.
Tuesday Oct 21, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Oct 21, 2008
Monday Oct 20, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Oct 20, 2008
If you show an American an image of a fish tank, the American will usually describe the biggest fish in the tank and what it is doing. If you ask a Chinese person to describe a fish tank, the Chinese will usually describe the context in which the fish swim.Interesting distinction in perspective. I wonder how the Chinese language fits into this notion of context. In other words, how does the language itself express context and not individualism. I'll have to ask some Chinese friends because it seems the concept is pretty similar in Japan. In fact, I'm reading a book on Japanese linguistics that would tend to support this view from Brooks. The book documents how the Japanese language is used to create context vs how the English language is used to do the exact opposite -- topics vs subjects, passive voice vs active voice, nominalized verbs vs action verbs, etc. There are probably a lot of exceptions among people on both sides of the language/culture line, but the tendencies seem pretty clear.
These sorts of experiments have been done over and over again, and the results reveal the same underlying pattern. Americans usually see individuals; Chinese and other Asians see contexts.
Thursday Oct 16, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Oct 16, 2008
Saturday Oct 11, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Oct 11, 2008
Since I have an interest in China, I talked a bit about the changes occurring in Chinese technology universities, and especially how students, professors, and administrators are now assertively engaging westerners in English. That was not necessarily true a few years ago in China, and it's not especially true in Japan today so it will be interesting to see where those trends lead in the future. A side note: when I'm in China I talk a lot about what the Japanese are doing to build community here and how they contribute to communities in Japan and around the world (their contributions are substantial but many times difficult to find at first). So the learning can go both ways since both sides have a great deal to offer.
At the event, we also talked
about different communication styles (face-to-face vs online)
among Japanese and American developers. Again, both sides could
do a bit more reaching out to each other in these areas. Americans tend
to be direct and Japanese tend to be indirect, and this very obvious
can lead to some rather interesting situations. Balance is critical. If
you have too many Japanese in a given situation, it's too far skewed to
the Japanese language and thought processes. The opposite is true, too.
you have too many Americans in the room there is too much English and
American thinking going on. You need both to balance things. You should
try to offer
enough communication channels for everyone to participate at some
level, while encouraging the bilingual people to serve as conversation
facilitators reaching out to both sides simultaneously. I think Tokyo2Point0 and the Tokyo Linux User Group
are good examples
of communities who recognize this issue and address it very well. I'm
sure there area
others, too. This is how I'd like to work with the OpenSolaris
community in Japan. If the community is built with an international
focus as its foundation, then it has a good shot at growing large and
Many opinions were shared on the panel and at the nomikai afterwards and they all had validity. No single person has all the answers covering such subtle issues like these, and there is lots of room for humility and opportunity to rule the day. I look forward to the next cross-cultural engineering event in Tokyo. We should meet quarterly to continue these conversations. All posts on cross-cultural engineering will be here.
Thanks to Toshiharu Harada, Edward Middleton, Gosuke Miyashita, Iwasa Takuma, Hiroumi Mitani, and Tomoyuki Sakurai for their participation at the event. And thanks to Shoji Haraguchi for snapping this image.
Wednesday Oct 08, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Oct 08, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Oct 08, 2008
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.
Thursday Sep 25, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Sep 25, 2008
And to wrap up the day, we did a session at the Beijing OpenSolaris User Group. Great to meet everyone!
By Jimgris-Oracle on Sep 25, 2008
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 ...
Wednesday Sep 24, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Sep 24, 2008
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.
Tuesday Sep 23, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Sep 23, 2008
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.
Liang Kan, Wesley Huang, Jim Grisanzio, Tony Su, Jiang Liu
By Jimgris-Oracle on Sep 23, 2008
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.
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
By Jimgris-Oracle on Sep 22, 2008
Sunday Sep 21, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Sep 21, 2008
Monday Aug 04, 2008
By Jimgris-Oracle on Aug 04, 2008
Should be an interesting decade, eh? Not asking questions is a fascinating position to take in any situation. Looks like an interesting new book. Will check it out.
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