Tuesday Mar 09, 2010

OpenSolaris Community Growth in Japan

The Japanese OpenSolaris community continues to grow. It's now the 3rd largest community in the OpenSolaris world following the Spanish and Indian communities, it's the 3rd most active, and Tokyo is the #1 city outside the United States for sending traffic to opensolaris.org. The community in Japan also continues to diversify as well with general users mixing with kernel developers and globalization engineers. In fact, this diversity is driving the need to run concurrent sessions for beginners and advanced developers and users at community events.

There are multiple parts to the community in Japan:

There is a lot going on. I try to track what I can at this tag.

Tuesday Feb 09, 2010

Auth Update: Early

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

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

Tuesday Dec 22, 2009

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.

Tuesday Jul 28, 2009

Translating Auth: An OpenSolaris Community Project

There are several active conversations taking place on website-discuss and i18n-discuss regarding the localization of the Auth application. This is very good news. The activity demonstrates the community's direct involvement.

On our team, Alan Burlison in the U.K. wrote the application over the last couple of years, and when I got involved in the project last year I casually mentioned it would be cool if we could localize the app since the current site's registration page is in Japanese, Chinese, and English (although it was difficult to implement those languages on the current site). Alan responded with something like, "Oh, that's easy. Auth was designed with internationalization and localization in mind from the very beginning. No problem." Music to my ears.

I figured we'd get a half dozen or so languages, but I never dreamed about the response we've had thus far from the Internationalization and Localization Community. When Auth goes out next week, it will be in 17 languages and those translations were contributed by about 50 people around the world. Absolutely. Fantastic. I've been working with Alan and Sun globalization engineers Fuyuki Hasegawa in Tokyo and Ales Cernosek in Prague as they have been leading the Auth localization effort and walking me through their processes to engage the community via the Community Translation Interface (CTI). I've learned a lot. But it was the community that really came through here, no question about it. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who contributed.

For many years on this project, we've been wanting to get opensolaris.org properly localized. We now have the tools to begin that process. Next up will be getting more languages for Auth, getting the icons and other user interface features localized, and then it's on to XWiki in the fall. XWiki already has content localization features built in, so that application should move along nicely after deployment.

To get involved in OpenSolaris localization projects, subscribe to i18n-discuss and check out how to get involved in translating the website.

Wednesday Jul 08, 2009

Translating Auth

It's very cool to see the OpenSolaris community translating the new authentication application for the new opensolaris.org. Right now, you can see the current opensolaris.org sign in and registration pages in three languages: English, Chinese, Japanese. But new system will come out in about 15 languages. And the translations are being done by the community via the Community Translation Interface (CTI) tool in the Internationalization & Localization Community Group. More info on the auth application and the entire website transition in the Website Community Group and the opensolaris.org roadmap.

Friday Feb 27, 2009

Start Your Translations!

Back in June of 2008 I went to Prague for the OpenSolaris Developer Conference. I had a great time and met a lot of interesting OpenSolaris developers. And I was especially impressed with the Sun globalization engineering presentation way at the end of the two day conference when they talked about Contributing OpenSolaris Translations.

Back then the contribution system they built was a pilot but now it's live. Now community members around the world can access the Sun globalization system remotely via a web application and view and edit the Translation Memory database and those contributions will find their way into product releases and IPS packages in the repository. How cool is that?

So, if you are blessed with knowing a couple of languages (or more) and want to help the OpenSolaris community improve our language skills, go and get started with the announcement from Ales Cernosek: Community Translation Interface (CTI) 1.0.

Additional links:

Thursday Feb 19, 2009

Tokyo Open Source Conference: 4 OpenSolaris Talks

There will be four OpenSolaris presentations at the Tokyo Open Source Conference on Saturday at the Nihon Denshi Technical School:

- Masafumi Ohta on the EeePC at 11 a.m.
- Takahiro Machino on the OSUM program at 11:30 a.m.
- Hisayoshi Kato on DTrace at 12 p.m.
- Reiko Saito on translation and localization at 1 p.m.

I'll be there for all three. Stop by and say hello. The OpenSolaris community will have a booth on the show floor as well. Photos to come.

Friday Dec 26, 2008

An Open Call for Translations

Ikuko Kagaya posted a call for contributions to i18n-discuss for help translating the OpenSolaris 2008.11 release notes into German, Italian, Korean, and Traditional Chinese. Know these languages? Get involved. The translations processes are documented as well. 

Wednesday Dec 24, 2008

Building Community with Photography

I'm noticing more and more of my images showing up all over the web -- in blogs, on mailing lists, on news sites, in presentations, and inside multiple social networks. That's very cool. I tag my images with the Creative Commons license, so I specifically want people to use them in new and interesting ways.

Before I started taking photographs at community events a few years ago, I hadn't realized the power of an image to cut through language and cultural barriers. It's quite efficient, actually. Every time someone puts one of my images into a Chinese or Japanese or Spanish (or whatever) blog and links back to me it literally introduces me to that community in their native language. And, in many cases, I've met new people I would have never met before in countries I've never been to. All from an image. Now, this happens with text all the time, of course, since I've been communicating on one forum or another in multiple open communities for years now. But it's a very different experience with photography. Images are so much faster at making personal connections across barriers. You don't have to translate. It's easy. You just look. It's instant. In some ways, images actually transcend language while still communicating something of value. I'll have to take more pics and write fewer words.

Monday Dec 15, 2008

What`s New in OpenSolaris 2008.11 in 11 Languages

Here`s what`s new in OpenSolaris 2008.11 in 11 languages. English is the 11th.

Thursday Dec 11, 2008

OpenSolaris Globalization Survey

If you want to help define priorities for language support in OpenSolaris, go to the Local Data Project and participate in their survey. It only takes a few minutes, and you can win a t-shirt. But most importantly, it would be a way for you to share your expertise with the g11n community.

Sunday Oct 26, 2008

Leadership Today

Really good conversation about leadership from Charlie Rose at the Harvard Business School with John Doerr, Jeffrey Immelt, James Wolfensohn, Meg Whitman, Anand Mahindra. My favorite bits come around the 31 minute mark when they start focusing more about the economic shift to Asia and the keys to leadership. Some of the concepts they talked about include:

    \* Spend what you earn. That doesn`t sound so anymore, eh?
    \* Educate people for a global world. The U.S. is still focused on the West.
    \* Don`t forget the liberal arts. Think.
    \* Ask people to help. People want to gather together, be involved, volunteer, help. Ask them.
    \* Build the following: a sound financial system, an energy policy, a health care system.
    \* Be accountable for results.
    \* Balance right brain and left brain thinking.
    \* Encourage a culture of acknowledging mistakes.
    \* Knowing is not nearly as important as learning.
    \* Expect unpredictability.
    \* Be willing to make decisions and stand by them.
    \* Communication.
    \* Transparency.
    \* Ideas are good, but execution is absolutely everything.
    \* Teams win.
    \* Character. You know it when you see it.

I`m extremely suspect of so-called experts and big names predicting the future nowadays, but this panel was a nice mix of sobering realism and inspiration with very little preaching. Just some people talking. Well worth a listen.

Saturday Oct 11, 2008

Engineering Across Languages and Cultures

I had great fun earlier today participating on the cross-cultural engineering panel at the Pasona Tech conference in Tokyo (here, here). We addressed cultural, language, and career issues facing Japanese engineers as they engage employers and developers around the world. This is not only an interesting subject for me, but it's also an important issue since economies are globalizing and software development is moving to open source community development. Dealing with people from around the world every day is now normal. It's not an occasional interaction. So, having a sense of language and cultural issues is critical since these things pervade our jobs -- even if you work in the country in which you were born and even if you work in your native language.

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 difference 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. When 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 connecting globally.

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

Face to Face

David Sifry, founder of Technorati and Offbeat Guides, talks about building international businesses. Two quick points: you need to find great local people you can trust, and you need to make sure they are properly connected and can execute. How do you do this? There are no exceptions: you have to go there. Wherever there is. You have to go spend time with people. Face to face. 

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.

Friday Oct 03, 2008

Japanese Man Pages

Reiko Saito just started a new project in Globalization to translate the OpenSolaris man pages. Demand in Japan for this content is high, so it's nice to see the project initiated in the community.

Tuesday Sep 23, 2008

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.

Tuesday Aug 19, 2008

Getting Started with OpenSolaris: 10 Languages

The Getting Started with OpenSolaris 2008.05 guide is now published in 10 languages. See the announcement from Ikuko Kagaya in Japan. It's also great to see that the community contributed to the translations as well. These guides are about 100 pages long, so that's a lot of user content moving out there into a bunch of new languages. Excellent.

Wednesday Jul 30, 2008

Multi Lingual IPS Screencast

Sun Japan's Ikuko Kagaya announced that we now have a multi lingual screencast explaining the OpenSolaris IPS GUI. It's about an eight minute review of IPS in 11 languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.

Monday Jul 28, 2008

10 Languages, 10 Contributions

Ikuko Kagaya from Sun Japan thanked some community contributors today for helping translate the release notes for OpenSolaris 2008.05 into German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Brasilian Portuguese, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean. That's 10 languages of content with the Sun globalization team working with 10 contributors from the OpenSolaris community around the world. There are more documents that need translating, though. If you are interested in contributing, see Reiko Saito's outline at "How to Translate OpenSolaris Documents" and just jump in.

Monday Jul 07, 2008

Contributing OpenSolaris Translations

One of the best talks at OSDevCon in Prague recently came from Petr Tomasek, Robert Malovec, and Ales Cernosek. They talked about globalization issues, and I especially liked it because the guys focused on how to contribute translations to the OpenSolaris project. In fact, they built a pilot system providing community access to back end computers with the end result being a package living in an IPS repository. If you are interested in globalization and want to contribute to the OpenSolaris project, check this out because your feedback would be most welcome. Here is the paper describing the details (from page 84 to 91). Here is the video presentation. And here is the slide deck.

As this system matures, I hope it -- or future versions of it -- will move to the Internationalization and Localization Community Group on opensolairs.org. Conversations for that community group take place on i18n-discuss.

Monday May 12, 2008

Japan Inside China

Very interesting. A little Japanese inside China -- [i18n-discuss] Solaris Teacher Training and Sun University Tour- Dalian. Next time I visit China, I have to spend some time in Dalian to explore this China-Japan connection. I first read about this in a Tom Friedman column, but it's not talked about that much here in Japan. Gotta check it out.

Sunday May 11, 2008

Immigration a Key to Innovation

Great article in Newsweek from Fareed Zakaria -- The Rise of the Rest -- about how large chunks of the world are dramatically improving and growing significantly in an era of ever reducing violence. Finally. A positive view of globalization, and one distinctly lacking all the fear about the US falling to second class (or even third class) economic status (which is nothing more than propaganda). The gloom-and-doomers and isolationists in the US are an obviously and obnoxiously vocal minority, and they will miss this positive view because it's actually based on embracing the entire world with that nasty word -- immigration. Zakaria says that "the potential for a new burst of American productivity depends not on our education system or R&D spending, but on our immigration policies. If these people are allowed and encouraged to stay, then innovation will happen here. If they leave, they'll take it with them." 

Avoiding Competition

You catch that Fortune article -- You have 7 years to learn Mandarin -- about China surpassing the United States economically in seven years? Whether it's seven years or fifty doesn't really matter, I suppose, since people will be arguing about how to measure this for a while. And the measurements themselves are changing, it seems. How convenient. Whatever. I think it's cool either way because it offers new opportunities, and that´s what I´m after. In fact, aside from the word freedom, I can´t think of another word that describes Americans better than the word opportunity. Can you?

But Fortune seems defensive. We are supposed to "worry" about this, and we are told that American individuals "can avoid competition with Chinese workers by doing place-based work, which ranges in value from highly skilled (emergency-room surgery) to menial (pouring concrete). But the many people who do information-based work, which is most subject to competition, will have to get dramatically better to be worth what they cost. For government leaders: Improve U.S. education above all."

The first part of that paragraph is ridiculous. You can't "avoid competition" in a global economy, and I´m not "worrying" at all. Why not embrace the change as an opportunity? In fact, wouldn't be cool to live in China for a bit to check all this out first hand? Wouldn´t it be cool to learn some Chinese and interact with Chinese from their perspective for a while? I don´t see very many people in the US thinking this way about the rise of China (and India, for that matter, and some other emerging markets around the world, too). In fact, Sin-Yaw Wang has it right when he comments about the Fortune piece: "The new generation of business leaders, now in their 20s or 40s, must learn to do business in China and with Chinese. 7 years is not that long to master a language, especially when one is not even trying." I agree. And I´m reading this view (the not trying bit) over and over again. It´s defensive. Oh, well. I suppose that´s an opportunity for those who see it differently, right?

Thursday May 01, 2008

Crazy English in China

Fascinating piece about this guy Li Yang teaching "Crazy English" to huge crowds of people in China. His technique is rather unique, but I can see how it may have significant benefits for anyone learning another language as an adult. The larger language issue in China, though, is illustrated by this utterly amazing quote from the article: "Linguists estimate the number of Chinese now studying or speaking English at between two hundred million and three hundred and fifty million, a figure that’s on the order of the population of the United States." Just think about that. Just think about how that changes things in the future with language barriers beginning to melt away and what means for global communications and global economics. Also, Ampontan has a detailed analysis of the article that's well worth reading and adds some interesting context from Japan.

Monday Apr 28, 2008

Blowing Hot or Cold on Japan

Japan May Escape Recession as Chinese Surge Increases Exports: "Japan's manufacturing sector is actually a showcase for how to implement globalization,'' said Jesper Koll, director of Tantallon Research Japan, a hedge fund. "Whether it's Russia, the Middle East or Latin America, take your pick, Japan's on top of it.'' -- Bloomberg

Good economic news about Japan is rare, but this article above cites the possibility that Japan may dodge a recession (due to the slow down in the US) because some key Japanese industries have diversified into rapidly expanding markets in China and throughout Asia. That's cool. And perhaps other Japanese companies here, and even entire industries, will take a lesson from the manufacturing and auto guys and learn how to be a "showcase for how to implement globalization." We'll see. The results will be obvious either way.

Saturday Apr 26, 2008

Compressing Languages

Lzma on OpenSolaris: "The author of LZMA, Igor Pavlov, was not only willing to relicense the source code under CDDL ... but also willing to re-write the compression code in C. And, he did that in just a matter of couple of weeks -- truly outstanding. That, to me, is the power behind open source and the sharing opportunities it provides for the broader good." -- Alok Aggarwal, commenting on getting full language support on to the new OpenSolaris CD.

That seems like a wonderful contribution to the OpenSolaris community around the world on the eve of the OpenSolaris 2008.05 release. Test OpenSolaris RC2 here. Sign up to indiana-discuss to talk about it. Post to and read the indiana-discuss jive forum here.

Wednesday Apr 16, 2008

A New Focus

It's not every day you get to re-write your job description, but that's exactly what I'm doing. It's not a big deal, really, since the OpenSolaris project is growing and changing, and we need all sorts of people doing all sorts of things -- and we don't have nearly enough people or resources to exploit all the opportunities globally, but that's another story (and a good problem to have, too). Anyway, I view this as just a re-balancing of my job based on four factors:
  1. Getting elected to the OpenSolaris Governing Board,
  2. The evolution and changing needs of my team in California,
  3. My own career goals, and
  4. The unique opportunities offered by my geography.

I'll still be doing project management and building OpenSolaris communities globally, of course. But I'm going to narrow my focus so I can get closer to some engineering projects that not only generate contributions but also help lead to revenue for Sun. And I'll still be interacting with developers and users, but I want to get involved with other open source and standards communities and more customers, partners, universities, and governments as well. I'm already getting more requests to brief customers about OpenSolaris, so I want to expand that it if possible. And although my focus has always been global, I'll surely be spending more time in China and India and other parts of Asia since those markets are growing rapidly and since I live in the neighborhood. I'll also be exploring some new opportunities in Eastern and Western Europe this upcoming year.

Here's a rough split of time and projects:

  • Website: 40% on website development projects, especially the implementation and support of the software platform on which opensolaris.org runs.
  • Globalization: 20% on g11n engineering projects.
  • Governance: 20% on OGB initiatives across the entire OpenSolaris project.
  • Advocacy: 20% on user groups, conferences, and presentations globally.

There's a fair amount of crossover there, but that's ok since it gives me the flexibility to mix and match projects under some main categories that make sense if I absolutely had to quantify them. What changes significantly, however, is the project mix and time split. Governance, website, and globalization are all new and will take up most of my time. But there will be many opportunities for community development in APAC with user groups, conferences, and engineering projects. And although all of this involves advocacy to one degree or another, I'll now be focusing those communications efforts specifically on the projects I'm driving rather than anything I can get my hands on across the entire OpenSolaris community. That's a critical point. That also will be a big change as I specifically let go of some stuff in order to take on new stuff. There is no other way to grow, in my opinion, unless you have a solid core competency but also aggressively reach out to grab new things. So I intend to build from that perspective.

And finally, I'm now getting closer to the globalization engineering organization at Sun with a dotted line report to Mimi Hills, the director of g11n who manages software development operations at many sites around the world. I'll be adding some OpenSolaris-related g11n engineering projects to the mix of stuff I do for Bonnie Corwin's OpenSolaris engineering team. First up with g11n will be to evolve the language/country portals on opensolaris.org so we can properly implement the localization of content on the site. This is important as we build the OpenSolaris community around the world. If you build globally, you are actually building across languages and cultures, and that's very different from building within a single language and culture.

So, we'll see how all this goes. It's all based around engineering project management and community development, but hopefully much more focused and much more valuable. For two years now I have been busy creating additional networks to support these moves. I've had an excellent FY08, and I expect FY09 to be even better. Should be fun.

Sunday Apr 13, 2008

Mega Regions

Unlike emerging economies within specific nations -- such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- there is another way to look at the global economy, which is via something called the mega-region. That´s the real driving force of the global economy, according to Richard Florida in Wall Street Journal -- The Rise of the Mega-Region.

Florida says that "
[t]he world's largest mega is Greater Tokyo, with 55 million people and $2.5 trillion in economic activity. Next is the 500-mile Boston-Washington corridor, with some 54 million people and $2.2 trillion in output. Also in the top 10 are mega-regions that run from Chicago to Pittsburgh, Atlanta to Charlotte, Miami to Tampa, and L.A. to San Diego. Outside of the U.S., you can find megas around Amsterdam, London, Osaka and Nagoya, Milan, Rome and Turin, and Frankfurt and Stuttgart."

He also says that
"China is not our real competitor. Rather, we should be thinking about the great mega-regions around Shanghai, Beijing and the Hong Kong-Shenzhen corridor, which account for roughly 43% of the output of the entire country."

Interesting perspective. Florida recommends a few ways of dealing with the megas, but the one I found most engaging was the promotion of density to increase innovation and production. So much for suburbanization, I guess. I´m not sure how this works with the Internet, though. The Internet enables massive distribution (or decentralization, I guess) of talent, innovation, and, in many cases, production. Does that support or undermine this mega density perspective? Perhaps both.

Saturday Apr 12, 2008

g11n Blogs

Melanie Parsons Gao is collecting a fine list of Sun's g11n blogs. This is good reading for me (well, what I can actually read, anyway). Although Sun is opening its stuff and building engineering communities around the world, our internal software development operations have been global for quite some time. It's interesting to see the distinction between the various regions and cultures and how the people involved in globalization are helping build communities across all those firewalls in all those countries.


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