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.
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