Wednesday Apr 09, 2008

Multi Lingual Announce

Nice to see opensolaris-announce going global (here, here, here). The list used to be only in English, but lately it's growing in language diversity. In size, too. It's one of our more popular lists.  Sign up here. All Projects and Community Groups have their own announce lists, but members are also welcome to use the main opensolaris-announce list to communicate with the entire OpenSolaris community around the world.

Wednesday Jan 30, 2008

Contributing in Globalization

Yesterday I asked for Contributor status in the Internationalization and Localization Community Group (CG) for work on the OpenSolaris Portals. It looks like it's coming through. Very cool. I'm already a Core Contributor in the Advocacy CG, and that's for four years of promotional activities and project management support related to the OpenSolaris User Groups. My projects across the two CGs are actually very much related: users, advocacy, language, culture, emerging markets, globalization, etc. That trend will continue and increase as I focus even more on globalization.

Sunday Jan 27, 2008

Japan: Time to Change?

Japan and its GDP: "It's really no wonder we're having a hard time getting attention in Japan." -- Joi Ito

I agree. And these trends argue for sweeping changes in Japan. I mean, really. If not now, when? I would love to hear anyone argue that nothing ought to change on this island. To me, all of these global economic trends are wonderful opportunities for the Japanese to grow in new ways. Bottom line: Japan will change or it will be changed. Period.

OpenSolaris Starter Kit: Global

We've already sent OpenSolaris Starter Kit more than 35,000 people, and 87% are to developers in countries outside the United States.

Monday Jan 21, 2008

SunPinyin

The Sun Globalization team announced today they are releasing SunPinyin under CDDL and GPL. This should help in the open input effort for OpenSolaris.

Monday Jan 14, 2008

A Closed Network

Decline in Japanese students abroad cause for concern -- "As the number of Japanese students in the United States decreases, the number of Chinese, South Korean and Indian students is surging." -- Kyodo News

This article articulates a trend that can only lead to one result: the further isolation of a closed network.

Monday Jan 07, 2008

Japan and Friedman`s Globalization 3.0

After thinking more about this conversation on globalization, I re-read Tom Friedman`s The World is Flat over the winter break. The book is out in paperback, of course, and Friedman calls this updated and expanded version "3.0" in the introduction. It`s about 650 pages, but it`s a really quick read. Especially the second time around. Friedman tells lots of excellent stories that take you right along on his own personal journey around the world. There is a lot of talk of China and India, of course, but Japan comes up from time to time, too. And that`s what hit me this time around. Japan.

Some brief background first. Friedman breaks down the history of globalization into to three gigantic meta categories -- countries, companies, and individuals. Basically, globalization 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. And we are just now entering 3.0, the era of individual globalization, where everyone who has access to technology (that`s Friedman`s "flat-world platform") has to compete with everyone else in the world who has access to technology. Now, it took 500 years of globalization to get here, but that`s where we find ourselves now. And I think the key point to the book is that globalization 3.0 is very, very different from globalization 1.0 and 2.0 because 3.0 is based on, in part, the individual. That`s where Japan comes on.

Although Japan comes up from time to time while Friedman discusses globalization 2.0, I could find very few (if any, actually) references to Japan and globalization 3.0. Friedman goes to great lengths to talk about how individuals can compete in the new flat world, but that discussion seemed to be focused primarily on the United States and Western Europe and the emerging markets in Eastern Europe, India, and China. That`s when it hit me that Japan seems vulnerable under Friedman`s theory since Japan is not based on the concept of the "individual" at all and it`s certainly not an emerging market. It`s all about "groups" here, and individuality is somewhat rare among the average Japanese -- certainly among the millions of workers that make up corporate Japan in and around Tokyo. I didn`t think about this when I read the book the first time since I hadn`t lived in Japan yet. It`s obvious now, though.

So, can Japan, which is famous for its vertically integrated corporations (the exact opposite from Friedman`s open and horizontally flat world), compete in globalization 3.0? How would "groups" of people even recognize this as a problem? And how would these groups of people transform Japan`s various corporate global supply chains into an economy that recognizes individual global competition? This is not as great a problem for the west since most western cultures are based much more on the concept of individuality -- especially the United States. Friedman hints at this cultural issue when he quotes various Chinese leaders who recognize this very problem in China. China (and Korea, for that matter) shares with Japan some of these East Asian characteristics of groups. But China seems to be changing specifically to compete on all levels -- country, company, and individual. That third part is most fascinating here in East Asia. Will China pull it off? Will Japan recognize the issue and engage down at that level?

Some Friedman flat world videos here at MIT and here on Charlie Rose and here at the NYT.

Friday Dec 28, 2007

Stiglitz and Friedman on Globalization

Here's an interesting conversation between Thomas Friedman, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, and Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, discussing globalization -- Transcript: A TimesSelect/TimesTalks Event on Globalization. It's from April of 2006, but it hardly feels dated at all. The entire word is discussed, of course, and it's fascinating. But I think India and China probably grab the lion's share of air time.

At one point in the conversation, Friedman talks about getting three things right -- education, infrastructure, governance -- in the context of how some countries are modernization and globalizing more effectively than others. From Friedman:

"China and India, China in particular, actually increased the pace of its reform in a lot of those areas. So Mexico went from being right on our border to a thousand miles away, and China went from being thousands of miles away in some ways to right on our border. But -- And I’ll just finish this one point because this is important. People have to make choices. Governments have to make choices. Priorities. Look at India. Today they’re about, I think, 70,000-80,000 Indian foreign students in the United States. There are roughly a similar amount from China. I think there are about 10,000 from Mexico. Those are also choices societies are making in terms of how to get educated, what language to learn and how to become a competitor and a collaborator on this platform. So you have to -- Development is a choice. It’s not some inevitable thing. You have to choose to bring your infrastructure, your education and your governance to the level where you can access this whole new technology platform."

They are obviously talking about why Mexico has not fully realized the benefits articulated by proponents of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). And although that issue is certainly complex, what shoots out at me is actually a country not mentioned in this 15,000 word conversation: Japan. Why is Japan not mentioned in the context of globalization? I think it has a lot to do with the quote I cite from Friedman: choices. Both government and individual. Now, many would argue that what India and China are experiencing is simply the result of their economies rapidly growing due to modernization and that Japan is already a mature market. Heck, many at Sun make that argument to me when I bring this up. Sorry. I don't buy it. That's only a small part of the issue. The biggest part is attitude. China and India want to globalize. You can read it in their political rhetorical can you can hear it and see it where you go there. Japan, on the other hand, shows little interest in globalizing compared to some of its biggest neighbors in Asia. Also, the "mature market" bit falls apart when you look at the United States the last two decades. To say that mature markets can't grow and change and continually modernize is just wrong. It's all comes down to attitude. Well, ok, it's more complex that than, of course, but that's where it starts.

Anyway, check out Stiglitz and Friedman. Very interesting stuff. Extremely complex, though. Can you predict where things will go? I can't. It's very cool working at a global company right at the foot of two massively emerging markets, though. There is such huge potential throughout all of the Asia Pacific region. 

Friday Oct 12, 2007

Czech Translation Contribution Integrated

Fuyuki Hasegawa just announced that Czech translations for the kernel commands and libraries have been integrated into build 74. This is the first contribution of its kind for OpenSolaris, which is excellent news. Generally, these translations are done by Sun globalization engineers, but as you can see we are expanding to include contributors of many kinds now. See Hasegawa-san's note here. See the entire thread discussing the issue here -- Czech OS.o translation available. If you'd like to get involved in globalization projects like this, go to the Internationalization and Localization Community Group and give us a shout on i18n-discuss.

Wednesday Sep 05, 2007

Russia OpenSolaris Portal Opens

We can talk Russian now since the Russia OpenSolaris Portal opened last night -- http://ru.opensolaris.org. That makes 10 OpenSolaris Portals in about as many months, and there are only two left to open from the original group. So, now that the vast majority are open and nascent communities are forming around them, it's time to start specifying what a version two of the portals would look like. That conversation has started on i18n-discuss, so if you'd like to participate, please feel free to join in. The first phase of the portals was about getting some space carved out on the site, building some teams, and translating some content. That was it. Very simple. The next phase should be much grander. But we'll need to articulate just exactly what that is in order to have a productive technical conversation with the website engineering team.

By the way, Russia is the number one destination for OpenSolaris Starter Kit shipments followed by the U.S., Poland, and India. I have to get to Eastern Europe soon. :)

Thursday Jul 05, 2007

Nevada Globalization Live Repositories

Very cool that the Nevada G11N project has live code repositories online now.

Friday Apr 20, 2007

Language and Globalization

Interesting. In a world of billions of people, companies are still having a hard time hiring -- Where Are All The Workers? Companies worldwide are suddenly scrambling to manage a labor crunch. It seems as we globalize, technical skills are critical to remain competitive. But just as important are those skills involving language and communication. Don't you agree? The issue comes up in this article but only way at the end.

Tuesday Nov 28, 2006

Europe and Globalization

Fascinating to see Europe take to globalization even more than the United States and Japan -- Europe Surpasses U.S., Japan in Reaping Gains From World Trade. Some really surprising quotes in this article, too.

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