Thursday Mar 05, 2009

Upcoming Events: Linux, OpenSolaris, Tokyo2Point0

There are three upcoming events in Tokyo for OpenSolaris, Linux, and Tokyo2Point0:
Should be a busy time. Stop by if you are around.

Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

Tokyo2Point0 020909

I took 250 images at the Tokyo2Point0 community event last night in Roppongi. Here are the 38 that survived the train ride home. It was a great night. Pretty big crowd. Full of Tokyo's international Web 2.0 developers and entrepreneurs. Here's the lineup: Open Social Applications & Kakuteru.com.

Sunday Feb 08, 2009

ZFS Saving Your Butt

Saving Big Money with Open Source Storage: "Since ZFS came out, it has saved our behind more than once. The combo of OpenSolaris and ZFS is such that I would now be quite willing to pay for what it offers." -- Jason Williams, COO and CTO of Digitar, quoted in Enterprise Storage Forum

An interesting read about how OpenSolaris was evaluated and implemented in this storage environment.

Saturday Jan 10, 2009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Some shots from the Tokyo Linux User Group technical meeting and nomikai tonight ... 

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009 Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Tokyo Linux User Group 011009

Wednesday Jan 07, 2009

JPOSUG and TLUG Meetings This Week

The Japan OpenSolaris User Group will meet at Sun`s Jingumae office in Tokyo on Friday night to talk about security issues and the history of Solaris and OpenSolaris. More info here. Also the Tokyo Linux User Group will meet on Saturday at Sun`s Yoga office in Tokyo to talk about Amazon Web Services and how to deploy new Amazon Machine Instances to EC2. There will be a Linux hack session as well. More info here.

Tuesday Dec 23, 2008

No Coup Necessary

OpenSolaris: Poised for a Coup?: "I started out with somewhat low expectations, so when my favorite Linux and cross-platform software started popping up left and right, I was very surprised. It would seem that even some of the big, non-Sun vendors -- Nvidia and Adobe -- are backing OpenSolaris by supporting the platform." ... "Should end-users jump on the OpenSolaris bandwagon today? No. Should F/OSS supporters, enthusiasts and evangelists jump on the OpenSolaris bandwagon today? I think so. Try it. Realize that there’s a free alternative to Linux. If the corporate types manage to corrupt the spirit of Linux someday, we’ll need a backup to continue the F/OSS movement." -- Sean McNamara at Sean`s Technological Journeys

Another review of OpenSolaris 2008.11 from someone new to the system. And, of course, I`m combining the beginning and ending of Sean`s post. Lots of details in the middle to read at the link. These experiences from new guys are very helpful, and I really enjoy reading them. I get a sense that although we as a community have a lot of work to do we are at least working on the right track.

Take Small Steps Very Seriously

Toshiba Adds OpenSolaris To Its Notebook Lineup: "OpenSolaris may not be unseating Linux any time soon, but file this one under the "small steps" category: Toshiba's apparently working with Sun to offer OpSol as a preload on '09 laptops ... [i]t's a sign that someone is taking Sun at least halfway seriously as a software shop." -- Serdar Yegulalp, InformationWeek

And small steps can make a very big difference. Ask Toyota. I think we are all pretty psyched about Toshiba shipping our stuff on their laptops. All projects are a series of steps. We ported Solaris 10 to x86/x64. We opened the code. We are opening infrastructure and building community. Then some companies showed up. Some distributions formed. Universities began teaching. Developers began contributing. User groups are still growing. And now laptops will ship. I missed a few steps in there but you get the point. One step at a time.

Wednesday Dec 17, 2008

A Marriage and a War

Can Linux and Solaris be married?: "It’s pretty obvious that OpenSolaris, despite its advantages as a carrier-class operating system, especially in file management, is losing its war for survival with Linux." -- Dana Blankenhorn, ZDNet

War? Why must we use such extreme terminology? Sorry, Dana, I just don’t see it. Sure there are political pissing matches from time to time, but they are largely dumb and easily undermined. And actually, where you see a war lost I see two sides just hanging out and talking. In Tokyo. In Beijing. In Prague. Perspective matters a great deal. There are more things happening out there that are more important than conflict.

It's Still Too Late

OpenSolaris 2008.11 update woos Linux users: "Jones said, however, that Sun's moves to create an open source product and grow a developer community were on target but arrive too late. 'It's the right thing to do … but the party is already finished,' Jones said. 'Sun might be able to stem the tide from Solaris to Linux [by continuing to improve OpenSolaris]. But their grandiose plan of replacing Linux isn't going to happen. They are attracting more developers, but not from Linux.'" -- Richard Jones, vice president, Burton Group.

I don't know what the party reference is all about, but the too late commentary is about four years old now. Yet we still go about building community, products, and infrastructure. I think we fell behind on the infrastructure part, but the community is clearly coming along, and the main distro is earning its way from an engineering perspective as well. Warts and all, it's really quite good for its relatively young age. And as far as the "grandiose plan of replacing Linux" is concerned, I still haven't seen it. People talk and some are competitive with Linux (which is fine, by the way), but the vast majority of plans we are implementing are designed to build community, products, and infrastructure to grow the project organically. One thing I do agree with in the quote above, though, is that we are attracting new developers (and uses, too). Jones' position on that part is exactly what I've been saying for four years -- Linux will grow but so will we. I've never moved from that view. Yes, people will go back and forth but that's a side show. Although we are still a small community compared to Linux, we are indeed making progress in our own way. I do a lot of work in emerging markets, and it's easy to see that we are reaching new people now. It's probably too early to show up in massively big business metrics in the West, but that's what early project management is all about. You work in the dark for a long time. I've seen this repeated in multiple industries now.

So, is it too late to catch Linux? I'm not sure it matters much in that context. It's a big world, and there is room for all of us to fit. We simply have too much work to do learning from Linux in some areas where they are strong, focusing on some of our clear advantages in other areas, transforming the existing Solaris base into an open community, and reaching out to new users and developers who have never even heard of us. It's not too late. Not by a long shot. I just don't view projects from that perspective.

Friday Dec 12, 2008

Tokyo Linux User Group: 121208 Bonenkai

Some shots from the Tokyo Linux User Group Bonenkai earlier tonight. A bonenkai is basically a year end party in Japan. There were probably about 40 people there from well over a dozen countries. A pretty typical TLUG nomikai but just a tad bigger. Nice time.

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Tokyo Linux User Group 121208 Tokyo Linux User Group 121208

Friday Dec 05, 2008

Tokyo OSUG Nomikai: 120408

Last night the Tokyo OpenSolaris User Group met for our first nomikai along with some Sun guys from the Tech Days confernce. Special thanks to Shoji Haraguchi for the shirts! We figured we`d make a bit of a statement by picking a color that would really show up in the photos. :)

Sunday Nov 09, 2008

Seriously

As release time nears, there will probably be a lot of reviews out in the press. Cool. It will be interesting to see how that goes. In the meantime, I found this article today on Enterprise Networking Planet from Charlie Schluting -- Time to Take OpenSolaris Seriously?

Saturday Nov 08, 2008

Tokyo Linux User Group: 110808

Here are some images from the Tokyo Linux User Group meeting earlier today ...

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tokyo Linux User Group 110808 Tokyo Linux User Group 110808

Tuesday Oct 28, 2008

Small Improvements Leading to Big Results

The Open Secret of Success: "Instead of trying to throw long touchdown passes, as it were, Toyota moves down the field by means of short and steady gains. And so it rejects the idea that innovation is the province of an elect few; instead, it's taken to be an everyday task for which everyone is responsible." -- James Surowiecki, The New Yorker

There is so much to say about that quote. I think it's anti-intuitive for many people, which is probably why many miss it. But what I love is that it's just liberating. If this is true, and if much of Toyota's success is based on everyone being responsible for innovation, then I find that inspiring. Empowering. It means that innovation is not exclusive. It's not necessarily only locked inside the special people with big names, big titles, big brains, big megaphones, or big salaries. How utterly democratic. That's not at all how innovation is generally characterized, though. Be careful what you read.

So, will the American auto companies eventually get this? I think they will. It's cool to see Ford getting back into the quality game -- Ford gains on Toyota -- the Toyota way -- now so things may be changing. This bit about companies trying to leverage the Toyota manufacturing system is really interesting to me. It seems difficult to implement because it's such a different way of thinking, but extreme circumstances are also efficient focusing mechanisms. People get back to basics because they have no choice. That's where Toyota's system came from, actually -- a group of people who built a company during difficult times.

As soon as I read these new links (thanks for the pointers, Chris), I thought about how the Toyota production system is open source, basically, and how leading FOSS developers embrace the very same principles of incremental improvement. Just see Linus Torvalds here and here for one obvious and high profile example, but any reading of open source culture and software development methodologies will bubble up many interesting associations.

Everything tagged Toyota here.

Friday Oct 24, 2008

Running Successful OpenSolaris User Groups

I've been re-reading Eric Raymond's How To Become A Hacker, and one of his links in there points to Rick Moen's Recipe for a Successful Linux User Group. Both documents are excellent. So, I figured I'd scratch out a little "Recipe for Running a Successful OpenSolaris User Group" based on what these guys have said, my own experiences participating in some user groups, and also some observations about a long post I wrote a while back -- Building OpenSolaris Communities. I'll keep adding to this post over time. But for now, here are a few obvious items:
  1. Start: Just start. Decide that you want to form a little group and get going. Keep it simple. Don't do too much planning initially. Just get some guys and go to a local pub or coffee shop someplace and talk. That's a user group. Remember, this is a social exercise first, technical one second. Just my opinion.

  2. Infrastructure: Eventually you should have some sort of web presence to show your stuff and a mailing list to talk to people. If you want this infrastructure on opensolaris.org, start here and we'll help you out. Or you can use Google/Yahoo if you like, and if you have some gear you can always build and host your own site. Also, you can leverage many of the social networking platforms out there, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning.

  3. Meetings: Many people feel that to have a user group and attract new people they need technical meetings with well-known speakers right away and that these technical meetings have to occur every month. Why? Why not every other month? Or once a quarter for tech meetings with social meetings in between. Don't treat this as a job. Treat this as fun. Technical meetings naturally grow over time to fulfill a need, but you have to get together as people first to see what happens. Who's working on what? Who knows who? Who wants to collaborate on some projects? Who has some lessons learned to share? Who else lives in the area? Whatever. Don't force it. Talk on list and meet casually till things click, and over time the need for technical meetings will be obvious.

  4. Meeting Rooms: If your group does grow into having regular meetings with presenters and demos and such, you'll need a room. Check with the local universities in your area first. But also talk to the local tech companies. And maybe some members of your user group can offer access to their company's offices on a rotating basis on the weekend. Ping Sun, too, if we are around. We certainly have an interest in seeing OpenSolaris User Groups thrive, and many groups are hosted at Sun facilities worldwide anyway. And if you don't have any Sun employees in your group, this is a good way to get them involved.

  5. Joint Meetings: As your own meetings mature and as you reach out to other communities in your area, consider doing some joint meetings. Get the BSD guys together for a joint OpenSolaris/BSD session. Or an OpenSolaris/Linux meeting. Or go up the stack and talk to application developers and web developers. There are many other user groups and communities out there that you can hang out with to explore technical and personal relationships.

  6. Audio and Video: Some user groups I've been to or observed in the OpenSolaris community are recording their meetings to audio and/or video files for download. Others are streaming. Others offer conference call numbers for live phone participation. These communication techniques are very cool because they enable you to reach new people in your local area and around the world. I live in Japan, but I've called into meetings in China and the United States, and I've viewed online audio/video content from India and Prague and elsewhere. All this brings up another point: local user groups hanging out at local bar are now really international communities. This was always true to a point, but with easy and pervasive communication tools you are now local and global. That's cool.

  7. Size: Don't worry about growing big. Most user groups are initiated and maintained by a pretty small number of people. That's ok. Keep it small if you want. Or grow it large. There are no rules. You decide. But don't feel you have to be this way or that way to be a user group. You don't.

  8. Consistency: Although size is not that important, consistency is probably a bigger deal. Try to keep conversations flowing on list, and if you meet live, try to meet regularly. Some groups meeting monthly and others quarterly. You decide. The frequency of meetings is not as important as the consistency. Momentum and predictability are important for establishing trust and helping people get involved.

  9. Diversity: Try to encourage some diversity. Keep your group open to everyone in the area. You never know who is connected to who out there. Also, part of diversity is to reach out to other groups and other communities. I'm an OpenSolaris guy, but the Tokyo Linux User Group welcomed me to their meetings and on their list as soon as I contacted them. I use Linux, too, but that's not the point. They are open to everyone. And that's a big deal. This is open source. Be open. Same story with the Tokyo2Point0 community.

  10. Identity: Design a t-shirt. A logo. Etc. People love to identify with something bigger themselves, something doing good, something they love. Leverage this natural feeling and promote an identity for your group. You don't have to be aggressive about this, but just be aware that over time your group will develop a culture. Let it emerge naturally.

  11. Photography: The camera is one of the most powerful community-building devices I've ever experienced. It cuts cleanly through tough culture and language barriers, and the vast majority of people I've met love to see images of themselves hanging out with others. I've met thousands of people by taking pictures. So, take pictures.

  12. Leadership: Although most people like keeping things as casual and decentralized as possible, someone has to lead from time to time. Book a meeting room at a university or local company. Send out notices. Update web pages. Collect money at bars for drinks and food. These are all activities that require assertions. As your group grows bigger, the need for clearly identifiable leaders will grow as well. Do you want to lead? And if you are leading, consider rotating leaders at some point. Give other people a chance.

  13. Money: Chip in some of your own cash, but don't go wild. Over time as your group grows, maybe try to raise some money via auctions. The Tokyo Linux User Group does a great job of this. Also, poke the local tech companies for some sponsorship dollars. Hey, you never know. Ask. Use the money for hosting services, trips to conferences, t-shirts, or any other infrastructure costs. You're not running a business, though. You don't need lots of money.
That's it for now. Not complete but just some ideas to kick around. I'll update this from time to time as I think of stuff. Also, if you know of other lists of "how to run a user group" let me know. Until then, keep checking out http://opensolaris.org/os/usergroups/ for updates to the OpenSolaris User Group Community.

Monday Oct 13, 2008

Dissecting an Attack

Paul Murphy takes apart -- point by point -- a recent InfoWorld article attacking OpenSolaris -- Anatomy of an attack: The New York Times on Solaris. As hit pieces go, the original article falls flat on its face because it's so obviously overkill. I commented on it as well.

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.

Friday Oct 10, 2008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Nice nomikai tonight with the Tokyo Linux User Group. There were guys there from 12 countries. Japan, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, US, Argentina, Brazil, Korea, France, Iceland, Australia. And that's normal for this group. It's quite an international crowd, and to me that's part of what makes a healthy community. That's also why I like hanging out with these guys.

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Tokyo Linux User Group 101008 Tokyo Linux User Group 101008

Saturday Oct 04, 2008

Tokyo Open Source Conference: Photos

I went to the Tokyo Open Source Conference today. This is a semi-annual, two day event usually drawing about 2,000 attendees and people from open source communities around Japan. The OpenSolaris community was there, of course, with some engineers and a community presentation from Masafumi Ohta on his EeePC work. I also had the great opportunity to meet Joe Brockmeier and some community members from openSUSE. Joe presented about the openSUSE community, its history and governance, and some of the new technologies coming out in the next release of the distribution. Very cool. And, of course, I walked around meeting other people and taking pictures. Great fun.

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Tokyo Open Source Conference Tokyo Open Source Conference

Friday Oct 03, 2008

Stallman on OpenSolaris

Interview with Richard Stallman, Founding Father of Free Software: "OpenSolaris is already free software, and I can endorse it as such. If Sun releases it under GPLv3, that will be even better; however, when choosing between free programs, the main factor is practical." -- Richard Stallman

Nice to see OpenSolaris come up in this interview. Stallman also chimed in on an OpenSolaris conversation a few years ago talking about licensing. I remember that conversation well. Stallman's mail got caught up in the opensolaris-discuss moderator queue (me) since he wasn't subscribed to the list, so I had to approve his messages. Fun.

Tuesday Sep 30, 2008

Cross Cultural Engineering Panel

On Oct 11th, I'll be at Pasona Tech in Tokyo participating on a panel about cross-cultural engineering. Should be great fun and very educational as well. I love this topic and I live it every day. We'll explore how language and cultural issues affect Japanese engineers as they work and interact with other engineers from around the world. I'll be talking about my experiences in Japan, China, and India in particular, but I'll also probe some things I've learned from dealing with developers across many language and cultural barriers in other regions on the OpenSolaris project.

17:00〜18:30 エンジニア・グローバル・サミット2008

〜世界から見た日本のキャリア、日本から見た世界のキャリア〜

<パネラー>
サン・マイクロシステムズ
株式会社
東京ソフトウェア本部
Open Solaris技術部
主幹部長
Jim Grisanzio 氏

株式会社NTTデータ
技術開発本部
原田 季栄 氏

TLUG President
Edward Middleton 氏

株式会社paperboy&co.
事業戦略本部 副本部長
技術責任者
宮下 剛輔 氏

株式会社Cerevo
代表取締役
岩佐 琢磨 氏

<モデレーター>
櫻井 知之 氏

楽天株式会社
国際開発室
美谷 広海 氏

Sakurai-san will be monitoring the panel. Here we are together from a previous cross-cultural event.

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?

Wednesday Sep 24, 2008

Community Building Takes Time

Lessons learned from five years of Fedora: "The most valuable thing I've learned watching Fedora is this: Patience. It takes time and steady, incremental growth to build a solid community. -- Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier, Community Manager for openSUSE.

I totally agree. I've been a big fan of the Linux community (communities, actually) for years now, but the more community work I do for OpenSolaris the more I look toward the Linux community for ideas and inspiration. They did this first. They are bigger. We are younger. We can learn. It's that simple. I feel the same way about other communities as well, and I regularly talk with BSD guys (where we partially came from a long time ago) and Mozilla guys and other groups as I pick and poke my way around OpenSolaris. It takes time to build anything of value.

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.

Friday Sep 19, 2008

98

I updated my OpenSolaris laptop (a tiny little Sony barely bigger than my hand) to build 98 this morning while I was on a conference call with the U.S. Took about 20 minutes. I was doing lots of chatting via IM and going on the web for some stuff during the update, and I noticed very little performance hit. Just perfect. I haven't used it much since I had to run out after my call, but at least the actual update went well. Go get 98 here [indiana-discuss] pkg.opensolaris.org package repository update (build 98). By the way, these are developer builds so they are not perfect, obviously. There are known issues. Read the release notes.

But for me and my basic (relatively simple) use patterns the last few updates have been no trouble at all. And if I have trouble the guys on list are very helpful. In fact, many times, if you have a problem you don't even have to ask since you can usually figure it out from the conversations that spin around after each build is released and also from the bugs filed. Contrast this to my first experience installing a pre-release version of Solaris 10 four years ago. It took three hours and I needed the direct -- on keyboard -- help of two smart guys who argued with each other about the best way to do things. Drove me nuts. One of them told me -- in all genuine seriousness -- that my install failed due to bug #whatever and that all I had to do was go get this patch over there on that engineering's machine and compile it and it should (should?) work. The engineers were always very helpful to me, but in that case I just closed the lid and went home and installed Linux (probably Ubuntu). I needed to use my computer immediately, and I didn't want to keep using Windows. And I was too embarrassed to say I had no flipping clue how to go get that patch and do whatever with it. At the time, Linux wasn't that easy either, but at least I could handle it in most cases.

Anyway, that was a long time ago, and OpenSolaris has been a remarkably easy install for well over a year now. But it keeps getting easier. Just a few clicks from a CD on a fresh install, or a few lines typed into a terminal window for an update. Even I can do it. So, although the high end bits in OpenSolaris continue to engage the smartest people in the world running highly complex, mission-critical systems, the operating system can now also engage me as well. Now, I realize that the stated "target market" for the OpenSolaris distribution is pretty smart developers -- and not me -- but the system is evolving so fast that the guys building this thing will soon find that they are running right into people like me all over the place. And there are many millions of me out there. Very cool.

Saturday Sep 13, 2008

Tokyo Linux User Group 091308

Images from the Tokyo Linux User Group meeting at Sun earlier today. And, of course, the nomikai later in the evening. As with every TLUG event, it was great to meet a bunch of new guys in Tokyo.

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All of my TLUG images on flickr.

Monday Sep 08, 2008

The Value of the Community

Google considered a move to OpenSolaris? All that glitters is not Chrome: "Two years later, Google has yet to broadly embrace OpenSolaris. Google isn't one to take the short-term view on performance. Linux has a strong, vibrant community dedicated to improving its performance and extending its reach. OpenSolaris, while a great project, still lacks this widespread community involvement. In Linux, Google benefits from the contributions of Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Red Hat, and others. With OpenSolaris? It would be more of a solo act." -- Matt Asay.

I share Matt's views on the strength and value of the Linux community. That's what we are working towards for OpenSolaris -- a global community that contributes and thrives.

I don't at all think we'll be a solo act forever, though, and we always knew it would be a solo act initially. But Intel is contributing to the project now, and there are a number of individual contributors on multiple projects from multiple regions around the world. Contributions have been small in number for good reason, though: the project is still young, and we've been slow in getting tools and infrastructure outside to enable open development across the entire project. However, the early participation we clearly see will only increase as the main kernel gate moves outside (some other projects gates are already outside), and as we build out the community package repositories for the OpenSolaris distribution. This way we can engage the community at multiple levels. Globally speaking, though, we are a small community right now. But we are very much moving in the right direction and especially in some emerging markets. We'll earn our way as we go. Wouldn't have it any other way. Linux earned its way over many years, and we should have to do the same.

Tuesday Sep 02, 2008

TLUG Technical Meeting Sept 13

Looking forward to the next Tokyo Linux User Group meeting on September 13th. Stop by if you are in Tokyo.

Friday Aug 08, 2008

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Went to the Tokyo Linux User Group nomikai tonight. As always, I met a bunch of new guys. Very cool.

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All TLUG pics here.

Saturday Jul 12, 2008

DTrace at Tokyo Linux User Group: Photos

Sun`s Shoji Haraguchi and Hisayoshi Kato presented DTrace with a bunch of demos at the Tokyo Linux User Group meeting yesterday. Lars Kotthoff also presented reading Felica cards from Linux/BSD. I took 88 images and dumped 40 or so on the train ride home. The stuff below is what survived. It was a good day (and night) with about 50 people turning up. I had been wanting to get the OpenSolaris guys together with the Linux and BSD guys for a while now since I seem to mix in both crowds these days. We got together at the launch of OpenSolaris 2008.05 and then again tonight, so hopefully we can have more meetings in the future with all three operating system communities.

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I have quite a nice collection for TLUG and related images at this point. Now I have to go back and fill in some names. A project for the next week or so.

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