Monday Jul 06, 2009

Community Responsibility and Opportunity

Last month there was an interesting thread developing on ogb-discuss about the lessons learned from the Townhall session at CommunityOne. The conversation died pretty quickly, though, which was a shame. I think it could have led to some good issues being explored.

In a couple of posts in the discussion, I talked about Jono Bacon`s Ubuntu session I attended at C1 and what OpenSolaris could learn from the Linux community in general (actually, we are already learning even if many people don`t realize it yet). I was trying to promote the notion that the OpenSolaris community ought to take on more community building responsibilities and not depend on Sun so much. That was in response to an observation that the "community" was somewhat lacking at CommunityOne. That may be true to a certain degree. C1 was a large event run by a company, for the most part, but it was intended to benefit the community. Let`s take it. It was a gift. I think that too may people are too quick to look to Sun for everything, which is not realistic and only leads to disappointment because expectations are simply too high.

Sun is doing its part (opening code, funding development operations and global community building programs, running conferences, hosting infrastructure, moving engineers outside, etc), but the community shouldn`t expect Sun to build the entire community at all levels, and that`s the impression I get sometimes from some of our list conversations. I have said that the community needs to assert more of its own community building role for four years now, but it never really resonates on list. I`m not sure why. Maybe I`m just wrong, but I think it`s painfully obvious. Just hang out a bit with the Linux community and you see many layers of communities with no single company in the center responsible for building everything. There are many companies and organizations and universities and individuals, and the attitude is very different. And there is no reason why OpenSolaris can`t grow in that direction as well. In fact, it`s already happening. Companies and large organizations are getting involved, and there are elements in the community that are asserting their role as builders beyond Sun -- the user groups. The OSUGs are helping to diversify community building functions because many of them are now running their own events (in addition to their normal meetings, I mean), and they are growing in their own ways without Sun necessarily being directly involved. This is a model on which we should expand.

Building the OpenSolaris community needs to be everyone`s responsibility and everyone`s opportunity, and it needs to be distributed as widely as possible. This is what we are doing in Tokyo, by the way.

Friday Jul 03, 2009

Upcoming Events: Linux, OpenSolaris, Web 2.0

I hope to check out three community events in Tokyo in the next week or so:

- 7/10: OpenSolaris User Group: ZFS and OpenSolaris Security
- 7/11: Tokyo Linux User Group: Network Security and ZFS
- 7/13: Tokyo2Point0: Cloud Computing and Lightning Talks

The timing is good, too. Canon called. They fixed my lens.

Saturday Jun 27, 2009

Japan Linux Symposium: Tokyo, October 2009

It's excellent to see the 9th Annual Linux Kernel Summit and the 1st Annual Japan Linux Symposium coming to Tokyo in October. Check out this language from the LF website: "The Japan Linux Symposium will be the showcase Japan and Asia Pacific conference for The Linux Foundation." Showcase. This is significant. The Japanese may not shout about it much, but developers in this country are contributing to FOSS and their contributions are growing. The potential in Japan for open source is huge. I've been saying it since I got here. So cool that the LF clearly recognizes this potential by bringing their conferences here. Also interesting: the LF website appears in two languages -- English and Japanese.



I already hang out with the Tokyo Linux User Group (here, here), so I hope to attend this event in October.

Friday Jun 12, 2009

BSD, Linux, OpenSolaris: A Conference in Tokyo

I've been thinking that it might be an interesting time to do a little kernel conference for OpenSolaris, Linux, and the BSDs right here in Tokyo. Get everyone together. See what happens. What the heck.

We could hold the event right at the Sun office on the 27th floor just like BarCamp back in May. We already hold the Tokyo Linux User Group meetings here and get about 40 people each time, we hold OpenSolaris meetings and get about 40 people (and about 100 for formal product launches), and BarCamp drew 100 people from multiple communities. That`s basically where I got the idea from -- and, of course, watching James C. McPherson put together his kernel conference in Australia. So, I wonder what would happen if we organized a day long conference specifically to bring together developers and community members from the key open source operating systems in an informal, un-conference format? I wonder what technology and community building bits we could all share together? I bet we could attract 150 top guys from Tokyo, and I bet we'd make quite an impression in the process. And I think there is more than enough talent right here to pull it off without having to call in people from the U.S. or Europe (although they'd certainly be welcome to come and participate, of course).

Just kicking this idea around ...

Tuesday May 26, 2009

BarCamp Tokyo: Fall 2009

The planning for BarCamp Tokyo Fall 2009 is starting now. I'll be on the organizing team again. We have more time. We're going bigger. And better. Should be cool. Check back often. And if you are in Tokyo you can get directly involved. What's cool about BarCamp is that, quite frankly, no one is special. Instead, everyone organizes and everyone presents. Everyone is special, actually. Everyone has something to contribute.

Saturday May 09, 2009

Tokyo Linux User Group 050909

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

Sunday May 03, 2009

Photo Directions: Sun Yoga Office

If you come to Sun`s Yoga office in Tokyo for OpenSolaris or Linux meetings or the upcoming BarCamp event, it`s really hard to get lost now. I updated the directions with new text and photos.

Thursday Apr 30, 2009

TLUG Tech Meeting Set for May 9

The agenda is all set for the next Tokyo Linux User Group technical meeting. It's Saturday May 9th. It's right here at Sun's office in Yoga on the 27th floor. Shoji and I will be there. And after the meeting we'll go out for some beers, of course. These meetings are generally very well attended with 45 or so people. There are usually two main talks and sometimes a third short talk stuffed in there as well. Then there is an auction to raise money for the group (for hosting services, etc), so people are always bringing stuff to, well, auction off. And speakers drink free after the meeting, too. Good all around. Great group of guys. Stop by. All open communities welcome. To get a feel for these meetings, check out the many TLUG photos I keep at this tag right here: http://blogs.sun.com/jimgris/tags/tlug

Tuesday Apr 14, 2009

Tokyo2Point0 041309

Images from Tokyo2Point0 the other night. It was the biggest T2P0 event I`ve been to so far. About 170 people, 10 talks, Web 2.0 developers and entrepreneurs from the international community. Nice to see a lot of Linux guys there and some OpenSolaris guys as well. It`s great to mix communities. I could really use that 1.2 right about now, though. Need a bigger hole in my camera. I`m still shooting at 800 and 1600. Too much grain.

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Thursday Mar 12, 2009

The Debate: OpenSolaris, Linux, Windows

Sun, Linux Foundation, Microsoft to Debate Operating Systems. It seems that in April the Linux Foundation`s Jim Zemlin will moderate a debate between Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation, Sam Ramji from Microsoft, and Ian Murdock from Sun. Interesting way to structure a debate with the moderator as participant, but it should be a fascinating discussion. Great to see OpenSolaris engaging in forums like this. I`d love to see it if I were in San Francisco, but maybe there will be some video or audio.

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 ... 

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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.

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