The First Japanese Open Source Conference
On September 4th, 10:00-17:00, Open Source Conference 2004 was held at the No.7 building of Japan Electronics College (http://www.jec.ac.jp/en/index.html) in Tokyo, Japan. The 8-floor building was full of open source people all day on the Saturday.
Twenty-six open-source communities attended the conference and exhibited the open-source softwares and tools they love to use and play with, such as Fedora, Firebird, Jabber, OpenOffice.org, Plamo Linux, Plone, Squeak, Xoops, Apache, MySQL, NetBSD, PHP, PostgreSQL, Ruby, Samba, vi, Webmin, Zope, Mozilla and so on.
The conference was jammed as a total of roughly 1,500 people visited. The 2nd floor was the exhibition floor where the OpenOffice.org Japan Users Group (whose core is the Japanese Native-lang project) also distributed about 200 Japanese OOo CD-ROMs.
Hideya Kawahara was invited as a keynote speaker for a morning session of the conference. He is a Senior Staff Geek, Project Looking Glass, Advanced Development Group, Sun Microsystems, as read on his name card. The media calls him an "Ichiro (baseball player of the Seattle Mariners)" in the IT industry. His demonstration of the 3D desktop system with the Looking Glass fascinated the audiences packed in the main track room. He emphasized the importance of world-wide community development and said that the current focus is the Japanese community. He called, "Go get it! You are invited!" to the community (http://lg3d.dev.java.net, http://www.sun.com/software/project-looking-glass).
In the afternoon there were more than 30 sessions separated into several tracks for each floor. In the main track they had 3 sessions; "open-source and Agriculture," "open-source Business (panel discussion)" and "Nature of Community and its Future (panel discussion)." Other tracks included Community, Server, DataBase, Web, Plone, Desktop and Hands-on. One of the sessions in the Hands-on track was on "OpenOffice.org DataSource Function - Challenging Microsoft Office+Access." Computers were set on every desk in the Hands-on track room. Masahisa Kamataki from the OpenOffice.org Japan Users Group used Knoppix+OpenOffice.org and showed 25 attendees how to create tables, how to use DataSource, how to print labels and so on with dBASE. A session "Marketing OpenOffice.org in Japan" in the Desktop track was conducted by Yutaka Kachi, the marketing lead of the Japanese Native-lang project.
Two hundred open-source people from various communities, who worked for the conference very hard, gathered at a party in the main track room after the conference. At the party the organizer Toru Miyahara, Begi.net Co. president, announced that he will organize OSPN (open-source People Network) which will support open-source people and hold open-source Conferences. His plan is to have a series of open-source Conference 2005 in Hokkaido, Tokyo, Osaka and Okinawa next year.
Sponsors included Platinum sponsors (Apple Computer, NTT Comware and Sun Microsystems), two Gold sponsors and nine Silver sponsors. Supporters included AIST (http://www.aist.go.jp/), IPA (http://www.ipa.go.jp/about/english/index.html), Japan Linux Association (http://jla.linux.or.jp/) and Japan Unix Society (http://www.jus.or.jp/index-e.html).
The very first Open Source Conference in Japan was a success, and had many open-source people and supporters.