Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

OSS in One-Fifth of Japanese Businesses

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the penguins-abroad dept.

Linux Business 99

WillAffleck writes "According to a recent Infoworld article, one-fifth of all Japanese businesses now use Open Source operating systems. From the article: 'By contrast, 33 percent of U.S. companies have adopted open-source operating systems in at least some of their servers, MIC said. Among the companies polled by the MIC, 66 percent said open-source operating systems have low initial costs, while 47.8 percent said the software has low operating costs '"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So in other words (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987308)

Japan is behind the U.S. in OSS adoption? Or is the Japan 21 percent figure "exclusively use" and the America 33 percent figure "partially use"? This article is somewhat confusing.

Re:So in other words (1)

gunpowda (825571) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987369)

at least some of their servers is confusing.

But since the article is trying to make a contrast and a comment on a growing trend, it seems to make a lot more sense if you read it as Japan being behind the US.

Re:So in other words (2, Informative)

VHerring (892379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987857)

The topic summary given is a bit misleading. From the article:

"The use of open-source operating systems in enterprise servers is growing in Japan"

and

"So far, 21 percent of Japanese companies have already introduced open-source operating systems including Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD systems"

and

"Open-source operating systems are used with much less frequency in applications for financial, payment, distribution and customer service applications, the report said."

It seems to me that the article is talking about the use of OSS for running servers (web, etc.), but doesn't specifically say anything about personal workstations. Based on the third quote, I surmise that this means they're still using Windows in other places around the office.

free oss? (1)

Stelminator (856547) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987309)

"low initial costs" = free is cheaper than M$

Re:free oss? (0, Flamebait)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987326)

Support costs money.

Until OSS nuts realise that, they are just ranting.

Re:free oss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987392)

Duh. Thats why the operating expenses were factored out in the survey. Fewer than half the companies found it cheaper to operate and support.

Re:free oss? (4, Informative)

Canadian_Daemon (642176) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987399)

Support costs money.
Indeed it does. Until MS nuts realize that MS products need support as well, this arguement is not valid.

Re:free oss? (2, Insightful)

Feynman (170746) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987486)

Maybe both sides should stop throwing around generalizations and anecdotal evidence and find an impartial, quantitative comparison of support costs for the two operating systems when performing similar tasks.

Re:free oss? (1)

Valar (167606) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987563)

I can do you one better on that-- use the tool that is right for the job. If your company relies on server software that runs only on windows, guess what-- your server should probably be running windows. If the software you use runs better on linux than on windows, use linux.

Re:free oss? (1)

NicklessXed (897466) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988373)

Better yet, be smart enough to choose software that works on both platforms from the beginning on, giving you much less trouble should you decide to switch later on (for whatever reason).

Re:free oss? (1)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987579)

Gee I wonder why nobdy has done this yet!

Impartial is almost impossible to find in IT.

Re:free oss? (3, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987580)

I'm sick and tired of "My os is cheaper than your os because yadda yadda yadda"

It's all about opportunity cost: What do you give up by running this OS?

The business might save $120M a year by switching to Linux from IBM, but if that translates into $1B loss of profits in three years, then Linux was not the right choice.

Likewise if a business spends $10M/year on windows systems and nets $100M/year in profits, and they could spend $12M/year on Linux (better admins, yadda^3) but generate $400M in net earnings, Linux would be the better solution, even though it would cost 2 million dollars more per year than windows.

How I sell management on linux: The business will make more money, and have a higher profit margin. Once the numbers make sense, they'll go borrow the cash to transition if they have to, but it will happen, guaranteed.

And Japanese businessmen didn't build the second largest economy in the world by forgetting the bottom line.

Re:free oss? (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987722)

It'll depend on the shop.

Here OSS costs less. Mostly cause I'm here and can build OpenBSD and/or Debian boxes to do just about any job I need them to do and they just sit there and do their job. Contrast this with the attempts at doing anything with Checkpoint/Cisco that always seems to devolve into support calls.

Clearly it's going to depend on the skillset of your people but I can almost promise that in the year of our lord 2000 and 5 that almost any IT shop is going to have at least one geek who already has the CDs in his bag and the skills to do the job. This is, IMO, because in contrast to closed source stuff that hacking on OSS systems is *fun*.

Re:free oss? (1)

sharpestmarble (875443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987831)

Who comissions the study? If it's an OSS advocate, then the study will say that OSS is cheaper. If it's MS that comissions the study, then the study will say that MS is cheaper.

Hahahahahahahahahaha... was Re:free oss? (1)

xiang shui (762964) | more than 9 years ago | (#12995360)

Right.

Re:free oss? (2, Interesting)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987570)

There is another way to look at it. I am sure there are more MCSEs out there than linux admins because of the way they are churned out. The MCSEs may know nothing, but they are probably good enough to do some basic point and click with the GUI. Keeping that in mind a linux admin who is probably far more competent is more expensive.

Re:free oss? (1)

Mahou (873114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987610)

i wasn't aware that anyone was claiming microsoft products were free

Re:free oss? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987606)

Ah, but training and quality products can shift the operating point of the system towards the company.
As the baby eventually gives up the bottle, so the workforce can wean itself from the help desk.
Unless we're talking about one of those bottom-feeder outfits that just wants to bring in entry-level fodder, chew them up, and spit them in the direction of better companies.

Indeed, and so does outage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12988034)

Yesterday, our department (~1300 people) couldn't send or receive any emails, set up meetings or check their calendars for five hours due to problems with the MS Exchange server.

Re:Indeed, and so does outage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12988247)

Problems with the MS Exchange server...that could be anything. Power outage? Fan quit? HD crash? Bad administrator without a disaster recovery plan better than 5 hours?

Re:free oss? (1)

Shads (4567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987543)

The "cost" is varied based on what kinda shop you run.

An all windows shop is probally going to have some issues integrating linux and open source into their daily routine, especially if the admins don't have some experience with it.

A unix shop can integrate and probally has integrated some open source solutions for years, even moving to linux from unix is trivial.

The expense of opensource/linux/*bsd can really be mostly determined by the quality of your administration staff and programming staff depending on the product and market you're looking at.

Short story:
One of the companies we work with just hired an "Admin" (I use the term in a very loose sense). He's in college, bout half way through an mcse and shy the times the mcse material has forced him to a command prompt... he's never seen one. He doesn't know how to do most windows administration tasks, and linux/*bsd/unix scares the hell out of him. For them to move to a opensource OS and software would send him screaching for the hills. He's afraid to login to the SINGLE fileserver that runs linux that they have... even using webmin.

On the other hand, you could take any of the admin staff here and drop them in his place and we'd be comfortable moving between windows and pretty much any other modern os. Course between the 3 of us we have in excess of 40 years of experience.

The sad thing is, they are paying the admin at the company we work with what I would consider to be less than most technical support jobs payscale... to "save money"... but some of the choices he's making and design methodology he uses (ask his professor generally and then pray) aren't going to work well in the long run and he's going to end up costing them many many many times what it would have cost them to pay a decent wage and pick up an admin that had a vague idea of what was going on.

Good admins are a vastly underrated commodity... because they're flexible, knowledgeable, and comfortable with a wide range of technology that will drastically decrease the cost of implementation of ANY technology used, opensource or otherwise.

That is really where the primary cost savings comes from regardless of if the software is OS or closed... Time is money and if it takes months to implement something that should take days, thats alot of cash lost.

Re:free oss? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12988032)

Training, integration, migration...

rearry? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987311)

That's arot.

mod up i love engrish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987427)

Following to the recent article of Infoworld, 1 of 5 parts of all Japanese businesses now uses the open source operating system. From article: ' With contrast, 33 percent of U. S. The company their servers adopted the operating system of several opening sources at least, you called MIC. You voted between the company with MIC, while there is a low initial cost in the operating system of the opening source which is said by 66 percent, 47.8 percent say, there is a low-speed operating cost in the software

Re:rearry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987511)

Tsk, tsk. The correct sperring is:

"That's a rot."

You're wercome.

Linux? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987314)

Hello.

I'm trying to open-source my back end. How can Linux help me?

Re:Linux? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987437)

You need a Mac for that. Sorry.

Re:Linux? (1, Offtopic)

ettlz (639203) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987516)

Simple. Eat two hot Bangalore phaals a night for three consecutive days. Your back end will be more open and more sore than ever.

Re:Linux? (1)

ghukov (854181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988149)

For starters, linux, Postgresql [postgresql.org] , and ODBC [postgresql.org] or .Net Data Provider [postgresql.org] for a database with M$ connectivity. Openldap, Samba, freeradius for your authentication / vpn needs.

Uhoh (5, Funny)

THEUBERGEEK (891151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987316)

Time to impose sanctions, we cant have Microsoft being run out of foreign markets, it is unfair competition.
Opps I am sorry, I had a momentary bout of insanity there

Re:Uhoh (2, Funny)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987360)

Don't give them ideas!

Re:Uhoh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12988748)

No more Windows in Europe? Give them more ideas!

1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (1, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987319)

This is the year 2005. Do Slashdotters really care about 20% of Japanese business using Linux? These would have have been impressive numbers in 1999.

Who cares if it's less than what the US has? Maybe if the numbers were *higher* than the US then I'd be interested. "Look, foreign companies are adopting Linux faster than American companies."

That's not the case. Move along.

1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987363)

...what garcia thinks!

The jerk store called...They're all out of YOU!

Re:1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987380)

not everyone lives in the US, you half-wit.

Re:1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987393)

Let's see what percentage of Slashdot users are from the US then you fucking A/C dumbasses can talk.

Re:1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987417)

Thankfully I don't live in the US.
Oh, and thankfully no one here gives a shit what you think.

Re:1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987381)

This is the year 2005. Do Slashdotters really care about 20% of Japanese business using Linux? These would have have been impressive numbers in 1999.

Yes, but there was nowhere near 20% of Japanese companies using it in '99.

Face it, a lot of people on Slashdot are interested in seeing how much adoption of Linux and other things are out there. If for nothing else than to refute some of the TCO studies paid for by/about Microsoft.

Re:1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987420)

Stats here [theregister.co.uk] show that Linux growth is slow in Japan. As I said, big numbers would have been important in 1999, not 2005.

It's grown about 10% in 5 years whereas in 1999/2000 it grew from less than 1% to 10%.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12988486)

For all the bad moderation on the parent comment at least this one has actual numbers to back up the original post.

So much for reading down in the tree huh mods?

Re:1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987410)

I care, because increased adoption of Linux among Japanese businesses means we might finally see some quality linux-based os-tans [wikipedia.org]

Re:1/6th of Slashdotters don't really care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987697)

Way to go mods! Keep handing out those welfare mod points to habitual trolls.

"foreign" is a point of view. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12988294)

one man's "foreign" is another man's "domestic"

The other four fifths are running BSD :) (1)

ALecs (118703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987322)

BSD is really big in Japan. Good to see lots of open-source interest there.

Wow - I'm an idiot (1)

ALecs (118703) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987395)

Need to read that headline. :( /me returns to C coding

BSD is open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987509)

The 21 percent figure includes BSDs.

Re:The other four fifths are running BSD :) (1)

HungWeiWeiHai (896959) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988323)

For a second I was thinking BSDM/S&M, LOL!

Re:The other four fifths are running BSD :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12989654)

BDSM - Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism
The "/S&M" was rather unnecessary.

Also, it's far more annoying to read LOL than a quick haha, or even nothing indicating you're laughing. It also takes any humor out of the situation. Let people decide whether or not it's funny. (That's what moderation's for.)

Re:The other four fifths are running BSD :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12991061)

I personally find "LOL" to be kinda funny, but only in the same way that "yuo = fagot" is funny.

Re:The other four fifths are running BSD :) (1)

HungWeiWeiHai (896959) | more than 9 years ago | (#12992064)

Oushhh.... dah hurrrtch...

Re:The other four fifths are running BSD :) (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988832)

BSD is really big in Japan. Good to see lots of open-source interest there.

Sadly, the Open Source OS was defined in the survey as including Linux, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD, so my guess is that it's not quite that big.

And the other 33%? (1)

kevmo (243736) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987331)

66 percent said open-source operating systems have low initial costs

I can understand OSS having potentially high operating costs from failures and training, but how can you justify high initial costs for something that is free?

Re:And the other 33%? (3, Informative)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987374)

Training, new techs who understand linux, firing all the MCSA who can't cope with the new OS. Conversion of existing programs or switching to linux compatible ones. All those cost money (well except firing the MCSA monkeys) which might explain the high initial costs.

Re:And the other 33%? (1)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987386)

It costs money to convert existing systems

Re:And the other 33%? (1)

dmh20002 (637819) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987388)

i suppose if you count training as an initial cost, and you buy RedHat enterprise edition and you have to hire experienced admins, then the initial cost isn't 0.

Re:And the other 33%? (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987419)

I can understand OSS having potentially high operating costs from failures and training, but how can you justify high initial costs for something that is free?

You can't unless you have cash to burn. Every time I look at it, I'm ahead by less than 5% with Linux over Windows and that is totally outweighed in my book by the need for productivity being held up by dependency Hell, needs to modify source and rebuild, endless configuration that requires pounding a keyboard to dust faster than a data entry clerk, etc.

If I had no choice but to use Linux it would be Red Hat, and then I'd be paying just as I would with MS.

Re:And the other 33%? (1)

ThisIsFred (705426) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988993)

[it] is totally outweighed in my book by the need for productivity being held up by dependency Hell, needs to modify source and rebuild, endless configuration that requires pounding a keyboard to dust faster than a data entry clerk, etc.
I don't know where you're drawing your conclusions from. It takes me just as long to configure Windows Server out of the box as a network server as it does Linux. The gains for Linux are greater, because configuration information is more portable than in Windows (it requires the copying of one configuration file to clone a Samba domain master, for example). Modify the source? Are you including patching in that? I guess that's a valid point if you do your patching on the source and recompile. Every major Linux distro has a package management system with upgrade capability. Kind of like Windows Update, but much easier to automate across many machines, due to the lack of a need for additional software or the requirement to sit there and click through the update process on IE. I don't know where you're getting the "endless configuration" stuff from. I configure my Linux machines once. Unless I screwed it up, I don't have to do it again. I've only run across dependency issues on two applications, both were desktop multimedia apps, and only when I tried to compile from source instead of using their pre-compiled binaries.

I take it from your sig that you're sick of having your statements nitpicked by the /. Keepers o' the Faith. It doesn't help when you post something like this. I'm sorry, but my employer's network is soon to be 75% Linux, and I'm not having the problems you describe, and it doesn't require a rocket scientist to do. In fact, it requires the same overall knowledge of architecture and theory of operation that a Windows network does. I'm at a loss why Microsoft-certified techs would have trouble with it, unless they're very weak on the concepts. My own experience with MS cert courses tells me that it's not the way it's being taught. My own experience with Linux shows me it's not that hard to learn. So what is the problem?

Re:And the other 33%? (1)

Whafro (193881) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987456)

I can understand OSS having potentially high operating costs from failures and training, but how can you justify high initial costs for something that is free?

When you have a bunch of people in your IT department who are used to clicking on the start button to get anywhere, it's actually going to cost something to retrain them or to hire people who actually have some technical intuition.

Additionally, remember that just because it's open-source doesn't mean it's free of cost. Red Hat's enterprise-level distros certainly cost serious money, perhaps in the same league as comparable MS systems, depending on whom you ask.

If a company decides to actually go a open-source and cost-free OS route, their software may be free, but there are often additional costs to actually get the system up, running, and supported. On the other hand, it's obviously the case that the long run costs would be lower on the software end, as the upgrades would be far closer to free than a comparable MS upgrade.

Re:And the other 33%? (1)

avronius (689343) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987472)

Software costs only account for a small percentage of "initial" costs.

At some point, when your organization becomes larger than a single linux server handling all tasks, you might consider investing in infrastrucutre. Some components that you would probably include:

1. nim server (makes installs on new systems less painful)
2. mame service (Likely LDAP)
3. name service (replicas)
4. print server of some variety (maybe cups)
5. DMZ, screened network, etc.
6. web server / secure ftp server, etc.
7. Add specialized components until the penguins come home...

Each piece, in and of itself, requires a substantial investment in time to configure, and to get all of the pieces working together, you can kiss a few more hours goodbye.

Add to that problems with basic services, like automounter, etc., and there is more time that you have lost.

In the case of OSS deployment, the biggest dollar expenditure is in the labour for deployment, which includes researching various implementations, dealing with library issues, bug fixes, etc.

Free is a misnomer in the enterprise space

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987332)

fp

Take that microsoft marketing dept (1)

chris09876 (643289) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987342)

Almost 50% said the operating cost is low, while 66% said the initial cost is low. It's surprising that Microsoft's "open source has a more expensive TCO than Windows" obviously hasn't taken a firm hold... those numbers are fairly encouraging.

Re:Take that microsoft marketing dept (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987421)

You are not encouraging at all!

Servers... (4, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987343)

not desktops... so this could be as little as 1 machine per business...

someone slap the editors with a cluestick please...

Re:Servers... (1)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988211)

And by the benchmark mentioned by the editors, the numbers probably should be much higher. I think you'll find at least one OSS server in every medium to large US business. (Think internal FTP servers or workgroup intranet servers.)

Re:Servers... (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988355)

not desktops... so this could be as little as 1 machine per business...

enterprise servers...web-based poll...no mention of how many companies participated in the survey, their size, or business.

Re:Servers... (1)

Captain_Chaos (103843) | more than 9 years ago | (#12992298)

not desktops... so this could be as little as 1 machine per business...

someone slap the editors with a cluestick please...

Why? What's inaccurate about the article? It doesn't say anything about what percentage of the computers in those companies run Linux, does it? If you were making assumptions then that isn't the editors' fault. The persons who modded you "insightful" are the ones who should be slapped with a cluestick...

OSS Spreading (3, Funny)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987352)

In recent reports unprotected Windows boxes can have open source software* installed on them in less than 12 minutes.

* - Many viruses are open source either by design (VBS) or through reverse engineering.

Re:OSS Spreading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987449)

If you release a virus into the wild, protected by the GPL, do you take ownership of the IPR in the virus protection software that has to be written to eradicate your original code?

Re:OSS Spreading (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987497)

You mean... viruses are not protected by copyright laws?!?

Re:OSS Spreading (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987635)

Hmm..
1. Write virus
2. Copyright virus
3. Send it into the wild
4. Virus propogates
5. Sue everybody for distributing my copyrighted works!
6. Profit!

Re:OSS Spreading (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987638)

You mean... viruses are not protected by copyright laws?!?

Well, they aren't written by the RIAA, MPAA, BSA or Microsoft, are they ? The virus writers aren't buying laws from US or EU government, are they ? So why would the viruses be protected by copyright ?

Re:OSS Spreading (1)

tyagiUK (625047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988563)

Dear Mr $Locke2005$,

It has come to our attention that your computer system with IP address 192.168.0.5 has been participating in illegal Peer to Peer network activity. We have witnessed this internet host participating in the unlawful distribution of "W32.Mydoom.CF@MM", which is protected under international copyright law by our client, Mr l3et hax0-r of Plumbeckistan.

We therefore demand that you immediately cease distribution of this copyright software and provide a list of all IP addresses to which it has propogated from your computer system.

Sincerely,
The WPAA
(Worm Producers Association of America)

Re:OSS Spreading (1)

yerdaddie (313155) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987818)

Your post suggests another variation

1) Write VBS virus that installs peanut linux
2) Make amazingly large zombie server farm
3) ???
4) Profit

Probably not as easy as Depenguinator http://www.daemonology.net/depenguinator/ [daemonology.net] , but still entertaining.

Not sure where they are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987366)

Must be mostly Apache or server side installs. I have yet to see any thing other than Windows/Mac OS on the desktop in the myriad of offices that I've have opportunity to visit.

What about both? (1)

Parham (892904) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987372)

66 percent said open-source operating systems have low initial costs, while 47.8 percent said the software has low operating costs

I'm curious what percentage said both initial costs and operating costs were low... I think putting companies into only one category leaves out a lot of information.

Re:What about both? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987805)

It's not quite leaving out information. It is obvious from the numbers that respondants were not asked to choose one or the other (100-66 = 34, 34 > 47.8, pigeon hole principle). While the number for respondants listing both would be nice, this poll is not as bad as others.

The Government is helping too (5, Informative)

Ta Pere * (882182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987441)

The Japanese Government is helping OSS development too, and the m17n [m17n.org] library funded by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan [meti.go.jp] is probably, IMO the most exciting thing to come out of the whole process.

The m17n library allow you to view and type complex text languages like Indic, Arabic, Hebrew and other languages. While this is possible by using QT3.2+ & GTK2.0+pango, this restricted one to just 2 toolkits and to two heavyweight desktops(XFCE4 is the exception though). The library [m17n.org] is also a good compromise between a toolkit dependent solution like pango/QT3.2 and Server based solutions like the doomed Indix and STSF.

The screenshots here [m17n.org] show firefox and magicpoint, applications that use different toolkits displaying multilinugal texts. I have even seen but not used windowmaker rpms compiled with m17n support.

A very practical example would be something like Damn Small Linux, which is a pretty lightweight live CD in both disk size (~50 MB) and Memory usage (runs on 64 MB RAM). This was ideal for a school near my place that wanted to use it as a teaching resource but wanted it in their native language. I finally am settling for XFCE4 and GTK2 applications like OO.o, Firefox.

The keyboard solutions were too rudimentary, in the case of xkb for phonetic keymaps for indian languages or too buggy and complex, in the case of IIIMF. M17n was a joy to use from day one and rpms for Mandrake 10.1 & debs for Ubuntu/Debian unstable are available.

Re:The Government is helping too (3, Interesting)

patio11 (857072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12990784)

I work in a Japanese government-established technology incubator and we're pushing OSS as hard as possible. Heck, I got two weeks off of my normal development schedule to contribute to an OSS *game*, for God's sakes. Especially outside of Tokyo (in the vast chunk of the Japanese economy that the rest of the world doesn't hear about), OSS is taking off like a rocket -- we've had a lot of consultations with itty-bitty businesses about "Say, do you have any of that free software stuff that does ?" They're pretty happy when it actually works.

The reason American OSS geeks should be happy Japanese OSS is starting to take off (despite the barriers like language and etc -- keep in mind that Windows took a while to hit 20% penetration here, too, because like half of the Linux distributions it didn't ship with a way to natively input Japanese text) is that Japan exports technical knowhow like crazy. Our last OSS conference had delegates from governments in about six countries (Phillipines, India, etc) who we were telling "Hey, you can save yourself a heck of a lot of money and you'll never have government continuity threatened by loss of a key vendor ever again... Did we mention you save a lot of money?" Obviously, countries take their cues from US usage too, but as the biggest foreign aid donor in the world when the Japanese government says "Hey, we'd appreciate if you economized on our technology funds we're giving you -- here are some ideas on how", people tend to listen.

OMG (3, Funny)

ill_conditioned (529750) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987457)

One-Fifth of Giant Robots run OSS!

Re:OMG (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987640)

One-Fifth of Giant Robots run OSS!

Only the ones being piloted by teens with big eyes.

The rest are dubbed into English with the wrong accents for their characters.

Re:OMG (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12993970)

One-Fifth of Giant Robots run OSS!

Note: if you're planning to run your giant robot on Linux, be sure to select a strong password for the root account. Preferably something not a dictionary word, and for the love of God make it longer than two letters. Otherwise Ritsuko's gonna pwnz j00.

Japan is beating us (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987493)

Or at least that's the initial impression without doing the numbers. Reminds me of an old Dilbert:

Secretary: I can't believe it.
Boss: What?
Secretary: 40% of all sick days are on Monday and Friday.
Boss: What!?! Do they think they can really get away with that?
Secretary: No, they can do math.

Re:Japan is beating us (2, Informative)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987622)

Actually, as I stated in the post - and as detailed in the linked news - Japan is behind the US in adoption of open source OS and software by business.

Now, perhaps they're ahead of us on the residential adoption - I couldn't say.

Re:Japan is beating us (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988456)

You said Japan is behind, but without using the word behind. So one has to compare 1/5 with 33%. Should take an average person 1 second, the average dothead maybe 20 seconds (first 15 are used to post a comment), and we've given up hope on Dilbert's boss.

Re:Japan is beating us (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988667)

You said Japan is behind, but without using the word behind.

In my submission I said Japan has 21 percent and the US has 33 percent.

Maybe in your world 33 percent is not obviously much more than 21 percent, but in mine it's fairly explicit.

Re:Japan is beating us (1)

bhmit1 (2270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12989074)

In my submission I said Japan has 21 percent and the US has 33 percent.

I trust everyone noticed that the original posting was a joke and aren't getting all bent out of shape because they thought it was serious. That said, the part of your posting that made it to the front page said 1/5, 33%, 66%, and 47.8%. The article itself said 21%, but the joke was about the pointy haired bosses thinking that 1/5 is bigger than 33%. Alas, it's lost all humor now. Time to go find someone with bad morale and flog them until they cheer up.

Re:Japan is beating us (1)

nexxuz (895394) | more than 9 years ago | (#12989835)

21 > 33
for really large values of 21

Japanese language support (3, Insightful)

0olong (876791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987625)

It probably has something to do with Linux distros still not providing a very smooth Japanese localization.

Re:Japanese language support (1)

Donny Smith (567043) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988669)

That is not true; Linux has very good Japanese language support, to begin with Turbolinux but also Debian and other distros.

Re:Japanese language support (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12990853)

I get called away from development about three to five times a day for a "Hey, where is the button I need?" consultation, and the R&D group has a "translations of common error messages" list on one of the whiteboards in their office. Don't even get me started about the input method editor -- MS's default one is generally seen as pretty suboptimal around the office, and most of the geeks use a closed-source one from a Japanese company, but every OS one I ever saw is abysmal. You type in "Nagoya", a word which should be *completely* unambiguous in Japanese, and end up getting a reading which hasn't been used since the Kamakura Shogunate. And then after you page down the list to get to the actual name of the city, the IME forgets it for the next session. (Like, if you type the sentence, "Nagoya, site of the Aichi Expo, ...", when you switch back to alphabet for Expo you clear the recently-used list on the IME and then the next time you type Nagoya its back to Kamakura for you).

Its also a really basic barrier to getting acceptance of any particular package. We wanted to demo about 25 CMS packages earlier this year -- nixed 13 off the list immediately because they had no Japanese version (and about half of the rest had translation errors so bad there was no way you could allow them into production use).

OSS sucks, OS *X* rules. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987687)

OS X is far better than Linux, FreeBSD or any other open sores operating system. It is written by PROFESSIONAL paid programmers who work for an innovative, BRILLIANT company doing important work improving the state of the art in computer technology. OS X is what intelligent people use. Think Different. Think Better. Think Apple.

Re:OSS sucks, OS *X* rules. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12987734)

you fucking dumbass. OS X is built on BSD and what do you think the linux developers are? Daycare workers?

+5 moronic

Re:OSS sucks, OS *X* rules. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12988164)

If I ever want to pee on a piece of shit designed by idiots who prioritize form over function, I'll get an Apple. By the way, paying $40 to see Quickcrap in full screen is a great idea! I'll be over here on Debian getting REAL work done instead of staring at bouncing and smoking icons and crapping myself about brushed metal and drop shadows.

What about other OSS (3, Insightful)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987889)

Open Source Software is more than Operating Systems. What about companies (in the US and Japan) using MySql, Apache, Ethereal, etc...) Linux, BSD et al.. are great for companies to adopt, but the reality is the greatest infiltration of OSS will come from applications which can run on Windows.

Bad article!!!! (2, Informative)

ilbrec (170056) | more than 9 years ago | (#12987990)

The original article is INCREDIBLY MISLEADING! In fact, it makes me wonder if Paul Kallender knew what he was writing about.
Here is the bottom of it. 21.0 % of Japanese business currently use OSS for server, 7.6 % of Japanese business is planning to introduce OSS for server, 14.6 % of Japanese business is considering to introduce OSS for server. In the same white paper, they have the figures for USA and South Korea. According to the white paper, the figure in the US is 33.0 % currently use OSS server, 5.7 % is planning to use, and 20.6 % is considering to use. In South Korea, 21.0 % is currently using, 4.7 % is planning to use, and 12.9 % is considering.
If you don't believe me, you can read it yourself at (it's on the fourth page on this PDF): http://www.johotsusintokei.soumu.go.jp/whitepaper/ eng/WP2005/eng_pressinfo3.pdf [soumu.go.jp]
In short, OSS use in Japan in server market is less than that of the US! Is this supposed to be a news? I don't think so!
I thought something was wrong when I saw the headline, as I never saw any OSS machines around when I used to work in Japan. In fact, everywhere I saw, I only saw Windows machines (not even Mac back in 2002).

Bad article!!!! ... or is it just it disagrees? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12988625)

I thought something was wrong when I saw the headline, as I never saw any OSS machines around when I used to work in Japan. In fact, everywhere I saw, I only saw Windows machines (not even Mac back in 2002).

As we all know, all Linux machines have giant neon signs on them, so they can be clearly identified, and servers are always conveniently located in the middle of reception areas, just to satisfy the needs of the curious OS geeks.

Not.

So, you don't like the article. So, as I stated in my summary, Japan has only 21 percent Open Source OS usage by business and the US has 33 percent Open Source OS usage.

It's all there in the summary. And in the linked story.

If you haven't seen Macs in Japan, when I have many friends who've seen them in businesses, then perhaps your sample size may be distorted by either area or randomness?

Statistics can be used for many things. But in the end they're just statistics.

best selling PDA in Japan is linux based Zaurus (3, Interesting)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 9 years ago | (#12989014)

I've heard it from a reliable commentator that the Sharp Zaurus is the most popular PDA in Japan...

My own guess is probably due to the fact it comes with built-in Japanese-English dictionary/translation software (I don't speak Jp so I can't tell you anything about it, I blatted over my Japanese ROM with the Cacko distribution within hours of receiving it).

The interesting thing is that the latest Zaurus, the SL-C3100 [gizmodo.com] , the successor to the C3000 (which was the first ever PDA with a built-in hard drive), is marked as FCC approved. Hopefully Sharp will bring the Zaurus back to the North American market sooner than later, to make up for pulling the much missed 6000L model (which they initially rebutted [infosyncworld.com] but later turned out to be effectively true when they disappeared from retail sellers like amazon [amazon.com] ).

1/5!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12989599)

No, I didn't RTFA, but I do work in Japan, as an engineer. I would say that perhaps 1/5 of all Japanese companies have at least one server running a flavor of Linux/BSD. But they certainly don't use it on the desktop (entirely M$) and not 1/5 of all servers are running Linux/BSD.

So that is certainly a misleading title, to say the least.

Survey Underestimates Popularity of OSS (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12990875)

Its a survey conducted on the web, if you've had Stats 101 you know its not reliable. Want a non-quantifiable demonstration of how big OSS is at the moment? Here is the front page of the Nikkei (Japanese equivalent of Wall Street Journal) Technology Section. You don't even have to read Japanese to pick out the OSS stuff.

http://itpro.nikkeibp.co.jp/ [nikkeibp.co.jp]

They also have a site dedicated completely to OSS. [nikkeibp.co.jp]

In other news, there was a thirty-minute report on OSS on the news after Bill Gates' Japan trip earlier this week (in which one of the newscasters said something to the effect of "Poor Gates, he must be worried").

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?