Today is my first day back in office after the GPLv3 conference in Tokyo, Japan. Great thanks and compliments go to the Free Software Initiative Japan (FSIJ) for organising such a professional and interesting conference in Akihabara, where dead geeks reincarnate.
If you are interested in more information, all the presentations are available in PDF from the conference web site and Ciaran already transcribed the talks of RMS and himself on FSFE’s GPLv3 project page. More transcripts coming soon.
The international attendance at this conference was quite exceptional, including people from Latin America, India, Japan, Europe, and the United States, so there were many interesting discussions and exchanges about Free Software activities in the various countries and regions.
To me, it was most interesting to see how promoting Free Software all over Asia plays a major role in the International IT Strategy of Japan, and how the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) supports Free Software activities in Japan. So while the Japanese market is rotating very fast and quite oriented towards short-term benefit at the moment, there is a growing interest in Free Software.
Another very interesting discussion was with Arun M of FSF India who does some very interesting work in the state of Kerala. He had some copies of a very nice brochure about "Free Software Projects in Public Enterprises of Kerala" by the Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment that he co-ordinates. Unfortunately I do not know of a URL for this brochure, otherwise I’d provide it. Once Arun puts it up, I’ll make sure to link to it.
As to the country itself, my love for Aikido has always connected me to Japanese culture, so I regret that I once more had to leave so early. In case you’re interested, here are two reading suggestions for the holiday season
- John Stevens: Invincible Warrior
an account of the life of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido
- Yasunari Kawabata: Thousand Cranes
Shane’s suggestion for a story-based introduction into Japanese culture