Dwango Enters Engineer Hiring Race With OSS Community Grant

Following to the 20 million users social gaming networks Gree and DeNA’s hiring competition with over $20,000 rewards for engineers beginning 4 days ago, Dwango [J] (Asiajin), who has much longer history on Japanese cellphone game, also known by their Japanese YouTube counter movie community Nico Nico Douga [J] (Asiajin), announced their new rewards plan to their newly hiring engineers [J].

On the program, it is the same that Dwango will pay fair amount of cash, 1,262,500 yen ($14,700) to engineers who applies directly (i.e. not via agents). On top of that, Dwango will donate the same amount of grant to an organization such like open source community or volunteer organization which the hired engineers direct.

The sum of those two rewards will become 2,525,000 yen ($30,000), which number can be read as “Nico Nico” in Japanese.

According to Gadget Tsushin [J], the rewards program was made out of discussion over Twitter conversation among Dwango R&D Director Yuji Chino, a board member Takeshi Natsuno (the father of i-mode) and Niwango (Dwango’s subsidiary for Nico Nico Douga) board Hiroyuki Nishimura, also known as mega bbs 2-channel founder.

Jsdo.it – Shared HTML5/JavaScript Playground For Geeks

Jsdo.it is a new web developers’ community on which HTML5/JavaScript/CSS programmers can play, share and collaborate with others.

On the site, user can edit HTML/JavaScript/CSS on the left pane, and run them on the right pane.

Your code are publicized with your designating license, and others can “fork” it and make his/her branched version.

Popular JavaScript libraries are callable. Others making code are also possible to include.

Here is one Jsdo.it project sample I randomly took. On this blog widget, all source code can be seen on viewer, and you can play it here.

forked from: Trail Fader – jsdo.it – share JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS

As licenses are attached to each source code by posters, you can take all needed code to your server outside if it permits.

All time favored ranking may be good place to check what cool designs and effects are made by Japanese web programmers.

Kayac, the company behind Jsdo.it, has already succeeded with the similar type of “code and share” community on Adobe Flash, Wonderfl. Some popular Flash applications made on Wonderfl seem to be transplanted to Jsdo.it already.

Particle 3000 – jsdo.it – share JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS

JSパーティクル崩し – jsdo.it – share JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS

Tree in the breeze – jsdo.it – share JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS

Real Time Ray Tracing – jsdo.it – share JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS

Livedoor Launches An Open Source Showcase

On Monday, Livedoor Co., Ltd.[J] launched “EDGE src [J]“, a new website which showcases Livedoor’s software and source code which is being distributed to developers under its open-source policy.

The company set up an internal team and a project called “EDGE [J]” to develop software and services on an experimental basis. Since its inception last October, the team has released a number of free software projects including a recommendation engine, a web application framework, an RSS reader and an Apache web server module (similar to mod_auth_cookie) to manage the length of time a server remembers a user’s credentials.

The company encourages developers to use these resources and to develop their own applications.  The code has also been adopted in some of its portal sites.

The company is killing two birds with one stone.   Results coming in from the experimental project contribute to both promoting the company’s name and fostering developer communities.

Livedoor is well known for having attempted to take over the giant Tokyo broadcaster Fuji-TV, and also for a 2006 incident in which the company’s founder and former CEO was arrested on accusations of securities fraud.

The new names “EDGE” and “EDGE src” come from the company’s original name “Livin’ on the edge”.  These choices reflect Livedoor’s employees’ determination to remember their beginnings and to do business honestly in an effort to recover their users’ trust and to effect a turnaround in the company’s business.

From my point of view, Japanese tech ventures such as Livedoor’s EDGE project, seem to set up systems allowing employees to spend a part of their time working on projects that aren’t necessarily in their job descriptions, copying Google’s 20-percent rule which continues to breed innovative products and services.

(Proofread by: Sean O’Hagan)

The First WordCamp in Japan: WordCamp Tokyo 2008

We Asiajin weblog is built on WordPress, open source blog system on PHP/MySQL. Today I attended the WordPress event WordCamp Tokyo 2008, the first ever WordCamp held in Japan.

On a half day conference at Digital Hollywood Shibuya, to over 60 attendees 10 speakers made development/customization presentations,

  • WordPress history
  • case study in high school
  • useful Firefox functions/add-ons for WordPress blogging
  • Lightbulb moments with WordPress
  • CSS based customizable theme Sandbox
  • Contact Form 7 plugin author’s talk (Asiajin uses this plugin and I recommend it to anyone needs decent multi-byte compliant/internationalized contact form)
  • script manipulation of WordPress articles by XML-RPC
  • Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 with WordPress
  • WordPress plugin Ktai Style for Japanese cellphones (a lot of knowledge about how to make cellphone pages for Japanese are inside)
  • Plugin internationalization how to

Michael Pick from Automattic came from Sapporo to talk about Automattic and WordPress relation, current statistics of users and developers, good customization samples, etc.

I was not aware that Automattic has their people in Japan. I talked with Michael and became to know that Automattic staffs are working remotely from all over the world, which is cool.

Unlikely US market, In Japan Automattic(WordPress) and Six Apart(Movable Type/LiveJournal/Vox)’s rivalry is not a balanced match.

Historically, early stage weblog enthusiasts did great localization jobs on Movable Type (also supported by good business decisions). Although there had been many other competitors blog systems both imported and domestic, Movable Type became synonymous with blog application in Japan.

Many of blog hosting portals use TypePad (e.g. Nifty Cocolog, NTT-Com), Six Apart earns much from Japanese customers so their Japanese subsidiary holds many staffs including development teams in Tokyo.

So I can say that the most blogging country in the world is heavily produced by Six Apart products. WordPress is also well localized to Japanese now and gaining popularity, but not strong as them. Probably that is the reason the first WordCamp Tokyo took time in comparison with other big cities in the world.

There are many blog reports in Japanese by presenters and attendees. If you want to check them, links are available on my other blog here.

See Also:

WordCamp Tokyo 2008 | blog.detlog.org

Firefox3 Release Party Tokyo

Celebration of new Firefox 3 launch was held at a hotel in Shinagawa, Tokyo, with over 300 people, Mozilla Japan staff, developers, translators, web designers, engineers, bloggers and others.

Contributors, Mozilla’s new CEO John Lilly, Mozilla Japan chairperson Satoko Takita

Firefox Ice Trophy

Firefox3 Ice Trophy

Foxkeh!!, Japan made mascot to appeal Japanese internet users

The next Firefox 3.1 (planned late 2008) code name was recently named “Shiretoko” after Japan’s national park in Hokkaido.