Category Archives: Japan

Mozilla Vision 2012 in Japan

Mozilla Japan will be hosting their developer event this weekend in Tokyo. Some portions will be streamed in English on UStream. Please see the details below for viewing remotely.

A live broadcast of the event will be available at these times:
January 20th (Fri) 17:00 – 18:00 (PST)
January 20th (Fri) 20:00 – 21:00 (EST)
January 21st (Sat) 1:00 – 2:00 (WET)

The following is a list of sessions available for live broadcast:
Opening/Special Talk Session (60 min.):
Pursuing Dreams – Technology and Creation from an Open Mind
(Navigator: Satoko Takita of Mozilla Japan, Jun Murai of Keio University)
(Guest: Tomotaka Takahashi as Robot creator)

Panel Discussion (90 min.):
Raise Golden Eggs! – Discussing the Future Education Style
(Moderator: Kaoru Takeuchi as Science Writer)
(Panelists: Mark Surman of Mozilla Foundation, Kim Jones of Curriki, Shinpei Toyofuku of GLOCOM)

Session (50 min.):
The Future of HTML5 and Web Technology – Overview of the Latest Web Technologies for Everyone
(Presenter: Chris Heilmann of Mozilla Corporation)

Session (50 min.):
The Current and Future of Web Standards
(Presenter: Tantek Çelik of Mozilla Corporation)

Session (50 min.):
pdf.js – Challenging the Limits of HTML5 and JavaScript
(Presenter: Andreas Gal, Chris Jones of Mozilla Corporation)

Lightning Talk (60 min.)

Following are other URLs for the event as your reference.

Mozilla Vision 2012 (English web site)

Mozilla Vision 2012 (Japanese web site)

John Lilly at Mozilla

My first day at Mozilla was in Tokyo in January of 2006.

I was working for a search engine startup but was looking for a new opportunity as I wasn’t optimistic about that startup’s viability.

Joi Ito, who gave me the opportunity to work at that startup, contacted me early in 2006 (right after the Firefox 1.5 release) to say that, “The Mozilla guys are in Tokyo. Can you join me in some meetings with them?”

That turned out to be Chris Beard, Paul Kim and John Lilly who were in Tokyo for the first time. I was thrown into meetings and strategy sessions around starting the Tokyo office. I remember being asked at the end of that week, (by who I forget, maybe it was Joi?) “So, what do you think? Are you going to join us?”

Of course I did.

My first year at Mozilla was very intense as John worked closely with the team in Tokyo to get us up to speed and prepared for growth. I think John had 3-4 trips to Tokyo that year alone. It was a very exciting time and I learned so much about Mozilla and open source and the power of our community from John directly.

In 2007, I worked with John over multiple trips to scout out our situation in China. We ultimately hired Li Gong to lead the China effort and open our office in Beijing.

As Mozilla grew, and I changed roles to join the Evangelism team, and moved my focus from Japan to the rest of Asia, I spent less time working with John directly, but his influence on my work and perspective is ever-present.

John is not leaving Mozilla per se, although he won’t be around the office day-to-day anymore. As he joins Mozilla’s Board of Directors, his influence and guidance will continue.

John, thank you so much for all that you have given to Mozilla and to all of us.

I’ll close with a few photos from ‘back in the day’ from the archives.

John Lilly


Firefox 2 Japan press event 2

John Lilly at Firefox 2 press event, Tokyo, Japan

John Lilly & Chris Beard in Tian'anmen Square

John Lilly visits CSIP

John Lilly presenting at Tsinghua Univ.

Jeremy Goldkorn, uknown, Ching Chiao, John Lilly

John Lilly in Shanghai

John Lilly in Shanghai

Browser nail art

Japanese girl blogger, Mamipeko, has browser icons custom painted onto her nails. The nail artist only knew the IE icon, sadly.


Tweetup Japan 2010
Photo by Pietro Zuco.

Photo by Mamipeko.

via Asiajin and tuttie-cutie.

Learn Javascript In Manga

This was so awesome I had to share this on Planet: Asiajin – Learn Javascript In Manga

NOTE: this content is only available in Japanese.  (English JavaScript users have a LOT more resources to learn JavaScript than Japanese users…)

マンガで分かる JavaScriptプログラミング講座 (The manga guide to JavaScript Programming Course) is an online web manga (Japanese style comic) for novice programmers to study JavaScript programming language by themselves. In a story, three high-school students learn JavaScript from a teacher in a year. 4 Chapters, 23 sections, 153 pages this manga covers the basics of JavaScript, objects, array, regular expression, DOM, event handler, style sheet, cookies, jQuery, bookmarklet, WSH, HTA, etc.

Asia-related links I am reading

China’s censorship arms race escalates – Excellent coverage on Internet censorship in Mainland China by Rebecca Mackinnon.

Why and How Facebook should come to Southeast Asia – Bernard Leong’s excellent treatise on Facebook in SE Asia. If he wasn’t running his own SNS, Facebook should hire Bernard 😉

Google Losing in China as New Users Go to Baidu – Google losing search market share in China.

Forbes: The Man Who’s Beating Google – Long portrait of Robin Li, Founder & CEO of Baidu.

Japan’s PPC ad market will reach $2 billion by 2013 – Decent, but it could/should be bigger.

E-Commerce Is Getting Chinese to Loosen Their Purse Strings – NYT on ecommerce trends in China. Ecommerce and the related Internet advertising to support ecommerce will be key to a more vibrant web in China.

South Korea Approves Sale of Apple’s iPhone – Channy has been waiting for this day for a long time 🙂

South Korea Clears Way for iPhone Sales – No one has still explained how S. Koreans are going to do anything on the iPhone that requires a secure transaction if no Korean web services support SSL.

Vietnam’s rebounding economy – V not yet for victory – Economist on Vietnam’s macroeconomic challenges.

Software piracy costs Vietnam $275 million every year – Vietnam has done well with open source software but could do a lot more.

Want to live like Commons people?
Joi Ito talks about Creative Commons, Twitter, and the White House – Guardian UK interviews Joi Ito.

Background on Discover Shiretoko and interFORest

As some of you saw on the Foxkeh blog and the Mozilla blog, the Japan team has launched a new promotional campaign called Discover Shiretoko in collaboration with the non-profit Shiretoko Nature Foundation of Hokkaido, Japan.

Discover Shiretoko

The Discover Shiretoko site itself showcases four stories which show how both Shiretoko (the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Japan) and Shiretoko (the code-name for Firefox 3.5) have a number of commonalities and, as my colleague William Quiviger said more eloquently than I did,

“aims not only to inform the public about the philosophy, mission and activities of Shiretoko Nature Foundation and Mozilla, but also to make clear that the power of many can change our environment’s future.”

Please visit the site to see the stories about Firefox and Shiretoko.

To promote this collaboration between Mozilla and the Shiretoko Nature Foundation, we worked with the Yasuaki Kakehi Laboratory, of Keio University to create interFORest, a site where participants can receive a banner to promote Firefox and Shiretoko on their own websites and blogs as well as see the other promoters. (Those of you who are keen will note that we worked with Dr. Kakehi’s team last summer to promote Firefox 3.0 as well.)

The interFORest site is pretty interesting so I wanted to point out a number of features of the site that are described on the about interFORest page but that might not jump out at you immediately unless you knew to look for the features. birds eye view

On the home page of the interFORest site (see image above, also known as “Bird’s Eye View”, it shows a virtual map of the Shiretoko peninsula of Hokkaido, Japan):

  • Bird’s Eye View: The trees represent websites who have joined in the promotion of Firefox and Shiretoko.
  • Bird’s Eye View: If you see movement in the trees, that means that there are users who are accessing that site at the same time that you see movement in the tree.
  • Bird’s Eye View: The keywords floating in the purple background are generated from the sites that users are using to promote the Discover Shiretoko website.
  • Click through to any tree to get to the “Close up view“: close up view

  • Close up view: The weather and sky light shown on the virtual map is generated by weather data taken from the sky above the Shiretoko Peninsula. If you visit during the day Japan Standard Time, you will see a daytime landscape. If you visit during the night time, JST, you’ll see a night time landscape. If it is sunny at the Shiretoko Peninsula, you’ll see clear skies. If it is raining, you’ll see clouds and rain.
  • Close up view: You can use the 4-way arrow in the sky to move on the mini-map in the upper left-hand corner. This allows you to move around the map to see all of the websites that are promoting Discover Shiretoko.
  • Then click on the tree again: illustrated tree guide

  • Illustrated tree view: If you click on one of the trees, you will see a virtual book open up with information about which site is promoting Discover Shiretoko. Name of the site, web address, place of origin, and then “number of roots” and “number of leaves.” The “number of roots” is a count of the number of times visitors have clicked on this particular tree on the interFORest website. The “number of leaves” is the number of clicks on the banner which drives people to the Discover Shiretoko website.
  • Illustrated tree view: You can turn the pages of the book by double-clicking on the white spaces on the page to move through the pages of the book to see all the sites that are promoting Discover Shiretoko.
  • Also we’ve made a point to build the interFORest site with web standard technologies, specifically Canvas, which is currently unavailable in Internet Explorer. If you visit a site that is hosting a Discover Shiretoko banner with IE, you get a sad Foxkeh who hopes you will visit with a browser that supports Canvas, which would be Firefox, Safari or Chrome.


    We’ve already seen a number of Japanese Internet media sites pick up the story:

    「知床の自然もFirefoxもボランティアが育てる」—MozillaがWebサイトDiscover Shiretokoを開設


    Mozilla Japanと知床財団、環境保護を訴える共同サイトをオープン

    知床財団×Mozilla Japanによる「Discover Shiretoko」キャンペーン

    モジラジャパン:クリックで木が育つ 知床環境保護のネットプロモーションを開始

    Mozilla Japanと知床財団は6月23日、共同で「Discover Shiretoko」キャンペーンを実施すると発表した。

    Mozilla Japanと知床財団、新感覚のネットプロモーションを開始

    Firefox 3.5と世界遺産・知床の関係 樹木が育ち、森になるバナーをどうぞ

    In addition to these Japanese media, in the first 24 hours since the launch of this campaign, we’ve had over 500 sites join our promotion, which is wonderful.

    This promotion runs through August 31, 2009 but may be extended if the community deems it important to do so.

    Please visit Discover Shiretoko, sign up for a banner at interFORest and help us promote Shiretoko and Firefox.

    Ubiquity – Command the Web with Language

    Mitcho‘s presentation on the localization of Ubiquity at Tokyo 2.0 last night is up on Vimeo: Ubiquity: Command the Web with Language 言葉で操作する Web.

    Ubiquity: Command the Web with Language 言葉で操作する Web from mitcho on Vimeo.

    Slides here on SlideShare

    how to make your own Gecko reflow video

    Last May, my colleague Doug Turner happened across some videos showing how the Gecko engine does reflow: What is a reflow? < DougT’s Blog

    In fact, Doug had stumbled across the work of Satoshi Ueyama (Japanese), a programmer extraordinaire from Japan, who had presented those videos at the Mozilla 24 event in Tokyo in 2007.

    Many people were rightly fascinated by watching the process by which a web page is laid out. Being an open source web page rendering engine, Gecko is one of the few platforms where one can modify the source code to do interesting applications such as this.

    I asked Ueyama-san to provide additional information on how anyone could do this themselves and he’s kindly provided some instructions and updated his modified Gecko build for anyone to make such a video.

    I have rewritten the animation generating program for the latest (FF3.1b3) Gecko / Shiretoko builds.

    The updated video is available on YouTube:

    First, build Firefox 3.1 Beta 3 with my modified layout module, which can be found under the ‘layout’ folder in the attachment.

    Then run the build to output a layout progress log as C:\mozilla-build\log\out.txt.

    You can change the destination with a constant in VisualizeLogger.cpp.

    This time the log processing program is written in ActionScript.

    Paste part of your log file in and compile with mxmlc to generate a Flash movie.

    To make a movie in MPEG format, compile CaptureDump.mxml for Adobe AIR and run it.

    This generates PNG files for each frame under C:\mozilla-build\log\frames.

    Now you can convert them to a MPEG movie with ffmpeg.

    Sorry for my rough explanation!

    A big, big thank you to Satoshi for presenting on Gecko reflow back in 2007 and again for providing an update for Shiretoko as well as the files needed for anyone to do this on their own.

    If you make your own Gecko reflow video, please paste a link to it in the comments of this post. Satoshi and other Mozilla developers and community members would be interested to see how Gecko reflows your website.

    Google and Apple propose emoji for Unicode

    While not directly browser-related, this news is Japan and Unicode-related, so is tangentially interesting.

    Markus Scherer, Mark Davis, Kat Momoi, Darick Tong (Google Inc.) and Yasuo Kida, Peter Edberg (Apple Inc.) are proposing to add 674 characters to the Unicode standard in order to support emoji in Unicode.

    As of December 2008, there are 110.4 million cell phone users in Japan (about 87% of the population), and about 90.6% of the cell phones are 3G-enabled for internet use. Emoji are widely used, especially by people under 30. However, a June 2007 survey of 13,000 users — 80% of whom were 30 or older — found that even among this older group, 78% “often” or “sometimes” used Emoji in emails. Respondents reported using a wide variety of Emoji, including Emoji for faces, emotions, weather, vehicles and buildings, food and drink, animals, etc. Especially among younger users, email is mostly or exclusively used on cell phones instead of computers. Among cell phone users, 90% use email primarily on cell phones, and 60% use email exclusively on cell phones. Emoji have been used on Japanese cell phones for 10 years, and there is no evidence that use of Emoji is decreasing.

    Proposal for Encoding Emoji Symbols

    I know this data to be true and yet it’s still a stunning fact: 60% of cell phone users in Japan use email EXCLUSIVELY on cell phones and 90% of cell phone users in Japan use email PRIMARILY on cell phones. This is a stunning fact, and the key is that mobile carriers in  Japan do not support SMS. Mobile phone messaging in Japan is email.

    It’s interesting to see Google and Apple cooperating here as both Google and Apple have a need with the iPhone and the Android device that’s planned to be launched by NTT DoCoMo this year for emoji support.

    via What Japan Thinks.

    3D in JavaScript and Canvas

    Japanese programmer and blogger, Yusuke Kawasaki, has a nice post looking at various efforts around 3D in the browser with JavaScript and Canvas since 2006: The history of JavaScript’s 3D tech development.

    Before most of popular browsers start to support canvas “3d” context, we JavaScript developers have struggled how to implement to enable 3D by JavaScript without any extensions like Java, Flash, etc. Here is a part of the history of JavaScript’s 3D tech development.

    Kawasaki-san also covered Satoshi Ueyama‘s recent work on 3D in JS and Canvas back in February, if you had missed it: Incredible JavaScript+Canvas 3D demos from Japan!

    Ueyama-san, the programmer who made those 3D demos, is the same programmer who did those Gecko reflow videos (Japanese) that were widely blogged about and discussed at Doug Turner’s blog: What is a reflow?

    EDIT: Unfortunately those reflow videos are no longer available at Google Video (grrr). I’ll see if Ueyama-san can upload them to a different video hosting site.

    EDIT 2: Gecko reflow videos have been moved to Youtube thanks to Ueyama-san!

    Gecko Reflow Visualization –

    Gecko Reflow Visualization –

    Gecko Reflow Visualization – Wikipedia