I just had the greatest trip overseas to Korea.  It wasn’t the airline food that did it for me, and it wasn’t the Korean countryside that I observed from a car while my native Korean IBM co-workers drove me around.  I saw two things that made me believe that Jazz is something that is gaining strength, and helping our customers all over the world.

I have to thank a couple of the people who helped me out, and introduced me to these things that made me so happy.  JaeGon Yoo and Dong Young Kim helped me with translation, drove me around Seoul, and showed me the things that I mention in this posting.  The first thing that I saw was a Jazz/RTC implementation in Korean.  It was great to look at.  Too many times with other tools I have seen in the past, I would see the version of the tool for some native language, and I would be able to spot English phrases and prompts all over the place.  It would bother me because I would imagine myself using a tool where half of the prompts and directions were written in Greek.  Or Babylonian.  My Korean is a bit rusty (OK, I never knew Korean, and still don’t know Korean), but I was able to immediately recognize the familiar symbols, decorations, and dialogs.  Only one thing was different.  There was no English on the page.  The Process Template options, directions, and checkboxes were all in Korean.  The process template XML still had some English, but that was where core Java packages were being called out.  It wasn’t perfect, because I think that I remember seeing two English words on one of the work items, but it was impressive.

The second thing that i saw was even better.  I saw somebody go out and refer to a web page for answers about Jazz, and it wasn’t on Jazz.net. It was the home page for the KJUG, or Korea Jazz User Group.  The page looked impressive, and I noticed that people were actually updating the information out on the website wiki.  When I asked Dong Young about it, he told me that they had contributions from IBM technical people, as well as user and customer submitted content.

It was great, and it made me wonder how many other non-English Jazz User Groups there are out there.  Do you know of any?  If you do, mention them in a comment on this page, and provide a link to the site.  Jazz as a musical genre took cntributions from many different cultures and fused them together to create something that was greater than the sum of it’s parts.  I hope that the software incarnation of Jazz is able to do the same, fusing contributions from different national and software development cultures into something that benefits everyone.