ROS Resources: Documentation | Support | Discussion Forum | Service Status | Q&A

Local roscon benefit

I found in ROSCon JP 2018 東京 there will be an inaugural localized version of ROSCon this year, co-hosted by Open Robotics. While I’m definitely happy to see such an expansion, I’m curious what’s the expectation out of it from a global community member’s perspective.

Looks like the presentation can be done in the local language for this particular event I referred to, which makes me a bit worried that technical and any information won’t be easily shared in the global community, unlike all previous ROSCons done in English. I believe a part of the reason why ROS has been so successful, same as some other great OSS projects, is because of the global community, the amount of information stacked there and how amazingly well it’s been organized. So I personally think ideally every member should gear even more toward the global community. But I know I’m way too narrow-sighted, thus simply curious.

Thank you in advance.

P.S. I found there are some studies (example, but I don’t have an access) about local OSS community role.


I can understand the desire to have a united global community. Interaction at the international level is one of the greatest things about open source software for me.

Having said that, the concept of local events held in the local language is as old as open source itself. I have seen events held in Japan in Japanese for projects as large and diverse as HTML5, Firefox and Google’s various projects. These sorts of events are important because not everyone can speak English with the level of confidence necessary to participant actively in the global community. Local events allow those who can to provide information of new projects and trends, and knowledge of using or contributing to a project, to those who can’t get this information directly in English.

The concept of local/local-language events is not new to ROS, either. Although ROSCon JP is the first to be officially licensed by the OSRF, there have been numerous events in the past. The biggest example I can think of is the ROS summer camp that has been held annually in China for several years now. They get several hundred participants and I don’t think they are doing it in English. In Japan, we have had informal Japanese-language events for several years now.

The reason we are working with the OSRF for ROSCon JP is to create a central event for the local community in the same way that the international ROSCon has become a central event for the global ROS community. It allows us to make the scale much bigger than an informal event can be. Being officially licensed by the OSRF helps us to attract sponsors, which in turn lets us do things that cost money but are important, like provide exhibition space, bring in valuable overseas speakers (with translators), get a high-quality logo by the same artist as the main ROSCon logo, provide food, record the talks and archive them online, etc. All these contribute to making the event memorable, which in turn makes it valuable as a means to motivate the local community to participate in a project that does not have that much information available in Japanese, as well as motivate the community to grow itself organically. As with ROSCon, ROSCon JP is a by-the-community-for-the-community event.

Having the OSRF on board has meant that we are getting valuable organising support from the organisers of ROSCon, we get a set of rules and guidelines to guide us in planning an event that meets their standards (these have been much more useful than you might think), we get to use the ROSCon trademark, and additional things like use of the OSRF video archive site for the talk recordings (so we don’t have to do that ourselves).

I don’t want to speak for the OSRF, but my understanding is that for them having a local event that is licensed means they can control how the ROS and ROSCon branding is used, ensuring that the event meets their standards. We are effectively their test case for them to figure out how to do this, and if we can make our event a success then I think you will see more OSRF-backed local events in non-English speaking countries in the future.

I too want to ensure that ROS remains strong on international cooperation. I see this sort of local-language event as an important part of that, providing a local feeder to the wider community in order to attract people to it who ordinarily would not have a way to begin participating.


Speaking as a ROSCon co-organizer/co-author of the local-language strategy…What Geoff said :slight_smile:

1 Like

I think that is best if anyone can speak fluently English , after all English is the world language , instead of Japanese , or Chinese , French , even Deustch, so if you want to communicate with your guy in Japan , Japanese is enough ,
but ROSCon is world event , I insist we should or have to speak English fluently , so , learning English , guy

I think having local ROSCon (affiliated with the Open Source Robotics Foundation to keep track of what is being shown/discussed for the benefit of all the community) is a very good thing. When I was in Barcelona, Spain we did for a short while a Robotics meeting (BAR Robotics) where we talked a lot about ROS in Spanish (and Catalan!).

This allowed people that are not that fluent (or not at all) in English to ask lots of questions that otherwise would get hardly answered. It builds up an even bigger community. Some translation efforts came from that too. Think of the younger generations that are still learning English as a second language, this is great for them.

In the worst case scenario a local group grows so much in size and activity that they become very important/influential. At that point I’m pretty sure we could find a way for everyone to benefit from that group’s knowledge sharing. If the talks are recorded it’s a matter of writing subtitles for them. If there are tutorial packages, well, some translation would need to be done if they are that interesting.


Its Awesome , I want You done this project Successfully so that other can Organised also in there Home Country . I Know local language give more freedom to peoples so that they can put there enormous questions in-front of ROS community .

I think the ROS community is being grown rapidly and we need to discuss the next step.
The official ROSCon web page described:

ROSCon is a developers conference, in the model of PyCon and BoostCon.

As you may know that PyCon has lots of regional / domestic conferences such as PyCon APAC (Asia Pacific) and PyCon JP (Japan).
It’s time to consider holding regional / domestic ROSCons in cooperation with OSRF!

Speaking for Open Robotics (and specifically for our non-profit parent organization OSRF, which is the owner of the ROSCon trademark and organizer of the main ROSCon event): I’m really excited about this development. Over the years we’ve had numerous inquiries about doing ROSCon events that are localized (by region and/or language) or customized (by region, institution, and/or application domain). When @gbiggs came to us with a concrete proposal for doing ROSCon JP, we decided to give it a try.

Working with @gbiggs and the ROSCon Organizing Committee, we drafted a Rules of ROSCon document that explains the essential characteristics that make an event a ROSCon event and also the terms under which we may choose to license the ROSCon name for use with such an event.

We’re using ROSCon JP in September this year as the first trial of this new idea. If it goes well (I’m confident that it will, but I’ll be there myself to check :slight_smile:), then we’ll refine and publish the Rule of ROSCon and set up a way for other would-be organizers to propose their own ROSCon events. So stay tuned for that. And if you want to start work on an event in the meantime, contact us directly and we’ll discuss it with you.

To be clear, we don’t want to get in the middle of the various ROS-related events that happen around the world already, from local user group meetings to tutorials to summer schools. Those are great events that happen on their own without our involvement. We’re looking after the ROSCon name, ensuring that people know what it means when they’re attending an event that uses that name, and also providing guidance and advice to organizers of such events.


I know we should be open‐minded in any opinion.

I’m Yuki Nakagawa, president and CEO of RT Corp. and trustee of ROSConJP.
I watched ROS since 2009 and our company sell many TurtleBot series in Japan.

I’d like to talk about local activities in local language for ROS as OSS.

Global community of OSS is being grown step by step such as local, global, local and global.
I can say that from my experience that I watched “the rise and fall” and joined so many global activities like RoboCup since 1997, google android developer community since 2008 and so on.

Localization becomes a big problem when Global OSS activity spreads in each country, as you know.
Local community and activities help to solve these issues.
We, ROSConJP, hope to facilitate such community in Japan.

Especially, almost Japanese engineers are not required to speak in English in their work.
(Of course, depending on company or school.)
Mother tongue supports many engineers to understand deeply if they can touch new idea from global activities.

If you favor to community “must use English only”, you can imagine what happens.
I mean that you will eliminate engineers and young engineers’ eggs who can not understand English.

I think it’s time to step into new stage to bridge beyond language.

I hope all of you to be “Open” mind. :slight_smile:

Thank you.

Yuki Nakagawa
RT Corp.



I hope you don’t mind my intruding…

My name is Hajime Saito. I used to be at General Robotix. I was at the first meeting at Willow Garage, which was hosted by Eric Berger. So I do have an interest in ROS, and have been following it’s development over these years. Sadly, I’ve not really been involved in the development side, much.

I think what Isaac is trying to ask is, are the local RosCon events mainly for information dissemination, or will they be vehicles for active technical dialog? Do you expect local groups to pray at the altar or ROS, or does the communication go both ways?

If you want the communication to go both ways, you’ll need people to take up the dialog with RosCon(main) or with the OSRF. Having been on the receiving end during an international cooperation effort, the amount of work, at the beginning, is not trivial.

Please tell me your thoughts on this, and whether you think I’ve taken a few steps too far.

Best regards,


1 Like

Both. It would be denigrating to Japanese users of ROS to assume that they are solely there to consume information, and have nothing to contribute themselves. Many of the submitted proposals are aiming to use ROSCon JP as a first-run for a talk at ROSCon.

1 Like


I’m excited to see the contributions from our community members in Japan.

Perhaps we’ll eventually have ubiquitous high-quality translation of all audio and text from and to any language. Until that happens, I’ll happily muddle through with free access to the presentation content (ROSCon JP videos and slides will be archived at, and more importantly, the underlying code, which we can all read and understand.


On that note, I’ll just namedrop Amara as a crowdsourcing tool for subtitle generation and translation that I’ve used with satisfaction in the past.