I had the pleasure of having lunch this week with Stephen Walli, who was in Beijing for a one-day conference on "Open Standards, IPR and Innovation". The event was co-hosted by the The China National Institute of Standardization and Sun Microsystems.
Running a management consulting firm for a living in China, Frederic is deeply involved in the open source scene. From the local Beijing Linux User Group to the worldwide promotion of software freedom, he currently focuses on reducing the digital divide in poor Chinese schools by building open educational content based on open source software only. Collaborating with the Chinese government on various projects to promote OSS, Frederic has a unique perspective on what is happening now, and what to expect from this challenging environment.
South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that use of open source was on the rise in China, which is very questionable, especially considering there is yet an open source-related company to turn a profit. Supposedly, the SCMP believes this rise will be spurred by the latest collaboration between Microsoft and Novell, which in and of itself is a laugh and shows how little educated the SCMP is on open source issues, or more to the point how this "news" would seem more like a PR statement.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project, was in Beijing last week for Ubuntu's official China launch. The event was overwhelmingly successful.
The subject of this BLOG is actually quite misleading because I am disappointed to report that out of the big 5 PC manufacturers and distributors in China (Lenovo, Founder, Acer, HP and Dell), none of them have Linux pre-installed on their desktops, nor laptops, and servers are another story. The biggest disappointment to me was Lenovo which, having taken over the IBM personal computing business, I would have thought it might stay sympathetic to Linux.
My friend Bjorn Stabbel posed some interesting questions about the lack of enthusiasm for open source in China. Bjorn is an owner in a software development company, Exoweb, that specializes in content Management systems using Python and Plone development.
The Open Invention Network (OIN) hosted a panel discussion in Beijing last Wednesday, Oct. 11.
It is very easy to criticize mainland China software engineers and system administrators for their lack of enthusiasm, passion and above all else, creativity. However, this does not imply that the mainland is suffering from a brain drain.
There isn't a single BLUG meeting that goes by where a member doesn't complain about the difficulties in trying to hire a developer or sys admin. And if we aren't complaining about the few whom we do find, we are even more frustrated by the hundreds of resumes of software engineers that claim to "know" about open source software (OSS).
August 15-17 was when the annual Linux World Exhibition came rolling back into Beijing. In its first year, it was monumental.
Hi open source fans. I want to kick off this blog with a little intro to the BLUG, or Beijing Linux User Group.