That's the fear of Active Endpoints.
The company has offered downloads of its ActiveVOS visual orchestration system since March and noticed a troubling trend:
We expected to have downloads from all over the world, but the shocking truth is that a majority of our downloads are coming from outside the U.S., especially from India and China. A conversation I had with a marketing director at a major open-source ESB provider confirmed that company is seeing fully half of its downloads from India and China.
Now, Active Endpoints is selling something. It claims current middleware solutions stifle SOA innovation, that U.S. companies have become complacent, but that its product can solve the problem.
Maybe. But how big a threat are India and China in terms of open source development?
Download statistics don't tell the tale for me. I'm more interested in numbers like support contracts, installations, and contributions.
It's especially in the last area where many Chinese and Indian downloaders are failing. The proprietary attitude toward improvements which open source fights so hard here remains ingrained there.
Long story short, I see a lot of taking and very little giving.
Rather than condemn this attitude, we need to see it for what it is, an opportunity.
Developers who fail to take this message to heart fail to gain all the benefits of open source. So western agents still have some time to turn this trend around.