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.
Maybe China isn't completely at fault for the lack of enthusiasm for open source development. Perhaps the lack of resources and organization of some of the larger open source organizations outside of China should take some responsibility as well. China is chalk full of C++ and other object oriented language developers, but why aren't we seeing similar growth in the number of PHP, Python and Plone developers? Why was Linux World such a disappointment in China? Obviously, the commercial nature of some of the exhibitions here are just not hitting the right buttons. Perhaps the Chinese just aren't being educated correctly on the opportunities that await them if they come over to the 'open source' side.
There is definitely a 'geek' culture among Chinese developers. However, our Western 'geeks' don't seem to know how to speak the same language, literally. It is unfortunate that Beijing doesn't get to cater to PyCon or OSCon. But Chinese developers are quite familiar with Larry Wall and David Acumen.
Maybe Linux World and these other groups shouldn't be trying to wow us with five-star hotel theatrics and huge sponsors, but perhaps with a few open terminals, presentations by a few local OSS heros, free drinks and some cold snacks. Corporates have an eye on China, why doesn't the open source community?