Hi open source fans. I want to kick off this blog with a little intro to the BLUG, or Beijing Linux User Group.
The BLUG was launched on Nov. 19, 2002. It is an open-for-all non-profit organization promoting and supporting the GNU/Linux community in China. The original founders were mainly entrepreneurs who had one common element in their business: open source software.
Over the years, BLUG has hosted companies such as Red Hat and Red Flag, and open source celebrities like Richard Stallman and Zhang Wen Song. Each company and celebrity has taught us one thing: the open source movement in China is more a matter of business than a matter of passion.
Many local professionals don't see open source as a movement, but as a job opportunity. This mentality hinders sharing and, in essence, counters any productive gains in the evolution of free software. The BLUG looks to provide an arena for purists, innovators and enterpreneurs alike, to invigorate some passion into the system. Furthermore, to help show that Linux is not a tool to leverage better deals from Microsoft.
Don't get me wrong, there are a few very passionate open source super stars in China, and together with them--and perhaps with some help from the outside world--China can begin making some really big contributions.
In the blogs to come, I hope to share with you our experiences and provide some insight into how differently open source software is perceived in China.