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Businesses Open Source Linux

Open Source Participation Gains Support In China 35

Posted by Soulskill
from the community-growth dept.
eldavojohn writes "ZDNet blogger Fred Muller notes that a Chinese company called Taobao has become one of the first in the country to participate in open source. After years of Chinese companies using Linux, Taobao has announced they are open sourcing TAIR, and they revealed what is believed by Muller to be the first open source repository hosted by a Chinese corporation. Muller tracked down the originator of this information and was also informed that the Linux kernel can expect contributions soon from Taobao. Several people involved with bringing open source to China have expressed concerns over a cultural divide (PDF) in regards to opening your corporation's source code to potential competition. Some people speculated that the culture created by an open source movement was irreversibly foreign to Chinese culture. Taobao is exhibiting cracks in that assumption — exciting times for open source advocates as code contributions to open source become even more multicultural."
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Open Source Participation Gains Support In China

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  • Great news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by franki.macha (1444319)

    I, for one, welcome this news, I've read a lot about Chinese companies using open source software, for example I would love to get my hands on a Debian-running Loongson, but this is the first time I've heard about them giving back to the community.

    I wonder if they're hiring native English speakers who can't speak Chinese to help them with community relations? :>
    That's a job I'd love to have.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    *sigh* Great, just what Linux needs. Something some talking head in a suit with a TV show can point to and hysterically scream "ZOMG LINUX IS COMMIESOCIALIST AND UNAMERICAN!!!1!".

    Yes, even though this is more to do with open source and not Linux. I never said hysterically screaming heads-in-suits had much in terms of intelligence or comprehension skills.

  • Maybe this will help other under-represented sections of society to consider joining the open source developer community.

    The vast majority of developers are still white and male, women in particular are still in short supply see - http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/58218 [networkworld.com]

    ......cue sarcastic comments about women in short supply , sorry for setting that up...

  • Verify, then trust (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:08PM (#33008550) Homepage Journal

    While I've seen China do a lot of innovative things, one thing I've learned from Western scientists working in China is that you should Verify first, before trusting.

    Remember, the normal response to any question there is "Yes", even when they intend to do absolutely nothing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      While I've seen China do a lot of innovative things, one thing I've learned from Western scientists working in China is that you should Verify first, before trusting.

      Remember, the normal response to any question there is "Yes", even when they intend to do absolutely nothing.

      The website hosting the code is right here: http://code.taobao.org [taobao.org]. It's not a press release, they actually have the files hosted on a special site they made just for distribution. There isn't a whole lot to be skeptical of. Also, fr

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dragisha (788)

      Yes is not always an answer, even in West. It's more like ACK packet. Acknowledgement and request for more of it.

  • And soon, they'll be contributing to Android too!

  • Is it really? If so that is sad. Open Source software seems to exemplify the Communist ideals of shared ownership and development for the public good that China purports to adhere to. I've often felt that Open Source software was the best way for Western nations to get away from capitalism in a way that is truly democratic and not controlled by any single, despotic rulers. I hope China embraces this new company and more follow-suit soon!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by magarity (164372)

      the Communist ideals of shared ownership and development for the public good that China purports to adhere to

      I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not; there's no such thing in China. There is a wide difference between Marxist communism and Maoist/Stalinist communism. Marx envisioned socialism as an intermediary step on the way to communism (and what you've described) while Mao and Stalin saw socialism as a mechanism for total state control with themselves at the head of state. They use the

    • FOSS actually lines up with communism AND capitalism quite well, as well as perhaps just about every other system outside of perhaps corporatism. Traditional uses of copyright require large governments providing monopolies to private entities, which doesn't fit well with many economic systems.
    • This "Chinese culture" is not about the pseudo-communism crap popularized by the Western media in the 20th century. "Communism" didn't displace Chinese culture even back then when China was at least attempting to implement Communism, and these days it's nothing more than the name of the ruling party.

      From my understanding, part of the "Chinese culture" is the rampant piracy and disrespect of the most basic IP rights. Release software in GPL? You'd have dozens of rip off companies taking your code and releasi

  • OpenCog (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I've been noticing a lot of China outreach from projects like OpenCog [opencog.org]. Any others?
  • "Some company called taobao..." Actually, they are not just "some company". They are to China what eBay is to the US and many other countries.

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