Linux in Asia
by Mark Rais, author of Linux for the Rest of Us, and Linux evangelist.
magnitude of the Information Technology (IT) expansion
both obvious and momentous. Indias
software development and support industry is booming at a national
level never seen
before, except perhaps in a microcosm in Dublin,
Ireland. It is booming so dramatically that other
nations are beginning to see that Indias
IT is now globally ubiquitous.
A key driving factor for Indias
success and the uncanny and very astute decisions made at governing
to embrace Open Source and Linux without losing any footing regarding
proprietary software market.
Linux is pervasive in India
to the point in which students at top national academies are grounding
software engineering skills on the Linux OS.
Today, almost seven out of ten requests I receive for guidance
Linux come from India.
Yet, there is a major dissimilarity between the
technology boom in India
and the industry in China. Why?
It is entirely likely that rate of Linux adoption in India
is a symptomatic response to a much more deeply rooted and inherent
socio/political characteristic. In India,
although regional diversity exists, although unique political
class structures compose the foundation of business and law, the
Linux can be used as a device for independence and achievement is
From the bottom rungs to the very highest posting
leadership has wisely adopted a balanced, forward thinking perspective
Linux can and must become part of the fundamental structure of Indias
software development industry.
"Indias leadership has wisely adopted a balanced, forward thinking perspective
that Linux can and must become part of the fundamental structure..."
Contrast this to the often wavering perspectives
often regional hierarchy dominates even the decision making processes
technology. Regional leadership then
influences fundamental attitudes towards software adoption and use.
In some instances Chinas
regional leadership is simply not cognizant of what Open Source is or
has already achieved. Nor is the
leadership amenable to adopting new perspectives. Even
in the air of détente as the Beijing
Olympics of 2008 approaches, few if any of Chinas
leaders are making any specific or purposeful decisions regarding
development and platforms. In perhaps a
attempt at balancing a rigid approach with acceptance of new ideas for
leadership is making decisions or in many cases simply not making
decisions. This then in turn influences
how quickly China
falls behind in the global IT market.
Perhaps this is also
is without question a leading exporter of IT and China
remains an importer of IT.
The adoption rate of Linux and the application of
an educational instrument, an industry model, and a governmental tool
the heart of this reality.
Linux has become integral to the institutions of India
further expanding and influencing global software trends.
shall continue to lead and others, including China
will likely follow, until they too understand the ramifications of Open
and Linux as a viable tool for self-sufficiency, modernization, and
For China to do so will require both a breakdown
power and autonomy of regional leaders to influence industrial growth
and a new
foresight into the modernized world of Information Technology, which
enough people in China recognize. I am
hopeful that this can and will change.
Industry based communities found all over India
in the form of, for instance, Linux Users Groups (LUGs) also remains
With increasingly more members joining Indias
founded LUGs, software developers, business leaders, and governing
in India can continue to collaborate and conquer more of the worlds IT
all with good reason.
Mark Rais is the author of
Linux For the Rest of Us 2nd
Edition, editor-in-chief of reallylinux.com,
and has composed numerous industry documents including: Moving to Linux,
on to the Desktop, and Free
Software: A guide to GPL.