Software development is fast becoming one of the leading segments of China’s technology sector. A January report from research agency Forrester cites a shift in investments from the hardware segments that have helped to establish China on the world stage to software, with government and businesses making more significant purchases from the domestic markets.
Like their counterparts in the rest of the world, Chinese developers rely on open source components to push applications out faster, meeting demand from customers, and without the need to reinvent the wheel every time they need to add a feature to their products.
In recent years, we have seen significant growth in the number of Chinese repositories on sites like GitHub as developers contribute to local projects.
Despite the expansion of open source in China, there are still major issues at hand. Unfortunately, due to the language barrier, many of these great repositories have not gained the proper acclaim from the rest of the development community where English is the primary language. However, many of these developers are publishing their documentation of the project in Chinese. This is killing the visibility of their project and potential advancement of great new open source technologies coming out of the Far East.
To save you time from breaking your teeth over translating the different documentation of some of the great open source projects, we are highlighting 7 different projects that you really should take notice of.
This project is an open-source API for the famous Chinese Minecraft Forum MCBBS, which builds a fully-functional, API-liked .NET Standard library for MCBBS. According to GitHub it has not shown any forks as of yet, but with a topic as popular as Minecraft, it is only a matter of time.
This is a single text document (5,035 forks on Github) which was created to be a guide for back-end architects. This job entails designing the way servers are setup, connected, and interacted with. For those looking for a quick read, you might want to sit down as this doozy is around 30,000 words long.
This educational repository (6,800 forks on Github) provides guides on how to pass technical interviews for GitHub users when they are seeking employment. This project provides different frequently-asked interview questions, key concepts worth memorizing entering an interview, etc. So far, the project has gained its fair share of attention with over 60 contributing developers.
Apache Dubbo is an open source high-performance, Java-based RPC framework (3,639 forks on Github). As in many RPC systems, dubbo is based around the idea of defining a service which specifies the methods that can be called remotely with their parameters and return types.
The biggest contributor of open source projects is China’s ecommerce superpower Alibaba. Their Dragonfly project (206 forks on Github) is an intelligent P2P-based file distribution system. It solves issues that will occur such as low-efficiency, low-success rate, and waste of network bandwidth in large-scale file distribution scenarios. This project can be used for application deployment, large-scale cache file distribution, data file distribution and image distribution.
Over the past few years we have seen the fall of the great firewall of China when it comes to open source usage and reporting. Despite the cultural change the China open source community has seen the help of the larger companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, and TethrNet join the open source party.
Even if the majority of Chinese tech workers don’t quite fully understand the importance of using open source now, we’re seeing leaders emerge in the country willing to invest their time and energy to change the mindset.