April 27, 2007

China's Open Source Software Contest announces winners

Author: Chen Nan Yang

At the 2007 China Open Source Software Summit in Beijing on March 27, China's Co-Create Software League (Cosoft) awarded prizes to 25 winners in the second China Open Source Software Contest.

Liu Xiao of CnPack won the gold prize in the professional group for his CnPack IDE Wizards (CnWizards), a free plug-in toolset for Delphi/C++ Builder to improve development efficiency. Several Chinese programmers set up CnPack in 2002; it now has more than 200 members. Its most popular applications are CnPack Component Package, CnWizards, and CVSTracNT (based on D. Richard Hipp's CVSTrac).

Cosoft also awarded a silver prize to FlexPortlet by Ray Guo, OpenKETA by Tan Yusong, and Shuangjie Chinese Input Platform by Sun Changzheng.

No one won the gold prize for the student group, but three students won the silver prize with their FirteX-High Performance Search Platform by Guo Ruijie of Institute of Computing Technology of Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), Lightning Flash IDE based on Eclipse by Gao Che of Haerbin Industry Universities, and Proxy Server System based on dynamic agent selection by Luo Yangchun of Haerbin Industry Universities. FirteX winner Guo Ruijie is a student member of CAS's development team.

A total of 53 applications that were winners in nine contest districts were entered in the national final. The first China Open Source Software Contest was held in 2004.

Cnsoft also awarded prizes to open source papers. Guo Ruijie won the first prize for his research paper on the FirteX-High Performance Search Platform, and seven authors from Northwestern Polytechnical University won the same prize for a paper about open source software for embedded operating systems.

Cosoft started the contest last June with the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) to promote open source software in China. The organization set up nine districts comprising government, companies, and academies. Organizers used the contest as a chance to publicize open source. For example, organizer in the northeast districts held public lectures in schools in Haerbin cities, attracting students and teachers to learn about the open source industry. They also set up panels to discuss licenses, tools, and other open source problems in Dalian, Shenyang, and Changchun.

In the award ceremony, officials from Cosoft and the government said that the contest was successful, praising it as having "pushed communication among Linux companies, open source communities, professionals, and students; promoted open source software; and encouraged more people to take part in the industry."

Eric, a Chinese open source enthusiast who wishes to keep his real name anonymous, didn't agree with Cosoft's assessment. "The contest is a good advertisement for the open source industry in China, but I am not interested in an open source contest that was held by organizers who violate the principles of open source," said Eric.

Cosoft is a branch of the semi-official Chinese Software Industry Association (CSIA). The CSIA worked out the regulation of Double Software Certification (DSC). According to the regulation, if software doesn't get approved for DSC by the CSIA, it cannot be sold in China. "It's very difficult for us to get the DSC. That has become an obstacle to China's open source industry," said Eric.

"Besides, they don't know much about open source software. Unlike the government projects they're used to, open source software comes from community efforts. We keep improving it by feedback from other programmers and users. But the [contest] organizer seemed to ask for only 'finished' software," Eric complained.


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