I have been interviewed by CSDN. The interview has been published today in chinese.
The original english answers as i sent them are below:
1. Could you introduce yourself to us first?
I am using and developing Free Software and Open Source for more than 20
years. I am a contributor to the Pike programming language, the Foresight
Linux distribution and several other Free Software Projects. I co-edited a
book on Pike and organized developer conferences. I am also a mentor at
FOSSASIA. Throughout my career I focused on developing and advocating Free
Software. I have lived and worked in several countries around our planet
Earth. I came to china in 2008. I am currently the CTO at eKita, a startup
in Bangkok, and the General Manager at Realsoftservice, a Linux service firm
in Beijing where i offer software development, training and internships. I
live in Beijing with my family.
2. Compared with your own country, what attracts you most in China or Beijing?
China (and Asia in general) has a different culture from western countries.
Learning chinese culture allows me to look at situations from a different
I believe that all the world should be united into one country. And in order
to do that we need to understand the different parts of the world, what
everyone can contribute to this world, and what unifies us.
China is a large part of this world, and also not much is known about
china outside of it. The only way to learn about china is to be here.
China is also huge. I like to travel, and china allows me to travel long
distances to places that are very different from each other without having to
cross any borders.
3. What is your role in BLUG? Could you describe the important development milestones of BLUG?
I am acting as the secretary. That means i help to arrange meetings and events for the group.
I joined the BLUG in 2008 and i am not familiar with the history before.
One important event before i joined was the 2007 Software Freedom Day which
was chosen as the best SFD event for that year.
At the time, when i joined, the BLUG had monthly meetings, frequent quan'r
dinners and BLUG Tuesday events. We also had a group aiming to build a
quadcopter and a library. Active members were both foreigners and chinese.
In summer 2008 an intern at Exoweb where i worked at the time, together with me
initiated a hackaton event called "Coding For Fun". I then continued hosting
the event by myself as part of the BLUG. When i left Beijing other BLUG members
continued hosting the event.
When I came back to Beijing some active members had left. I took over the
management of the group in 2013, when most active members had left. At that
time active participation was very low. I continued running the monthly
meetings and Coding For Fun events. In Autumn we re-started BLUG Tuesday and
used it to test new meeting locations. That way we found our current meeting
We slowly regained new active members, most of them chinese.
4. What kind of difficulties have BLUG encountered in the process of developmentï¼Œ and how to solve them?
The main difficulty we have is finding good locations for the meeting and
Coding For Fun events. It is still an unsolved problem. We don't have
sponsors to pay for using locations, so we rely on offers for places we can use
5. What are the daily activities in BLUG? Do you (or BLUG) have any interactions with other communities?
I am trying to visit and keep relations with every group that i can find in Beijing.
I am regularly participating at events from the Beijing Open Party, Ruby,
Python, Angular.js meetups. Barcamp and more.
Most of these groups have Linux users, but as i am a programmer, many groups
are interesting to me personally too.
We also work with other groups to organize events, for example the Software
Freedom Day. or we support conferences like GNOME.asia and FUDcon or the
OpenSUSE summit, all of which had volunteers who are BLUG members.
We also participated at Google Code-In with FOSSASIA.
6. Have you ever attended open source activities in other countries or regions?
What are the differences between other countries and China in Open-source activities?
Every place and every country i have lived in, i participate in the local activities.
These vary in size and regularity. In some cases my visit was the motivation for
a group to have more meetings. In most groups the meeting involved some form of
topic presentation and discussion. But sometimes it was just going out for dinner.
Really not much different from china.
7. From your personal point of view, could you share with us some tips on how to manage one open source community successfully?
Well, there are different kinds of communities, for example those that revolve
around a particular software project where all members in some form contribute
to that software project. The contributions to such projects are often
motivated by the contributors own needs. The main goal for community
managers is to get active contributors to the project.
Other communities are more loose where people just share a common ideal, but
actually may contribute to different projects.
The BLUG is of the latter kind. People contribute to the BLUG more out of a
desire to serve the community than out of a personal need. And many do not
contribute to the BLUG directly.
The goal of the BLUG is to provide a venue for Free Software contributors and
users to share and meet like-minded people.
Most Free Software Communities are spread all over the world, whereas groups
like the BLUG are very local.
To manage a local group, i believe persistence would be the most important aspect.
If the group has meetings, they should be regular, so that new people can
easily find out when and where the meetings happen. Then it takes a while for
the word to spread, and attendance to grow. Keep holding the meetings, even if
only two or three people join. Then keep advertising the group and invite new
people. Eventually more will join and come back regularly.
8. Could you introduce us some active and outstanding members in BLUG?
It is difficult to praise the contributions of some people without unjustly
leaving out others. Moreover i don't even know all the contributions of every member.
Some members don't come to the meeting often but they are very active elsewhere
in the Free Software and Open Source Community. This is one of the things that
tends to be miss-understood about the Free Software community.
Some people worry if they release their work with a Free Software license, then
others can take advantage of it without giving anything back. But we don't know
if those users are not active somewhere else making contributions to our
society in other ways.
This is after all what i believe is the purpose of our life.
All Men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization.
9. GNU project founder Richard Stallman came to China in May, 2014, did you have a meet with him?
And what do you think about the Free Software campaign leaded by Richard Stallman since 1980th?
I have met richard stallman a few times before, but never had much direct
interaction with him. This year he joined us for a BLUG Dinner. As for his
campaign, i fully support the idea of Free Software. I believe that all
knowledge should be shared, and everyone should have the opportunity to use all
of the worlds knowledge in their work. To fulfill the purpose of life we should
all use our work to contribute to society. And allowing others to use and
modify our software is a great and very easy way of doing that.
10. The last one, could you reveal to us the BLUG's future development plan, and what kind of activity will be organized in the future days?
Future plans of the BLUG depend on its members. For now my goal is to get more
active members, people who help to host events, give talks, or help contribute
to our website. The BLUG website is very old and in dire need of an upgrade.
but it is difficult to do if we want to keep all the data.
I am also trying to work on a community calendar where we can share all events