Bangalore: India still has to go a long way to be crowned as the king of the open source in Asia. The country is ranked fourth in the region preceded by Japan and China and South Korea, in the first, second and third positions respectively. The Open Source Index (OSI) published by Red Hat and Georgia Tech says that India is at 23rd place globally. Global ranking of Japan is 14, followed by China (15) and South Korea (20).
France is the leading open source stalwart, followed by Spain, Germany, Australia, Finland, and the U.K. In the Western Hemisphere, the U.S. leads with a 9 ranking, while Brazil is right behind at 12, and Canada trails at 28.
The OSI is accompanied by an interactive map that shows the relative rankings for 75 countries based on their open source software (OSS) activity. The OSI assigns each of the nations an overall ranking on the basis of two different set of criteria - Activity and Environment.
Activity looks at concrete measures of current activity, while Environment is more speculative, and aims to show where OSS is likely to grow most quickly in the future. In each case a final score is given that combines the community, government, and industry factors.
In the Activity map, government factors include support for OSS procurement policies, while the industry category includes the number of registered OSS users per capita, as well as Internet growth. Community factors include the number of applications to the Google code base, native language support for GNU / Linux, and the number of Internet users per capita, says Red Hat.
Stark differences appear between certain nations' government policies supportive of OSS versus community and industry involvement. The U.S., for example, which trails only Estonia in community involvement in OSS, and has a respectable 13 ranking in industry, ranks 28 in government activity.
The Chinese government, in contrast, actively pushes open source technology, but its industry ranking, which also reflects the user base, ranks near the bottom at 69.
The Environment map is more speculative, which reflects factors including total number of Internet users and information technology patents, attempts to evaluate which countries offer favorable environments for open source growth. The map shows some interesting trends, with Sweden jumping out to a 1 ranking, followed by the U.S. (moving up from 9 in the activity map) and Norway.
The OSI report does not draw conclusions from the data except to note that "open source is widespread and thriving." While it is true that the survey shows that open source is widely disseminated, the data also appears to indicate a general correlation between open source usage and the more affluent, technologically advanced nations.