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January 27, 2014

Year of the Horse

In a few days is the Chinese New Year, the year of the Horse. This is what you can find online about its meaning:

The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people's ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Ancient people liked to designate an able person as 'Qianli Ma', a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li equals 500 meters).
Clever combination of 2,0,1,4 numbers and an artistic horse illustration!

The horse empowers men to reach out far places quickly, Red aims at empowering programmers to accomplish more with less efforts. It looks like the Year of the Horse might be a good one for Red to take off.

I have been travelling through Asia since a month now and will be getting back home in a few days. I went to Hong-Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. This is my first time in Asia, and it felt like accomplish a kid's dream, full of exotic names and places. So, it was full of Marco Polo's stories in mind that I came in China...What a contrast! China is so modern that I must confess Europe looks really behind sometimes... China is also full of opportunities for western people, that's not just a saying, I experienced it first hand.

The purpose of my trip was to get information about the Chinese market for programmers and especially mobile programmers, meet with some startups there and IT people there, present Red (and Rebol) to any group of programmers interested in knowing more about it and get feedback from them.

Meeting with Qtxie, one of the most talented Red contributors.

I got much more than that in fact and I was not even expecting it. Thanks to Jerry Tsai who is supporting Red and Rebol since many years, we could meet with some of the key IT people in China and main startups. I had the opportunity to give an interview at CSDN (the largest developer community in China) and even give a teaching to an audience of beginners and non-programmers using Rebol2 and its GUI DSL.

So, not only, I could gather much more information than I expected, but I could also meet with the #1 incubator in China: InnovationWorks (IW).

IW made me an offer for spending 6 months at their offices in Beijing as a EIR (Entrepreneur In Residence) that I accepted. Basically, I will be able to continue coding on Red project while providing some architecture and tech advices to the incubated startups. This will be a great opportunity for me to study deeply the Chinese programmer's market and prepare for proposing some Red-related products or services in China and worldwide. So I will be moving in Beijing in a few months. This move does not change in any way my work on Red, as I will be able to continue working hard during the whole year on pushing Red closer to a production version.

I was able to work a bit during my trip, mainly on GUI support for Android (reusable for other platforms as well), so the next Red release should feature an alpha version of GUI programming support!

Special thank to Tamas Herman who hosted me during my stay at Hong-Kong and provided me with all I needed for working (including delicious Thai food!). :-)

So, let's start riding the Red horse this year! ;-)