Following outrage over the colossal failure that is China’s Ministry of Railways (MOR) recently revamped website for buying train tickets (12306.cn), frustrated developers have taken it upon themselves to fix it with a new open source intiative.
Like we said earlier this week, MOR’s site launched to little fanfare, and that failure did not come cheaply, as the government is said to have spent RMB 330 million ($52 million) developing it. The government now has plans to work with Taiji Computer Corporation and Tongfang Corporation to improve the site, but after two failed tries, there’s little hope that things will improve without intervention.
As Tea Leaf Nation reports, 360buy.com vice-president Li Daxue is now leading the charge to fix the technical issues with the online ticketing site. He created an open source project, 12306NG.org (“NG” = next generation) and is hoping to rally together independent Chinese developers to stop complaining and start working on concrete solutions.
Don’t complain, [just] go change it. It starts with me; China’s economy has already pivoted from a battle over resources to a technological movement. Programmers new and old, the era belonging to you has already begun! Let’s go!
How the government will cope with this push, let alone cooperate and implement the fixes, has yet to be shown. No matter what, it’s exciting to see talented citizens teaming up, even if it proves to embarrass the MOR.
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