Governing Board Minutes: 2011/5/5

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 5 May 2011 at 15:00 UTC with the following agenda:

  1. Status update on Oracle legal work
  2. Observers
  3. Upcoming initiatives

Three Board members were present at the start: Doug Lea, Adam Messinger, and Mark Reinhold. Jason Gartner joined the call late. Mike Milinkovich sent his regrets in advance.

The intent of these minutes is to capture the conversational flow of the Board’s discussion and also to record decisions. If you are interested only in the latter then search for the word “AGREED” throughout the text.

1. Status update on Oracle legal work

Adam reported that Oracle’s legal department had completed an initial review of draft 8 of the OpenJDK Community Bylaws and sent feedback to Adam and Mark. That feedback lists a few areas in need of clarification but does not identify any showstoppers. Adam will continue to expedite this work as best he can.

Doug asked for an example of the kind of feedback that was received, so that he could be reassured that this effort is reasonably under control. Mark gave the example of a slight mismatch between the definition of “contribution” in the Bylaws and that in the OpenJDK Web Site Terms of Use.

2. Observers

As explained last week, the Observer role was created in response to feedback to the effect that some historically-significant OpenJDK contributors are not represented on the Board. Observers are welcome to both listen and contribute to the conversation in Board meetings, but they do not have voting rights.

Mark nominated an initial list of Governing Board Observers:

The board then unanimously

AGREED: To invite John Duimovich, Andrew Haley, and Georges Saab to attend Governing Board meetings as Observers.

3. Upcoming initiatives

Doug explained that he sees two sets of issues involved in enabling more contributors to participate in OpenJDK.

First, contributors need more transparency around development processes such as code-review policies, unit-test requirements, TCK requirements, and so forth. Developers inside Oracle know how these things work, but they are a mystery to most people outside.

Second, the infrastructure currently available to the community, such as the bug database, is not adequate for open development. Mark said that Oracle has a team looking into infrastructure issues; they are at present gathering requirements and investigating alternatives for an open bug database.

As this point Jason joined the call, observing that he shares Doug’s concerns since he has directed his team to work in the open as much as possible. Jason suggested that we need to do a better job communicating what has been done already and what is in progress. Mark asked whether this was about the bug database in particular and Jason explained that yes, the bug database was one of the top five issues people have with OpenJDK, and suggested that the Board should do what it can to make progress on this effort more visible. The board then unanimously

AGREED: To request an update from Oracle on the status of work on the bug database and, if feasible, any other infrastructure projects.

Doug then turned the discussion back to the first set of issues. Mark reminded the Board that development processes are not directly within the Board’s purview. He did acknowledge the need for a merged, updated, and expanded set of process documents, as well as externalized versions of certain internal processes, and indicated that he expects progress on these to be made organically over time. The next big step will be to define a process for gathering feature proposals for future JDK Release Projects, a draft of which Mark hopes to publish soon.

Doug asked Mark specifically for a short list of items eventually to be covered in the process documents. Mark agreed to provide that at the next Board meeting.

At this point the Board adjourned.