Governing Board Minutes: 2011/6/28

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Tuesday, 28 June 2011 at 15:00 UTC with the following agenda:

  1. Status of Bylaws Ratification Vote
  2. Miscellaneous concerns

Three Board members were present at the start: Doug Lea, Adam Messinger, and Mark Reinhold. Jason Gartner joined the call about five minutes late.

Three Observers were present: John Duimovich, Andrew Haley, and Georges Saab.

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 of Bylaws Ratification Vote

Mark reported the following statistics on the Bylaws Ratification vote, with less than an hour remaining: 125 eligible voters with 70 “yes” votes, zero “no” votes, and nine abstentions. Of the “yes” votes, nine are from non-Oracle voters. Abstentions were received from developers at Google, Red Hat, and other organizations. The ballot comments were generally centered around displeasure with the composition of the Governing Board. (For more details, see the complete summary of the final results.)

There was general discussion about the abstentions and ballot comments, particularly those related to the composition of the Board. Nobody was surprised at the results. Adam noted that the Board had tried to address feedback and make some changes by, e.g., creating the “Observer” role and inviting Andrew Haley as an initial observer. Doug was cautiously optimistic and believed that having a set of operating Bylaws meant that we’d have a framework for improving things. Jason said he could definitely appreciate the votes/comments and wouldn’t want people to vote “yes” with such concerns. Adam specifically invited Andrew to comment on the situation. Andrew observed that over the past few years Oracle appeared to be doing the right thing. He mainly wanted fair and practical Bylaws. Doug hoped that with the Bylaws in place, no one would be afraid to contribute to the JDK.

Adam thought that we could reasonably expect the Bylaws to be ratified within the hour and wanted to know what the next steps would be. Mark stated that he would send a quick announcement of the result. He expected it to take one to two weeks to implement the transition to the new Bylaws as defined in Appendix B. Thus it would be a couple of weeks before the Bylaws become operative. Jason requested clarification regarding the 125 voting members. Mark reminded him of the conversation around definition of the ratification electorate. Specifically, it was decided that the composition of the ratification electorate was an exceptional case which would have no bearing on other elections. Jason recommended that there be a conscious effort across OpenJDK to ensure that the membership is reflective of OpenJDK contributors.

AGREED: The set of group members the set of active contributors should somehow be aligned.

Implementation of this goal was left as a topic for a future meeting.

2. Miscellaneous concerns

Doug mentioned that his biggest concern is that people don’t understand the rules and, when something goes wrong, they tend to assume that something hostile has happened. He admitted to not understanding the implications of everything and always wondering if the latest communication is really just convenient for Oracle. Adam said that the only way he knew how to address this perception was to establish a pattern of trust, and that part of that is to encourage people to speak out and express concerns as necessary. He welcomed suggestions to more proactively encourage trust. Doug noted that part of the solution was to have more things out in the open.

Andrew commented that a recent proposal for a JDK 7 Updates Project generated a lively conversation around the need for additional repositories and how best to manage them. While the initial communication was lacking, the discussion it stimulated was educational and resulted in a good outcome. Georges said that it was an example of an Oracle-internal process finally being surfaced, since JDK 7 updates really will be run in the open.

Mark requested comments on his recent e-mail to the discussion list regarding the JDK Enhancement-Proposal and Roadmap Process. This document will become increasingly important as JDK 8 planning progresses. Doug indicated that he’d read it, saw nothing obviously distressing, but would have comments if it was on the agenda for the next meeting.

At this point the Board adjourned.