Governing Board Minutes: 2013/11/21

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 21 November 2013 at 16:00 UTC with the following agenda:

  1. OpenJDK Scorecard, 2013 edition
  2. Any other business

Four Board members were present: Georges Saab, Andrew Haley, Doug Lea, and Mark Reinhold.

No observers were present.

Donald Smith (Oracle) was a guest presenter.

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. OpenJDK Scorecard, 2013 edition

Georges opened the meeting by asking whether everyone had received and reviewed the previously distributed Scorecard. After hearing general assent, he asked Donald Smith to summarize the Scorecard’s content.

According to Donald the Scorecard consists of two parts, the Community survey and the per-Project survey. The survey ran for two weeks immediately before JavaOne 2013. A healthy number of respondents (50) completed the survey despite a lack of e-mail reminders. (Last year, 80 surveys were returned.) Only one Project, JDK 7 Updates received useful data. In general the Community scores were up from last year. The wiki and issue-tracker items did particularly well, likely because they corresponded to major infrastructure that came on-line during the past year. Two areas dropped. The first was a rounding error for the Governing Board meeting transparency. The second was related to the Trademark policy item, “Trademark license exists and is easily accessible”. Donald observed that the comments indicated that some people can find the policy, but they don’t like it. For the JDK 7 Updates Project Scorecard, “Technical Matters” were all approximately the same, within rounding. Some visibility and transparency values were down slightly from last year.

After hearing Donald’s summary, Doug observed that there appears to be a certain capriciousness in the scores. As an example, he pointed out that even though Groups and Projects had not improved in providing quarterly reports, the score improved. Doug said that he considers the average score to be “the degree to which people cared”. Georges reminded everyone that the Scorecard would be used as the annual report and as a guide to determine areas for improvement.

With regard to using the Scorecard as the annual report, Mark indicated that he was fine with it. Georges believed that that it was a fair representation of the state of the Community and was pretty much as expected, and so he too accepted it as the annual report. Andrew commented that some of the summary notes could be improved, particularly for the Trademark item previously mentioned. He emphasized that the Scorecard’s purpose is to find out how well OpenJDK works. He thought that if pain points were identified via comments then they should be tracked. Doug stated that if people are commenting then they are replying to questions that weren’t asked. Andrew agreed. Donald added that some comments were well-considered. Mark recommended that Donald paraphrase comments from the survey. Georges inquired whether the summary notes should be reviewed. Mark concurred and suggested that it be handled over e-mail. A Governing Board meeting would be be scheduled in two weeks if additional discussion was warranted.

Georges then asked whether there were any particular areas that should be focused on over the next year. Andrew thought that a major difference between this year and last would be the addition of substantial contributions, particularly ports. Georges expected to see planning for future releases after JDK 8 and evaluations of the effectiveness of the bug system. Andrew would like to review how the JCP has been working with OpenJDK. Doug wanted to replace the CCC. He also wanted guidelines for how external people can put together a JEP without needing to understand Oracle resourcing.

Georges summarized the discussion, saying that in the coming year the following two areas would be the top priorities:

  1. Improve release planning so that it is clearer, more transparent, and more open.

  2. Improve the CCC.

Later on, Georges suggested that ideas for the coming year do not belong in the annual report for the previous year. Doug put forth the idea of pre-writing questions for next year’s survey. He didn’t want to do it now. Mark suggested that Donald be asked to review the questions a few months prior to the next survey.

Doug wanted to re-visit the issue of quarterly reports, and asked what would be required to amend the Bylaws to no longer require them. Mark said that the process is not light-weight. Doug moved that it be voted on. Mark seconded.

AGREED: The Governing Board will decline to enforce quarterly report requirements.

2. Any other business

No other business was identified.

At this point the Board adjourned.