OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 2019/5/30

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 30 May 2019 at 15:00 UTC with the following agenda:

  1. OpenJDK Member renewal/expiration
  2. Any other business

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

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.

0. Attempted GB meeting

Georges noted that the Governing Board attempted to meet on 13 December 2018. The meeting was not quorate, however, so nothing was discussed.

1. OpenJDK Member renewal/expiration

The next agenda item was prompted by a mail message to the Board regarding the Bylaws' OpenJDK Member renewal and expiration provisions. The message requested that either the provisions be removed or implemented.

As background, Georges read the relevant portion of the Bylaws:

Every OpenJDK Membership is subject to automatic Expiration
after one year, but will be renewed upon request.  A request for
renewal must be received  within one year of expiration.  An
OpenJDK Member whose Membership has expired and not yet been
renewed may not exercise the privileges of Membership, except
that roles requiring OpenJDK Membership may be retained.

He also reminded the Board that this topic was previously discussed in a meeting on 26 February 2015 and displayed the associated minutes. After a brief pause to allow the Board to read the referenced minutes, Mark commented that this was a portion of the Bylaws which seemed like a good idea when they were written eight years ago but did not seem to have a lot of value today. He continued saying that the section was inspired by practices in other open source communities but have not proven as useful in the OpenJDK Community. Mark observed that changing the Bylaws to remove this superfluous content would be an expensive exercise. The alternatives were to either continue to ignore the statements or to implement them. Georges commented that communities which did not implement some form of expiration could find themselves in a state where inactive members had the ability to unduly influence the community indefinitely.

Doug proposed that a vote in the annual Governing Board Election to select the two At-Large Members be interpreted as a renewal request. Mark praised the idea saying that the set of voters in the last election was known and that an e-mail could be sent to every member who had not voted requesting that they acknowledge the message to continue their membership. Georges and Doug approved of the idea of "emeritus" status recognizing past members. Mark acknowledged that such a list might be allowed by the existing Bylaws, but he would need to consult them to be certain. John recommended adding text to the annual election ballot instructions indicating that voting would be interpreted as a request for renewal.

Mark committed to carefully read the Bylaws and to send a proposal to the Board to implement the Bylaws' renewal statements as discussed. If the Board approves the plan, a reply to the message which stimulated this will be sent. Georges encouraged resolution by the end of July.

At this point, the Board adjourned.