OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 2020/03/12

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 12 March 2020 at 15:00 UTC with the following agenda:

  1. Quarterly update
  2. Any other business

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

1. Quarterly Update

2020 Governing Board Election

With four Board members attending, Georges declared the meeting at quorate and stated that this meeting was the required quarterly meeting for Q1.

Georges observed that the 2020 Governing Board Election would be the first election for which there were more candidates than open seats. Mark added that past elections were ratification elections since the number of candidates and open seats were equal. This year's election, with more nominees than seats, will select the At-Large members using Single Transferable Voting, a form of ranked voting. This algorithm assures proportional representation by allowing voters to rank the nominees they support. Mark added that Ireland, Scotland, and others already used this voting system. Since the logic to implement this does not exist in the existing OpenJDK election software, a third-party election provider will be used.

Doug said he was happy that more people were being nominated. He anticipated that the next set of Board issues would be around release processes. Since these issues did not directly impact him, he thought it was best for the passionate to represent themselves and he encouraged nominations of interested parties. Mark, Andrew, and Georges explicitly thanked Doug for his years of service to the Board saying they appreciated his diverse views, level-headedness, and desire to constantly improve. Georges hoped that the next set of At-Large members had similar qualities and believed that strong candidates had been nominated.

Project Skara

Georges provided a brief update for Project Skara saying that additional Projects continued to migrate to the Skara instance on GitHub. He anticipated that Project JDK would be one of the last to take advantage of the system. Georges thought that discussion on-line and at the February 2020 Committer's Workshop in Brussels were helpful in raising awareness of Skara's capabilities and limitations. Andrew noted that he had been experimenting with tooling and discovered some interesting issues. He praised the Skara teams for their enthusiasm and communication.

2. Any other business

Mark commented that the recent Committer's Workshop had a pleasing amount of technical content in contrast to earlier Workshops, which were necessarily heavily devoted to process. Andrew suggested that if a session lead expected to make significant decisions, they should announce in advance that the Workshop would be the forum to discuss and come to a consensus on direction. Georges' offered the alternative of using the Workshop to enhance on-line discussion without making decisions. Andrew observed that on-line communication in the OpenJDK Community was quite good since people have developed relationships over time.

Doug recommended process guidelines to describe how decisions are made. Andrew outlined his approach to seeking consensus as the Project 8u Updates Lead saying that if a significant person objected, he worked with them to move forward. Mark added that if somebody objected without interest in compromise, ignoring them might be reasonable. The OpenJDK Community has been very fortunate that such situations were rare. Doug asked about the existence of an appeals process. Mark replied to say that Project Leads have broad authority over all Project decisions. If someone objects to a decision made by a Project Lead then they can appeal it to the OpenJDK Lead and then, if necessary, to the Governing Board. Georges noted that most may not be well-acquainted with this process since historically there has never been a need for it.

As a candidate running for one of the At-Large seats, Andrew said he appreciated working with past Board members. Georges and Mark thanked Andrew and Doug for their years of diligent service and wished all the candidates the best of luck.

At this point, the Board adjourned.