OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 2021/09/23

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 23 September 2021 at 15:00 UTC with the following agenda:

  1. Vulnerability Group: New-member problems
  2. JVMLS and OCW in 2022?
  3. Any other business

Five Board members were present: Georges Saab, Samir Kamerkar, Andrew Haley, Christian Thalinger, 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. Overview

Georges started the meeting by noting that while the initial agenda was empty, the Bylaws require that the Governing Board meet quarterly and this was the last regularly scheduled meeting of the quarter. Two agenda items were suggested: A contributor's difficulty in joining the Vulnerability Group, and a discussion of possible future in-person events.

1. Vulnerability Group: New-member problems

Mark reported that he was investigating the difficulty a contributor was having in becoming a member of the Vulnerability Group. As far as he could tell, it was an unfortunate case of nested Oracle-internal process delays. Georges suspected that resolution would require him to step in and seek approval. Regardless, the issue was being actively investigated.

Chris wondered how many people were currently in the Vulnerability Group, to which Mark replied, 25-30. He said that the Group does not have a fixed size, but there are requirements around legal agreements and expertise as described on the Vulnerability Group page. Mark stated that every additional member increases risk of information leakage.

Alluding to the Vulnerability Group infrastructure topic from the April 2021 meeting, Chris asked whether an alternative to encrypted e-mail communication had been found. Andrew answered that a more palatable alternative had not been discovered.

2. JVMLS and OCW in 2022?

Mark speculated that in-person conferences in early 2022 would be unlikely given the current COVID situation. Further, he would be reluctant to travel in that time frame. Andrew agreed with both sentiments. He suggested that hybrid events may become the "new normal". Mark said that in his experience with online events, there was no substitute for the hallway track. Also, as a speaker, the lack of an interactive audience was particularly unrewarding. Andrew said that he enjoyed an online event he did with Project Loom contributors. He thought that at least part of its success was due to the existing relationships amongst the attendees, since everyone knew each other. Mark agreed that the Loom event went particularly well, but could not imagine that larger events such as the FOSDEM Dev Room could successfully use the same approach. Georges observed that online events work well when there are existing relationships, but are hard for new people to leverage. He noted that in his experience, the best large meeting format was not a video gallery with hundreds of participants but, rather, a speaker panel with a side channel for questions. Andrew agreed with this approach and said that we are just going to have to get used to hybrid events because a significant number of people will always have reasons for why they are unable to attend.

Chris wondered whether large conference rooms with video capabilities still existed. He thought that if attendees congregated in larger groups, across the globe, it might make for a more rewarding experience. Georges said that Oracle and likely others do have such facilities but, at least in the case of Oracle, offices are still not open and so these rooms are inaccessible. He also noted that the experience for those not in the room with the speaker was much worse than a 100% virtual meeting.

In closing, Mark guessed that an in-person JVMLS and OCW event in the summer of 2022 in Santa Clara would likely be possible.

At this point, the Board adjourned.