OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 2024/02/15

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 15 February 2024 at 16:00 UTC with no initial agenda.

Five Board members were present: Georges Saab, Annette Keenleyside, Andrew Haley, Phil Race, 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. Agenda?

Georges declared the meeting quorate and requested agenda items. After receiving none, he introduced the topic of the annual Governing Board Election for At-Large Members. The election cycle will begin in mid-February with the timeline announcement. One week later, there will be a request for nominations lasting two weeks. Immediately after the nomination period has closed, the two-week polling period will begin. Finally, the results will be announced at the end of March, in time for the winners to begin their term on 1 April as required by the Bylaws.

Phil asked whether the Governing Board meeting minutes would be forthcoming. Georges expected them to be sent to the Board for review with the expectation that they would be published before polling begins.

The Board discussed the recent FOSDEM and OpenJDK Committers' Workshop (OCW) in Belgium. Georges stated that the Free Java Dev Room at FOSDEM was well-attended and quite a success. The room was excellent as it was big and airy with plenty of seating. It also had windows that could open to create a cross breeze. The talks were interesting and of high quality. The associated recordings were good. Phil, a first-time attendee, noted that the room's location at the periphery of the event did not seem to deter attendees. Another track in a more easily accessible room was surprisingly not as popular. Moving to the OCW, Phil praised the timing of the event relative to FOSDEM. Andrew asked whether everybody who wanted to attend was able to do so. Phil said that it appeared that the room was near capacity at the close of the registration process. Continuing the logistics evaluation, Georges observed that nobody seemed to be turned away, but it seemed that attendance was near the limits of accommodation. The on-site staff appeared shocked at the number of people who wanted lunch. Several people declared that it was difficult to get a taxi at the end of the day. Georges believed that the two parallel tracks worked well, and everyone was very positive and enthusiastic. Andrew thought the topics were very good and he had the impression that people wanted to continue talking for an hour or two. Phil noticed that it took a while for people to start talking. Georges asked whether a few topics could be suggested in advance. Mark recalled that early workshops did solicit for ideas, but there were rarely any suggestions.

Annette asked whether JEPs and Projects were created with a time-box or endgame in mind. She cited Valhalla, beginning in 2013, as an example of a long-running Project. Mark replied that the general philosophy was that things ship when they are ready. Continuing with the Valhalla example, he believed that it was the biggest change that would ever be made in Java. Citing recent heavy revisions of JEP 401 Value Classes and Objects (Preview), he thought significant progress had been made and sensed that Valhalla was approaching the beginning of the end. Mark anticipated another two or three JEPs after that. Directly answering Annette's question, Mark declared that Project time-boxing was never contemplated. Projects which have become moribund are archived. Andrew added that sometimes things get blocked because there is no clear solution. As time passes, technology evolves and then suddenly the solution becomes apparent. He speculated that if a solution had been provided faster, it may have been wrong. Georges said that there is always a tension between getting things done and doing it well enough. The alternative is an illusion of predictability when the feature is of unknown scope. He recommended taking advantage of the open process for people to draw their own conclusions. For JEPs, progress through the various states, particularly "Proposed to Target", should be viewed as an indicator of features to come. Even before a JEP number has been assigned, the JEP exists as a DRAFT and there is discussion of the potential JEP before that. Annette summarized the responses saying that features were delivered when ready to take advantage of breakthrough thinking.

In closing, Georges suggested that Board members reserve time to read the minutes as soon as they were sent for review.

At this point, the Board adjourned.