Governing Board Minutes: 2011/5/12

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 12 May 2011 at 15:00 UTC with the following agenda:

  1. Infrastructure update from Oracle
  2. Summary of upcoming process work
  3. Status update on Oracle legal work

Three Board members were present at the start: Doug Lea, Adam Messinger, and Mark Reinhold. Mike Milinkovich sent his regrets in advance.

Two Observers were present at the start: Andrew Haley and Georges Saab. John Duimovich joined the call about 15 minutes late.

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. Infrastructure update from Oracle

Mohan Pakkurti of Oracle was invited to give an update. Mohan introduced himself as working for Georges and being responsible for Oracle’s OpenJDK infrastructure. Mohan prepared a set of slides for the Board and provided a status update on each topic described therein.

Most of the discussion revolved around the selection of a bug-tracking system, an effort which has been in progress for some months now.

Andrew asked how it could work to have an external bug system for OpenJDK that’s separate from Oracle’s internal bug system. Georges replied that Oracle’s intent is not to have separate bug systems with duplicate information but rather for Oracle engineers to use the new, open system for all the work they do in OpenJDK. Mark elaborated, explaining that Oracle engineers would still use an internal system for customer records and other confidential data, and that internal bug reports would link to open bug reports as needed.

Georges stated that it is Oracle’s intent to have the new bug-tracking system in place as early in the development of JDK 8 as possible, but not so early as to disrupt the completion of JDK 7. Doug observed that these constraints suggest it will be in place early in August 2011. Georges confirmed that to be the goal, and that Oracle is actively funding work toward that goal, but given the number of moving parts there is no hard and fast guaranteed date.

Mohan then brought up the topic of code-review systems, stating that he had started looking into this as well and would shortly initiate an open discussion on the choice of such a system. Andrew said that in his view this is one of the most important systems for all contributors, and so any discussion about choosing one must be highly visible.

This segued into a general discussion of which mailing lists should be used for infrastructure-related topics. Mark asked if the Board would prefer to see all infrastructure traffic on a single list, perhaps the widely-read general discussion list. This was informally agreed to be unnecessary, given that it would probably annoy many subscribers. It was suggested instead that when infrastructure discussions take place on more-specific lists, e.g., web-discuss, then quick references to such discussions should be posted to the general discussion list and perhaps a few other widely-read lists as appropriate in order to ensure broad visibility.

Moving on, Mohan stated that Project Kenai is Oracle’s preferred platform for the open-source communities it sponsors, and Georges explained further that there is some internal pressure to migrate OpenJDK to that platform. Mark explained how he didn’t think this would be an ideal solution, given that Kenai’s design center is that of a large community of mostly-unrelated projects along the lines of or SourceForge. Doug said that he’d thought that Kenai specifically designed for OpenJDK, but then said he was quickly dissuaded after looking at it in real time during the call.

Andrew asked what could be done to make it easy for a contributor not associated with any of our companies to work on a bug and offer a fix, stressing that this is as much a process issue as it is an infrastructure issue. Doug observed that we can probably avoid a fair amount process documentation just by having good infrastructure, and in particular by having bug-tracking and code-review systems that are deeply integrated.

Georges asked if anyone had feedback on the two candidate bug systems, Bugzilla and JIRA. Doug said that he has used both a little bit and mildly prefers JIRA. John said that he and his team use JIRA and like it, but he doesn’t have a strong preference.

Andrew thanked Mohan for his efforts and noted that the community is eager to benefit from his work.

2. Summary of upcoming process work

This topic was moved to next week’s agenda due to time constraints.

3. Status update on Oracle legal work

Adam reported that Oracle’s legal department had completed its review of the OpenJDK Community Bylaws, requesting only the few minor changes which had earlier been communicated to the Board by Mark. In order for the new Bylaws draft to be published Adam now only needs to get approval from his EVP; he expects that to take less than a week.

Adam asked the other Board members to relay their feedback on these minor changes as soon as possible. Mike had already given his approval via e-mail. Doug immediately approved the changes. John said that IBM would review the changes promptly.

Doug asked about the status of revising the Oracle Contributor Agreement (OCA). Mark replied that a new full-time hire at Oracle will be driving that process forward, and that Doug should hear from him soon.