Governing Board Minutes: 2012/3/8

The OpenJDK Governing Board met via conference call on Thursday, 8 March 2011 at 16:00 UTC with the following agenda:

  1. Governing Board elections
  2. OpenJDK Terms of Use update
  3. Infrastructure update

All Board members were present: Jason Gartner, Doug Lea, Mike Milinkovich, Mark Reinhold, and Georges Saab.

Two Observers were present: John Duimovich and Andrew Haley.

John warned that he had another commitment and would leave at 16:30 UTC.

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. Governing Board elections

Mark reported that one nomination was received for the Governing Board election for At-Large members. He’d nominated Andrew Haley and anticipated nominating Doug Lea. Nominations would be open for one more week.

Mark expressed his personal hope that Mike would continue as an Observer, but left that decision to Mike and other Board members. Mike stated that he saw his main contribution to be in helping to write the Bylaws, by providing feedback based on his experience at Eclipse. He said he does not feel very close to the OpenJDK community and that it makes sense for somebody with a closer relationship to assume his position. Mike suggested that discussion for his continued participation as an Observer be a topic for the Board after his present term expired. On behalf of the Board, Georges thanked Mike for all his contributions.

Nominations end on 15 March and voting begins on 16 March. Mark reminded Andrew to accept the nomination. Doug suggested that the acceptance message should ideally be two sentences.

2. OpenJDK Terms of Use update

Mark outlined the goals of updating the OpenJDK Website Terms of Use (ToU):

Andrew said that his first impression was that the document looked good and seemed easy to understand, though he did have questions about the relationship between the ToU and OCA. Mark declared emphatically that he is not an attorney, but that his understanding was that the ToU and OCA could be viewed as a “belt and suspenders.” One can post a contribution without having signed the OCA, regardless of the size of the contribution. Such a contribution would fall under the ToU, which grants rights to Oracle and to others using the site. The OCA requires specific acceptance, unlike the ToU, so it is a stronger legal document. This is vastly preferred for large contributions. Andrew commented that this policy appears to be the same as that used by the FSF. Mike agreed that Eclipse and Apache share the same approach of requiring explicit signatures for non-trivial contributions or commits to a repository. Mark noted that, operationally, this is what has been done in the past for OpenJDK. He expected a attorney-approved FAQ would be written to aid in consistent interpretation.

Mark provided the present status and rough plan for rolling out the new ToU. Once a few remaining internal approvals are received, the new ToU will be posted for a week, possibly with a FAQ, after which time they’d be put in place. Assuming no comments/questions from the Board, and appropriate approvals, the new ToU could possibly posted next week. Doug summarized the Board’s comments as “don’t delay, and hurry up.”

3. Infrastructure update

Georges reported that work on the new bug system has become quite a challenge inside Oracle. The current system, “BugTraq,” is a legacy Sun system that is not owned by the Java group. The team responsible for it recently gave notice that they would decommission it this coming August. Georges said that his team had been trying to make progress towards the end goal of having a bug system that works for all JDK developers, including those outside Oracle. With open design questions remaining and a number of required approvals not yet obtained, however, Georges expressed concern that, at the given pace, there was significant risk of not having a bug system of any sort for the JDK come August.

Georges proposed splitting the project for the OpenJDK bug tracking system into three phases:

  1. Migrate the internal bug system to an internal JIRA system,
  2. Open the internal JIRA system for external use, and then
  3. Make improvements to the open JIRA system.

The goal for completion of Phase 1 would be 90 days from now.

Mike thought this was pretty bad news but that the community would be sympathetic if Phase 1 were as transparent as reasonably possible. Georges assured Mike that the intent was to provide such communication. Doug said his reaction was almost the opposite: He thought that the demise of BugTraq couldn’t happen soon enough. Jason echoed Doug’s sentiments, saying that IBM’s participation was gated on the openness of these systems and he expected that any type of acceleration or phased plan would be helpful. Georges closed by saying that work towards obtaining the necessary approvals for Phase 2 would proceed in parallel with Phase 1,

Doug asked about plans for the CCC, an Oracle-internal group which reviews API changes with respect to their effect on compatibility. Mark replied that the intent remains to convert it into an open process. Georges noted that making an open JIRA system available will be a step in that direction.

At this point the Board adjourned.