Mailing lists for specification of enhanced metadata in Java SE 8

Alex Buckley alex.buckley at
Wed Jul 25 08:59:45 PDT 2012

// Snipping discuss at openjdk

On 7/25/2012 4:15 AM, Neil Richards wrote:
> By observation, it seems that most activities in OpenJDK have used the
> (unified) -discuss model for their mailing lists, which is why, I guess,
> I'm unfamiliar with this alternative.
> In general, I haven't noticed conversations in these forums spinning
> wildly out of control due to rogue input from the ill-informed, but as
> I'm not claiming to be an expert, perhaps my spidey-sense is not attuned
> to it.
> Perhaps experts for other language-related lists such as lambda-dev or
> mlvm-dev might have a view on whether running discussion on a single
> list is unduly painful in this respect ?

OpenJDK lists have not been used to develop the specification of a 
feature before now. -dev lists have been used for general opinions (see 
coin-dev and lambda-dev in their early days) and, more 
recently/usefully/properly, for feedback on experiences with the RI.

> The few exceptions to this one-list way of doing things (in OpenJDK)
> seem to be those mailing lists directly related to specific JSRs.
> There the division between experts and observers is clearer, I suppose:
> experts are those on the Expert Group of the JSR, observers everyone
> else.
> (i.e. for JSRs, the mailing list structure just reflects that coming
> from the JSR itself).

Right. And I copied the scheme used by the SE 8 JSR: - but I need to simulate an 
Expert Group as I have two focused features with deadlines.

> But as you're looking for this activity to be covered by the Java 8
> Umbrella JSR (337), I'm not sure this makes sense here, as I don't think
> you're suggesting the membership on -experts is that of 337's EG.
> (In any case, 337 already has its own mailing lists).

Right. The 337 EG is not directly involved in these two features, though 
I would be pleased if a 337 EG member was interested in them.

> Also, in a two-list approach, I guess I'd still hope that the experts at
> least follow the traffic in the -observers list. Otherwise, there's not
> much point to discussing things there as there'd be scant chance of any
> good input in -observers getting adopted by the experts.

Certainly -observers would primarily be for reading. If someone there 
makes a material contribution which affects the design, then the feature 
lead (Oracle) ought to detect, consider, and possibly raise it on -experts.

> Having said all that, I very much appreciate the notion of holding the
> design / spec conversations on a separate list to those for its
> implementation in OpenJDK, so thanks for looking to cater for that.

compiler-dev will be used for the RI, there's no doubt about that. The 
only question is how to arrange the design/specification list(s).

> Please don't interpret what I'm saying as active hostility to what you
> propose. I suppose it's just that I suspect you may not gain that much
> from the overhead it introduces.

I think you are right.

> Incidentally, will the list of experts for this work map to some OpenJDK
> artifact, e.g. membership of an OpenJDK Project, or something ?
> Will it be clear how new people might apply / be proposed / join these
> experts ?
> (The OpenJDK Bylaws lay out the mechanics of how this is done for
> OpenJDK artifacts, so it's all clear how this would work if there is
> such a mapping).

Fair questions. We've decided not to start an OpenJDK Group or Project 
for these two features, since they are relatively small features and 
their RI will be developed entirely by one team in one forest on 
compiler-dev. I've asked persons in private whether they'd like to 
contribute to the -experts list.


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