New Group Proposal: OpenJDK Conformance

David Herron David.Herron at Sun.COM
Mon Oct 1 14:27:10 UTC 2007

Andrew John Hughes wrote:
> On Monday 01 October 2007 08:58:57 Mark Wielaard wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Fri, 2007-09-28 at 10:57 -0700, iris.clark at wrote:
>>> I'd like to propose creation of the OpenJDK Conformance Group.  The
>>> intent of this group is to discuss conformance testing and
>>> compatibility issues.  Topics for discussion include:
>>>   - Defining conformance testing
>>>   - Understanding the importance of compatibility between releases
>>>   - Distinguishing between conformance and product tests
>> This sound great. One idea for this is inviting Stuart Ballard (CCed).
>> His japitools have been a great part
>> of the communities conformance and compatibility drive.
> Seconded; Stuart's tools have been invaluable during the development of GNU 
> Classpath and are equally applicable as general tools for ensuring binary API 
> compatabillity between releases.

We use some similar tools in-house.

>> Does it have to be a separate group? Couldn't this be part of the
>> quality group? They already have a (pretty quiet) mailinglist and
>> infrastructure on the website. It seems conformance is just one bit of
>> the quality process overall.
> I agree, there are already an overly burdernsome number of mailing lists and 
> groups and conformance would intrinsicly seem to be part of a drive for 
> quality.
> The quality page already has plenty of nice metrics:
> It would seem an appropriate place for further conformance-related ones.

Thank you for the kind words about the Quality group pages.

Originally the Conformance and Quality were going to be together in the 
same group.  Shortly before the launch at Java ONE we decided they were 
better kept apart.

It seems that while both teams spend a lot of time writing tests, the 
purpose and focus is different.  Conformance to the spec is a different 
question than is the platform good quality.  I agree that "does it 
conform to the spec" is clearly part of whether the thing has high 
quality.  At the same time there are many other measures of quality.  
And the intentional focus is different.

Conformance may seem as you say just a small part of the overall quality 
process.  Both teams have a significant number of engineers, which I 
think is indicative of the significance of Conformance to validating the 
platform.  I don't know the numbers but the SQE and JCK teams are closer 
to equal size than you might expect.

- David Herron

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