OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 20011/4/21

Dr Andrew John Hughes gnu_andrew at
Tue May 3 08:02:19 UTC 2011

On 30 April 2011 11:59, Doug Lea <dl at> wrote:
> On 04/28/11 15:06, Ludwig, Mark wrote:
>> It might help the contributors be more patient if they understood why it
>> helps the OpenJDK community to wait for this.  Neither the minutes from
>> the
>> board meeting nor the ensuing discussion in the last twelve hours really
>> explain why waiting indefinitely is better than letting OpenJDK 8 get
>> started
>> now.
> The GB cannot make decisions based on the bylaws if we do not have
> bylaws. Until then, it appears that the original interim rules
> and conventions still apply. This is how some of
> the prospective JDK8 projects (like lambda) have already been set up.
> Oracle could insist on doing the same for jdk8 itself, despite the GB.
> However, if jdk8 escapes the upcoming new bylaws, then primary jdk
> development may continue to operate under the old interim conventions
> for years.
> -Doug

Can you explain what is wrong with the current conventions?  I can
think of many things I believe could be improved with the current
OpenJDK project, but the conventions for creating new projects doesn't
factor high on the list.  I'm not saying the current rules are
perfect, but they've worked for the last four years and allowed a
number of projects to be started by non-Oracle contributors (the
porting project, IcedTea, the Mac OS port).  I also hardly think you
can claim that lambda is a OpenJDK8 project setup under the old
guidelines as it was setup as an OpenJDK7 project, and is only now
part of OpenJDK8 due to the decision to move it.  In short, continuing
to operate under the interim conventions doesn't seem a problem to me.

I really don't see how it's better for the OpenJDK project for
development to take place in private internal forks, jeopardising the
future of the project as a whole, than to allow OpenJDK8 to 'escape
the upcoming new bylaws'.  I've noted that you still do most of your
development outside of the OpenJDK project, so maybe you aren't aware
of the problems that we've experienced with getting Oracle developers
to work in the open and the issues that have resulted from not having
access to some of the early stages of OpenJDK7 development.  For some
bug IDs, the corresponding changesets are simply unavailable as they
pre-date the repositories.  It is at least understandable that the
start of OpenJDK7 development is missing, due to the change from a
proprietary development model, but I see absolutely no good reason to
deliberately do the same with OpenJDK8.

I really don't see how this will force Oracle to do anything either.
Most Oracle developers seem to prefer working in private repositories
and on private mailing lists, presumably because it's the pre-existing
dominant culture.  This is even noted in the minutes; 'Adam disagreed,
noting that working behind closed doors is actually a more comfortable
mode of operation for most Oracle engineers'.  This is going to hurt
external engineers, like us at Red Hat instead.  Who knows when we
will get access to OpenJDK8 development work and in what state it will
be by then?  You're giving Oracle a "get out of jail free" card to do
private development and use this board decision as an excuse.
Andrew :-)

Support Free Java!
Contribute to GNU Classpath and IcedTea

PGP Key: F5862A37 (
Fingerprint = EA30 D855 D50F 90CD F54D  0698 0713 C3ED F586 2A37

More information about the discuss mailing list