OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 20011/4/21

Dr Andrew John Hughes gnu_andrew at
Fri May 6 05:44:45 UTC 2011

On 6 May 2011 00:55, Fernando Cassia <fcassia at> wrote:
> On Thu, May 5, 2011 at 7:18 PM, Dr Andrew John Hughes
> <gnu_andrew at> wrote:
>> I completely agree.  There are way too many lists and the only benefit
>> of this list is it allows Oracle to hide material they don't want
>> everyone to see.
>> --
>> Andrew :-)
> Dear Andrew,
> Does your paranoia reflect that of your employer, RedHat?, or are you
> writing just on a personal basis?

I've already stated that these are my own personal opinions:
I've also already stated that I don't believe this is actually the
reason this list exists:
You're making a false leap from "the only benefit of this list is" to
"I believe the motivation of this separation is".

Regardless, I don't work for RedHat.  I work for "Red Hat".

> I ask because if your paranoia reflects that of RedHat management, I´d
> seriously reconsider using Fedora...

I hardly claim to speak for management.  You're looking in entirely
the wrong place if you want such statements from anyone here, and
shouldn't assume that what's said here carries the weight of a press
This is a discussion list for FOSS hackers working on the OpenJDK
project, although perhaps this governance board fiasco is evidence
that you're not the only one who has missed this distinction.

> And you´ve already admitted here that you only work on OpenJDK because your
> employer told you so. So I also don´t know if it serves RedHat´s interests
> to have someone working on OpenJDK almost against his will...

I actually said "I wouldn't be contributing to [OpenJDK] if I wasn't
being paid to do so".  Please don't misquote me.  I was working on
OpenJDK before I was employed to do so and so certainly wasn't told
to.  But would I keep trying to work on it if I wasn't being paid? No.
 But I'm hardly the first person in the world to not leap about doing
cartwheels in the enjoyment of my job.

Besides, most of my day job is spent working on IcedTea, not OpenJDK.
The fact that a project that was designed as a temporary stopgap still
exists speaks volumes itself about the success of OpenJDK so far.
IcedTea does have much more of a community ethos, small in number
though it is.

I made the point about working on OpenJDK in the following implicit
context. I've worked in this community for the past seven years, four
and a half of those being prior to joining Red Hat.  Prior to 2007,
that was all on GNU Classpath.  I was motivated to do this on a
volunteer basis (which eventually led to my hire by Red Hat) because
there were non-monetary rewards in doing so and there was a great
community of people to work with.  My point was that this simply
doesn't exist with OpenJDK in its current form and so it's completely
missing out on engaging new talent in this way.

My experience with OpenJDK could hardly be more different, as I've
mentioned before [1].  It may be ostensibly a FOSS project but it
certainly has never managed to garner the community of one.  Just look
at the sheer disparity of Oracle commits to external commits, or the
lack of discussion on the mailing lists.  After four years, there is
still far too little transparency, it's still slow to get patches in
on many occasions and there are still far too many things that are
Oracle only from the technical (bug databases, commits via JPRT) to
the decisions on direction over the future of the project.  There's no
opportunity to work on anything together as a community.  We attempted
this with Jigsaw and it seems to have unilaterally failed.  OpenJDK
work is dull because it consists of nibbling around the edges and
fixing minor bugs and build issues.

I believe the OpenJDK project could do a lot better than this.  If I
didn't think that, I wouldn't have bothered entering this discussion
in the first place.  But, so far, this attempt at governance is
actually taking things in the opposite direction.  Yes, perhaps
surprisingly, it's actually managing to make things worse, and pushing
away the few people who have actually bothered to stick it out and try
and work on this project.

> FC

Andrew :-)

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