OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 20011/4/21

Mike Milinkovich mike.milinkovich at
Mon May 9 13:53:06 UTC 2011


I believe that we have now reached the point in this conversation where we respectfully agree to disagree.

Best regards,

Mike Milinkovich
Office: +1.613.224.9461 x228
Mobile: +1.613.220.3223
mike.milinkovich at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mark Wielaard [mailto:mark at]
> Sent: May-09-11 6:12 AM
> To: mike.milinkovich at
> Cc: discuss at; gb-discuss at
> Subject: RE: OpenJDK Governing Board Minutes: 20011/4/21
> On Sun, 2011-05-08 at 18:17 -0400, Mike Milinkovich wrote:
> > My humble apologies for causing offense. However, my definition of an
> > "honest discussion" is one where there is a chance that there can be
> > movement or compromise on the issue at hand. In this case, since I do
> > not believe that there is any hope of that happening, I think it is
> > more honest to be clear. I'm sorry that you find what is meant as
> > candour to be offensive.
> To be candid in reply, if you really believe that no discussion can take
> place on the core principles of what it means to be a member of this
> project, then I think you are just making a mockery of the whole idea of
> project participation and governance. Sure you can set this up as to be
> a Oracle/IBM duo-poly, which is governed by some cross-company
> agreements that don't hold for any other participant and where some
> stuff gets thrown around for those who like to do their own thing
> (somewhere else), but I hope that isn't the goal.
> > I appreciate that I am an outsider to the OpenJDK community. However,
> > I am pretty involved in the broader world of Java. I believe that I
> > was invited to be on the GB because I have some very specific
> > experience in constructing vendor-neutral governance. I am confident
> > that I've had a positive and constructive influence on many of
> > directions that has been taken.
> And I am sure you do the best you can given you are being invited to
> give input and the current makeup of the board. But my point was not
> that your input is wrong (it isn't). It was that the makeup of the board
> is totally out of whack if you care about anybodies motivations to join
> OpenJDK except for Oracle's and IBM's, who dominate the board. Of course
> your input and the input and motivations of those particular vendors is
> important. But if this project wants to be effective we have to figure
> out a way to protect and encourage the input and motivations of others.
> I am just saying the current setup has obvious blind-spots.
> > For the rest of your email, I obviously cannot speak for Oracle.
> I was not asking you to. I wanted to point out some (perceived) pain
> points, that I feel are caused by neglecting to protect the motivations
> of others contributing to the project. Please study that list of
> examples and try to figure out how these things can be done smoother.
> And how the participation agreement, bylaws and governance board can
> help with that.
> >  However, it is my strong belief that there are contractual
> > obligations which require them to aggregate the IP.
> It is my strong belief that the current OCA is overreaching and goes way
> beyond any contractual obligations Oracle might have. But that is just
> our believes. Lets find out. And then decide how fair the current setup
> is to all participants. And how to fix it.
> > At the heart of this issue is the balancing act between the free
> > community and the pre-existing commercial ecosystem. The set of
> > constraints to be solved are extremely complex and compromises are an
> > inevitable result.
> You also seem to forget about the pre-existing free software ecosystem.
> For many this project is the cumulation and reward of 15 years of hard
> work to liberate Java. We have won, that is great. But do we want this
> to be the end of the road? Should those that care about moving libre
> java forward now retreat again and do all their innovation separate in
> IcedTea, IcedRobot, just take the GPLed code and not contribute back?
> That would be a mistake IMHO. The motivation of a lot of people in the
> free community is to come together and provide all end users one common
> set of core java implementations that they can freely rely on. This is
> why GNU Classpath was a series of mergers of existing projects. It would
> be ironic if now that we have united almost all free java
> implementations, we would reverse and start to fork again. Please take a
> long and hard look at the participation agreements, your proposed board
> setup, bylaws, etc. and think whether they really protect the
> motivations of everybody to contribute, encourage those not represented
> on the board to participate in and innovate inside the OpenJDK project
> without fear that their contributions will be marginalized. It would be
> bad IMHO if any outside contribution would be limited to small bug fixes
> here and there and people will take real innovations somewhere else.
> Lets grow Java's future together.
> Thanks,
> Mark

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