Re-booting OpenJDK governance

After IBM and then Apple joined the OpenJDK Community it became clear that it was time to revive the effort to create a written set of rules by which the Community will operate.

I’m happy to report that, since last November, I’ve been doing just that: Drafting a set of Community Bylaws in collaboration with John Duimovich and Jason Gartner of IBM, Mike Milinkovich of Eclipse, Prof. Doug Lea of SUNY Oswego, and Adam Messinger of Oracle.

We didn’t start this effort from scratch. The draft—which I’ll post for public comment soon—draws upon the earlier work of the Sun-chartered OpenJDK Interim Governance Board and has exactly the same goal: To be a written set of rules that will foster the long-term health and growth of the OpenJDK Community by enabling and encouraging its members to act in an open, transparent, and meritocratic manner.

My sincere thanks to the members of the original Interim Governance Board for their many contributions: Doug Lea, Fabiane Nardon, Simon Phipps, and Dalibor Topić.


Excellent news... but of course The Register´s Gavin Clarke must be very busy right now trying to spin this in a negative, anti-Oracle way... ;)

Posted by Fernando Cassia on January 28, 2011 at 06:50 AM PST #

Well, this looks like a good thing. I still have reservations about Oracle, but this looks like it is some community-oriented progress. May it be solid ground in these shaky times.

Posted by Christopher Allen-Poole on January 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM PST #

Good news.

Any reason why the number 2 (Red Hat) and 3 (Google) of biggest OpenJDK committers weren't included in the talks? \*

\* According to

Posted by Geoffrey De Smet on January 28, 2011 at 05:45 PM PST #

@Fernando and @Christoper,

To be clear - what this group has done is simply work on a first draft for community feedback. Because, well, someone had to do it :-)

We look forward to hearing feedback from everyone in the community. And that certainly includes large contributors such as Red Hat, Google and Apple.

Posted by Mike Milinkovich on January 29, 2011 at 04:42 AM PST #

Are these rules only meant for individual contributors?

I fail to see how this could apply to Oracle. I guess anyone who cared already saw Oracle's attitude to rules (and how to break them) in the JCP disaster.

Posted by steve on January 30, 2011 at 01:25 AM PST #

So, maybe I'm dumb and I don't understand this post. Is this group of people the new "interim" board, or is just a bunch of nice guys that are trying to make the process bootstrap?

With those company names involved, it looks to me that Doug has been put there just to make this new board look clean to the eyes of the Community (the real one), because he is a trustworthy name (not implying the other are not honest persons of course, but they are clearly behind the Corps).

What happened to the original members of the board? I don't think that deciding behind closed doors to replace the board is anything good, especially because the board was stuck exactly for political reasons.

I believe this kind of things should go through a formal vote. For once I agree with the Apache people, this is not well done.

Posted by Mario Torre on January 30, 2011 at 06:52 AM PST #

Steve: The rules will apply to all contributors, whether they work for a large company, a small company, or no company at all.

Posted by Mark Reinhold on January 30, 2011 at 12:35 PM PST #

What happened to the other people from the GB, like Martin Buchholz from Google and Andrew Haley from Red Hat, who are normally actively communicating on the mailing lists?

Posted by Mark Wielaard on January 30, 2011 at 04:50 PM PST #

I know a proverb that I think applicable in this case: 'when the charity is too much, even the saints suspect'. I mean, why these companies are so interested in helping the board ? Do they and/or we need that ? I think this is just the beginning of a strategic plan to the worst. OpenJDK: that is eternal while it lasts.

Posted by Marcel Vieira on January 30, 2011 at 11:37 PM PST #

This could be very interesting and promising if the announcement would have been made trough the common OpenJDK mailing lists (gb-discuss, discuss) in November 2010.

The fact that the preparations happened in the dark for three month now and that the announcement was placed on a private blog only makes me a little scared however!

Posted by volker simonis on February 01, 2011 at 08:01 PM PST #

And the rules apply only to contributors, or will apply to Oracle as well? Will Oracle honor the rules, or will it ignore them, just like they did with Apache?

Posted by Tetsuo on February 02, 2011 at 06:41 PM PST #

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