OpenJDK Community Bylaws and Governing Board

Doug Lea dl at
Fri Feb 4 10:12:50 PST 2011

On 02/03/11 15:21, Mark Wielaard wrote:
> Here are some comments and concerns.

Here are a few followups. My main hope is that, for
present purposes, people will focus on the bylaws
themselves, and not on related but distinct issues
such as revising contributor agreements. These also
need attention, but first things first.

>> The Bylaws define a Governing Board which "oversees the structure,
>> operation, and overall health of the Community.  It upholds and maintains
>> these Bylaws, resolves procedural disputes, and ensures that sufficient
>> infrastructure is available to Community members.
> There is no definition what infrastructure.

I recommended that we not enshrine a particular infrastructure
in the bylaws. However perhaps this could be minimally
specified by replacing "sufficient infrastructure" with
"code repositories"? (See also last item below).

>>    The Governing Board
>> has no direct authority over technical or release decisions."
> But there is a technical Appeals Process.

I agree that things would be clearer with the sentence
removed, because the preceding sentence (quoted above)
pretty much covers everything. The GB deals with *procedural*
disputes. The considerations entailed in resolving them aren't
limited in any way.

>> The OpenJDK Community is an association of developers who collaborate
>> upon open-source implementations of present and future versions of the
>> Java Platform, Standard Edition, as defined by the Java Community
>> Process

As you might expect from me or anyone else who understands that
the JCP is an irrelevant body, I was OK with its reference here
only because I don't know of another way to say what JavaSE is
without wasting pages of boring description.

> As you know the current platform JSRs have licenses for the spec...

I don't think this directly impacts bylaws (but again is an issue
in need of attention). Different Projects may have different
rules for review, commit, test and release. OpenJDK is a project --
the only one with a hard-wired lead.

>> The Governing Board consists of five individuals:
>>   * The Chair, appointed by Oracle;
>>   * The Vice-Chair, appointed by IBM;
>>   * The OpenJDK Lead, appointed by Oracle; and
>>   * Two At-Large Members, nominated and elected as described below.
> It doesn't seem right that the first three say they are appointments.

I didn't like this much at first. But notice from the various
Voting Rules clauses, that having more than one dissent is
generally enough to kill "important" votes. And starting with
a small GB to oversee the OpenJDK reboot seems to be the only
way to get it done any time soon. So I'm not convinced that
it should be changed for initial bylaws.

> ... rules to make sure that JSR spec, RI and
> TCK licenses will be published under GPL-compatible terms so they can be
> used by OpenJDK participants.

Note that you could equally have said that repositories must
make available the code, javadocs (aka specs) and tests necessary
for Contributors to contribute, in which case I agree.


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