On what issues could I help clean up for JDK 9

dalibor topic dalibor.topic at oracle.com
Wed Dec 7 23:33:42 UTC 2016

On 06.12.2016 16:27, Patrick Reinhart wrote:
> At this point I realized, that if I just point them to the existing
> documentation about contribution [1] or pointing them to the wiki [2]
> contains a lot of good information, but does not actually answer the
> question of small things to clean up from the JBS.

Yeah. Quoting section 1 of [1], it provides two bits of advice how to 
get started:

a) "The most obvious thing to work on is a bug or enhancement (RFE) 
about which you are passionate."

b) "If you're interested in a particular area but don't have any 
specific ideas about what to do then feel free to post a query to the 
appropriate Group or Project development list to ask for suggestions 
that match your skills and knowledge."

Over the last decade or so, b) has happened very, very rarely. The 
number of novices asking for advice on this list has been rather small, 
for example. Most novices coming to OpenJDK follow route a).

Cleanup issues seem like a good thing to have to harness the passion of 
the novices selecting path b), without requiring them to talk to anyone 
before they pick a task that matches their skill and knowledge. Sounds 
more efficient, right?

Asking novices to talk to someone first is actually the important step, 
often more important than the initial bit of code they'll end up 
writing. For example, consider this cleanup specific thread from a 
couple of weeks ago:


Someone loaded some OpenJDK code in some IDE and noticed that the IDE 
had some suggestions how to improve the code (good!). Instead of 
patching away as the IDE suggested in private and then sending in a huge 
patch, a conversation on the list took place first (even better!), and 
it touched on the conventions, requirements, expectations, examples, 
possible time frame and potential gotchas of such changes (excellent!).

In other words, even cleanups should not be just done by novices without 
some discussion on the lists to set the expectations and scope. 
Coincidentally, that's the approach already covered by b).

What's wrong with just plunging ahead with simple cleanups, though?

Well, then you get outcomes like 
where someone spent some of their valuable time cleaning up some code in 
an OpenJDK Project that actually comes from a third party dependency, 
and ultimately the right place to do that is in that dependency's open 
source project of origin.

That potentially rather frustrating experience might have been avoided 
by discussing the cleanup idea first.

> For me it is still hard to find an issue that may fit my knowledge due
> the basic lack of finding the correct module/submodule for a certain
> class.

A mapping of JBS components to OpenJDK mailing lists can be found at 

> Also I first of all do not want to introduce new issues in the
> first place, but fix existing ones to reduce the total number of issues
> if possible...

I totally understand that feeling.

Reducing the total number of open issues sounds more worthwhile then 
adding to them, intuitively, but if you introduce only new issues that 
you then proceed to fix yourself, you end up being 

I think that's a more accessible achievement to strive for for a novice.

> Here I'm a bit confused to find the correct mailing list to pick to get
> hold on those discussions. I registered myself on the jdk10-dev list
> already, where the actual discussion is more about the new repos.

See above for the link mapping components to their mailing lists.

>> Accordingly, a more useful contribution to this Group would be to
>> track such cleanup effort related mailing list threads on our wiki,
>> for example, so that novices can find them, read through them, and
>> understand if that's an effort that they would like to get involved
>> with, that matches their skill levels.
> That would be very good thing and it seems to me, that exactly this is
> one of the missing pieces right now.

Ok, now we just need a volunteer!

> There could also be a list of people
> who would host a webrev on cr.openjdk.java.net in case the contributor
> has a little bit bigger patch as I did in the past.

I volunteer to host webrevs on cr.

dalibor topic

> [1] http://openjdk.java.net/contribute
> [2] https://wiki.openjdk.java.net

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