Andrew John Hughes gnu_andrew at member.fsf.org
Wed Jul 1 00:23:47 UTC 2009

2009/6/30 Martin Buchholz <martinrb at google.com>:
> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 09:24, Andrew John Hughes
> <gnu_andrew at member.fsf.org> wrote:
>> 2009/6/30 Martin Buchholz <martinrb at google.com>:
>> > (There is the deeper governance issue of who gets to make
>> > such decisions.  I would like most of such decisions to be made
>> > by the "group" of engineers who do the work.  For
>> > collections/concurrency,
>> > such a group has worked informally for many years.)
>> >
>> OpenJDK is (or at least should now be) a community-driven open source
>> project.  And so, the community as a whole should be making such
>> decisions, not just those who happen to be employed by Sun.
> Right.  There is a problem when different sets of contributors have
> different
> objectives for things like
> compatibility, portability, stability, benchmark performance....

Sure, you're right.  My point was just that the decisions you mention
should be made in the open by discussing the issues on the mailing
lists (as I believe we are doing).  I still expect those involved to
come down to the group of interested engineers as you mentioned, who
would be able to obtain a suitable consensus on how to move forward.
I would just hope that these days such a group would not be
constrained by the companies the engineers choose to work for.  I
think we're starting to get there and doing so has advantages for all,
whether at Sun, Google, Red Hat or elsewhere.

> It might be that a significant contributor (like Sun or IcedTea) would
> maintain
> a separate set of patches essentially forever, since they would not be
> acceptable to the greater community.  Oh, I guess that's already happened,
> eh?

In some cases, yes.  IcedTea has a hefty pile of patches, but we're
trying to push most of them upstream.  There are obviously ones that
are too specific though and which it wouldn't make sense to send
upstream, and I'm sure the same is true at Google and Sun.  Of course,
all of ours are there for all to see :) It would be nice if others did
the same too, a public Google-maintained OpenJDK forest seems a nice
idea to me.

> There's also the issue of the size of the project.  Is OpenJDK a "project",
> or is it an aggregator of projects maintained by various third parties,
> like a Linux distro?  Given how the code base has grown, at least a large
> number of components should be treated in the latter way.
> It is already the case, I believe, that the JAX* code is essentially
> imported
> unchanged from upstream maintainers.

It's certainly not on the scale of a distro, nor is it simply an
aggregator.  It does depend on external code, just like pretty much
any significant project.  Anything else would be recreating the wheel
and thus bad software engineering.  There is also a heck of a lot of
new code being created here, which isn't true of distros (or shouldn't
be in any case!!!!)

The jdk, langtools and hotspot repos are developed locally.  JAXWS,
JAXP and CORBA are all imports (from Glassfish I think).  I think in
the long run it would be better if these were handled as such (as has
been suggested on one or other of these lists), rather than
maintaining the numerous local copies.  I do know there is a plan to
pull from upstream before JDK7.  I don't know if patches ever go the
opposite direction though.

In turn, IcedTea is aggregating OpenJDK with other stuff too of course
-- like a plugin, webstart functionality, additional platform support,

> Martin

Andrew :-)

Free Java Software Engineer
Red Hat, Inc. (http://www.redhat.com)

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