OpenJDK Community Census

Dr Andrew John Hughes ahughes at
Fri Sep 9 00:18:02 UTC 2011

On 00:26 Fri 09 Sep     , Andii Hughes wrote:

> From:  <mark.reinhold at>
> Date: 30 August 2011 17:46
> Subject: OpenJDK Community Census
> To: announce at
> Per the transition plan defined in the Bylaws [1], a Census of the
> OpenJDK Community has been completed and is available for review [2].
> Please send corrections to registrar at by 19:00 UTC on
> Tuesday, 13 September [3].  The Bylaws will become effective shortly
> thereafter.
> - Mark
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]

I only just saw this today (via Twitter) and was surprised to find it had
been posted so long ago, yet had no comments.  Maybe it was a victim of
the recent downtime?

Anyway, I was pleased to see acknowledgement of my work by my new positions,
but I am confused by a number of things:


I am a little confused as to how groups fit in or even as to what
their purpose is.  The bylaws defines a group as 'a collection of
Participants who engage in open conversation about a common
interest.'.  It's not clear to me what the point is of defining that
collection and having membership of it, given such conversation
regularly takes place on the mailing lists between both people who are
members of these groups and those who aren't.

It's not clear how those currently not in a group become members or create
new groups.  Indeed, I'm not aware of any group members who aren't either
current Oracle employees or were Sun employees at some point.  Are there any?

I have reviewer status on four projects and am designated the lead of
two (cvmi and icedtea), yet I'm not a member of any group, including
the group of OpenJDK members.  So presumably I have a history of
contributions which is enough to be a reviewer (the role is defined as
'an experienced Committer') but not enough to make me a member of
OpenJDK.  That seems odd.  This was my main worry when these bylaws
were proposed; allowing external contributors into the fold.

Even though a member is defined as 'a Contributor who has demonstrated
a history of significant contributions to the Community', the
automated creation of members is based on the current group system,
not contributions.  It's not clear to me how group membership will
grow or how new groups will be created, given the current membership.
I know the process (OpenJDK members create groups, group members
nominate new members), but I haven't seen many people being voted into
groups in the past.

How relevant all this is of course depends on the answer to the first
point; what is the point of these groups given a committer is able
to create a project?

Porters Group
This follows on from the previous point about electing new members.

This group seems to be sponsoring seven projects (bsd, caciocavallo,
haiku, icedtea, macosx, mips and zero) yet none of the leads of these
projects are members of the group.  Indeed, the group only has three
members, including the lead.

I'd also see IcedTea as being a distinct group rather than a porting
effort, but obviously no-one working on IcedTea is eligible to propose
such a group.

jdk7 & jdk8
I've been given a role as reviewer for both these projects (thanks for
that).  However, I'm not clear how this works.  I've never committed
to either and I doubt many others have either, as changes are fed
from other repositories (tl, awt, 2d, build, etc.) into these trees
by the release team at Oracle.  So how will I actually review changes?
Is there a further change planned?

I have committed to 2d, awt, tl, build and swing in the past, which I
believe should make me a committer on these projects.  But I have no
such role.  Indeed, I'm not even an author.  Could someone explain the
logic here?

I've contributed a number of fixes to HotSpot.  However, it is impossible
for me to become a contributor as:

'If you have directly pushed one or more changegroups into a Project's
Mercurial repositories then you are considered a Committer.'

Every time I have submitted a patch, I have been told this needs to go
through an internal JPRT system and has to be done by a member of Oracle.
So, even if I had contributed over a hundred patches, I could still not
become a HotSpot committer.  However, someone committing a single patch
inside Oracle can.

Was some attempt made to accomodate this inequality during the census?
And will this requirement be removed going forward?

jdk6 members

The jdk6 project membership seems a little odd to me and I was wondering
how the positions were arrived at.  The following are all listed as reviewers:

alanb 	       Alan Bateman
andrew 	       Andrew John Hughes
anthony        Anthony Petrov
chegar 	       Chris Hegarty
darcy 	       Joe Darcy
dcubed 	       Daniel D. Daugherty
igor 	       Igor Nekrestyanov
jjg 	       Jonathan Gibbons
jjh 	       Jim Holmlund
katleman       David Katleman
ksrini 	       Kumar Srinivasan
malenkov       Sergey Malenkov
martin 	       Martin Buchholz
michaelm       Michael McMahon
mullan 	       Sean Mullan
prr 	       Phil Race
tbell 	       Tim Bell
weijun 	       Max Weijun Wang

While I know I've committed a lot to OpenJDK6 (including several big
HotSpot merges), I'm not aware of any others on this list having
'pushed at least 32 changegroups into such a Project's Mercurial
repositories' (apologies if I'm wrong here).  I know some like
Jonathan, Daniel and Martin have actively contributed changesets, but
I can't recall it being more than ten.  Obviously, Joe is the
former maintainer so he deserves the merit for that instead.
The others I struggle to remember being involved at all.

The committers are listed as:

amenkov        Alex Menkov
aph 	       Andrew Haley
asaha 	       Abhijit Saha
coffeys        Sean Coffey
gbenson        Gary Benson
jgodinez       Jennifer Godinez
kalli 	       Karl Helgason
langel 	       Lillian Angel
omajid 	       Omair Majid
ptisnovs       Pavel Tisnovsky
robilad        Dalibor Topić
tdv 	       Dmitri Trembovetski
valeriep       Valerie Peng

I know aph, gbenson, kalli, langel, omajid and ptisnovs have all
committed to OpenJDK6 at some point.  I would say most of them have
committed more or the same as most of those in the list above.
Again, I'm not familiar with the contributions of the others.

Can you give some insight into the data that was used for this list?
It may be correct, but it contradicts my intuitive view of this project.
You should be aware that most of the changesets are OpenJDK7 backports,
so in many cases they  will have been written by one person for OpenJDK7
and then backported by someone else, while retaining the same authorship
as the original changeset.

On a more important point, as I'm now a reviewer for OpenJDK6, does this
mean I can approve patches going in without also having to have them
approved by Kelly?  That would definitely speed up work on OpenJDK6.

That's all for now.  I hope you can clarify some of these issues.
Andrew :)

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