Opensource, Community, Governance

Bob McWhirter bmcwhirt at
Wed May 1 14:21:18 UTC 2019


Since contributing to GraalVM/SubstrateVM for a while, I've come up with
some questions and concerns around the project.

Just hoping to start a conversation to ease my mind and perhaps address

I understand GraalVM is under an opensource license. That much is obvious.

I do not necessarily understand the governance model, which is concerning.

Recently a series of architectural changes/choices have been made,
seemingly unilaterally, and without consultation to the downstream

   - JNI over the C-ish "porting" of the JDK (removes DCE opportunities)
   - The fallback mode of native-image for Helidon
   - The tight intertwinglyness of compressed pointers and isolates
   - The lazy class initiatialization changes
   - the LLVM effort

Red Hat has been investing in GraalVM through direct upstream contributions
and of course our Quarkus project. Given that, we still seem to be held
back at the gates, having our changes and issues addressed through the
largess of Oracle, instead of as an open, community-governed opensource

It appears, as an outsider, that significant decisions and conversations
are occurring behind the corporate veil of Oracle, and not within the sight
or influence of the non-Oracle stakeholders.

Is there any route for a non-Oracle contributor to become a "core

Is there any route for a non-Oracle contributor to be informed of and
contribute to the short- or long-term roadmaps for GraalVM?

Are there plans or goals to apply a more open governance model to the
project, placing stakeholders on equal footing?



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