Let bylaws be bylaws...

Oracle aim to deliver on transparency


Will new by-laws increase openness in the community?

After choosing not to reappoint the previous
Governing board, Oracle has always promised to take measures to
ensure transparency within the community, and as such Oracle Java
Architect Mark Reinhold announced to the OpenJDK mailing list
that the new OpenJDK community
by-laws are effective immediately. 

Oracle claims that the role of the by-laws is:

…to foster the long-term health and growth of the Community by
enabling and encouraging its members to act in an open,
transparent, and meritocratic manner.

The full list of bylaws can be found here.

Not all of the Java community have been entirely happy with how
the pledge towards greater transparency has been handled. With
developer Stephen Colebourne inspired to write a blog entitled
in action
 which picks up on various broken promises in
Oracle’s JCP submission for project-lambda.

2.14 Please describe the anticipated working model for the
Expert Group working on developing this specification. A
publicly readable mailing list for expert group communication will
be the primary working model.

The expert group mailing list is not publicly readable. This
has effectively created a ‘them and us’ environment where no
rationale can be seen and no real input can be provided.

2.15 Provide detailed answers to the transparency checklist, making
sure to include URLs as appropriate:…- The Expert Group business
is regularly reported on a publicly readable alias. We intend this
to be the case.

Expert group business has occasionally been reported to the
public lambda-dev list. However, feedback could in no way be
described as “regular”. Today (the straw that finally broke the
camels back of my patience) I found that the most likely syntax for
method references was being touted in an IBM developer works
article without any input from the main public mailing list at all
– I’m sorry but you cannot talk about transparency and then ignore
the only vaguely transparent element in the system in key


The question now has to be, will these new by-laws shine more
light onto such processes and encourage a more open culture?

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