Early OpenJDK Bylaws

OpenJDK Bylaws Published

Jessica Thornsby

Mark Reinhold has published a draft of the new bylaws for OpenJDK.

Mark Reinhold has published a draft of the OpenJDK Bylaws. The bylaws are based on the interim guidelines for Groups and Projects, established in 2007. Reinhold stresses that this is a draft, and he requests feedback from the community before the final version is published.

The draft currently defines an initial Governing Board to oversee the “structure, operation and overall healthy of the Community.” The initial board will consist of Oracle’s Adam Messinger and Mark Reinhold, Mike Milinkovich from Eclipse, IBM’s Jason Gartner and Doug Lea. These members will serve for one calendar year, after which they’ll be nominated and elected in a process that will be open to all “key members” of the community. Red Hat’s Mark Wielaard has picked fault with this initial board, pointing out that Adam Messinger, Jason Gartner and Mark Reinhold are there by appointment, which places the independent candidates in the minority. The original OpenJDK Charter gave the majority of seats to elected representatives.

The draft also forbids non-Contributors to submit “anything larger than a simple patch,” and defines a Contributor as someone who has signed the Oracle Contributor agreement, or who is employed by an organisation that has signed the agreement or its equivalent. Simon Phipps calls this copyright “explicitly aggregated solely in Oracle’s hands,” but is pragmatic about this restriction: “without it I doubt that either IBM or Apple would be involved in OpenJDK since it would be impossible for Oracle to privately license the resulting Java implementation to them under terms they would accept (neither of them like GPL).”

The draft will be revised based on the community’s feedback, until 3rd March 2011, after which the finished draft will be put to the OpenJDK Community members for ratification via an “appropriate democratic process.”

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