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 today 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 Transparency 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 decisions.


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

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments