April 9, 2013
Total attendance: 23 of 24 voting members
|Since 75% of the EC's 24 voting members were present, the EC was quorate for this meeting|
The EC Standing Rules state the following penalties for non-attendance at EC meetings (note that those who participate in face-to-face meetings by phone are officially counted as absent):
There were no changes in voting privileges as a result of this meeting. Patrick explained how and when voting privileges are lost and restored, and promised to post this information on JCP.org.
Patrick welcomed Scot Baldry back to the EC as Credit Suisse's alternate rep. There were no other personnel changes to report this month.
Heather presented the usual EC stats.
See the Action Item tracking file.
Patrick reported on his attendance at Devoxx London and Paris in March where he presented on the JCP, JUG involvement, and the Adopt-a-JSR program. He reported that there was a good reception in London, but less so in Paris.
In London a JUG leader made a couple of suggestions:
Patrick promised to follow up on these with the PMO and with the Adopt-a-JSR leaders. AIs have been logged.
Ben Evans reported that the London event was a success, and will almost certainly be repeated next year. (The London Java Community cosponsored Devoxx UK.) He said that next year they hoped to run the Paris and London events with a weekend break in between as opposed to back-to-back (in fact, overlapping) as they were this year.
In Paris, reflecting our concern about the lack of Adopt-a-JSR participation there, the turnout for the scheduled talk was low. However, Antonio Goncalves (Paris JUG leader and co-organizer of Devoxx France) invited Patrick to attend a BOF at which there were many French JUG leaders. Patrick gave a brief introduction to the Adopt-a-JSR program and it quickly became clear that they did not know much about the program, and that it would be necessary to reach out to them in French rather than in English if we want to make much progress.
As a result of this discussion, Yolande Poirier, a French-speaking Oracle Technology Network employee, has been invited to give a JCP presentation to a French JUG. Patrick has sent her a version of his presentation which she will translate into French - hopefully we can use this elsewhere.
EC members agreed that language is particularly sensitive in France, and that it is important to do outreach in French whenever possible. Patrick suggested that we ask Yolande to translate at least the high-level material from the Adopt-a-JSR website into French. Patrick agreed to talk to her about this (an AI has been logged.)
The week after Devoxx France we held a concall to discuss Adopt-a-JSR outreach in France (see AI: January 2013-01.) Antonio Goncalves (without whom we can't do this) did not attend. We will try to reschedule.
Don Deutsch provided a status update on Oracle's response to EC proposals on licensing and IP flow. He apologized for the process taking so long, but reassured the EC that Oracle is working hard on this. He said that he and Patrick had socialized the EC proposals from IBM, CloudBees, and RedHat with Oracle's lawyers and business-unit executives, and that preliminary feedback was sympathetic to the overall goals - with one exception.
He explained that Oracle has significant concerns about the proposal to open-source TCKs. As Oracle has consistently stated, and as he reported at the Brazil f2f meeting in May 2012 (see the minutes of that meeting) Oracle believes that open-sourcing TCKs would seriously undermine the compatibility strategy that has been central to the Java ecosystem from the beginning. This action would also make it increasingly difficult for Oracle to monetize its considerable investment in Java.
Oracle will therefore not open-source the TCKs for Oracle-led JSRs.
Don went on to say that with this one exception he is hopeful that by working with the EC we can define collaborative processes that will ensure that Java remains dynamic and successful; this will be to everyone's benefit.
Towards that end, he explained, Patrick has prepared a proposal that incorporates many of the changes proposed by the EC and that puts increased emphasis on openness, transparency, and participation. This proposal is being worked through the internal approval channels in the hope of delivering a detailed response at the Zurich f2f meeting, thereby enabling a substantive discussion at that meeting about how to move forward.
Providing more detail about what has happened and what is planned, Don explained that the Java platform-development managers responded positively, that the proposal was then presented to Oracle's lawyers, and that we now are awaiting their formal response which we hope to obtain this week. The next step will be to take the proposal to Oracle's senior executives. He said that he hopes they will give the go-ahead because he thinks that EC members will like the proposal.
However, he cautioned that lawyers and senior executives are naturally conservative, and their tendency - particularly in the context of complex ongoing litigation - is to resist change. So, success is not guaranteed and we'll have to see how it goes.
Ed Lynch thanked Don and Patrick for their efforts, saying that he understood how difficult it can be to get corporate approvals.
Mark Little asked whether Oracle would have objections to others open-sourcing their TCKs. Patrick responded that Oracle currently does not oppose this and that no change in policy is anticipated.
Scott Stark asked whether some accommodation could be made to permit access to the source for Oracle-led TCKs. Patrick responded that while he did not want to go into details about the alternate proposal it did take into account suggestions like this that had been discussed within the EC.
Mark asked whether the EC could get advance notice of the proposal, in order to permit members to obtain legal feedback before the Zurich meeting. Patrick explained that it was unlikely that the necessary approvals could be obtained in time, and that even if they were he would prefer that the initial discussion be face-to-face rather than through email. Don noted that the proposal will be presented in high-level language and not in legalese, so that legal feedback would probably be premature at this stage. Patrick agreed, noting that much additional work will be needed to refine the proposal.
Ed Lynch asked whether we could set a go/nogo date, stating that IBM might not be interested in traveling to Zurich if Oracle's response was not ready in time, with the result that there would be nothing to discuss. Patrick responded that he understood the concern, and that he would try to provide notice. Don clarified: we will let EC members know if/when it becomes clear that we will not be able to provide a substantive response at the Zurich meeting.
Steve Harris suggested that advance notice would make the Zurich discussions more productive. Mike DeNicola noted that EC members have an obligation to attend f2f meetings, and said that he planned to attend whether or not the response was ready.
Susanne Cech asked again whether the proposal will be in high-level "English" rather than low-level "legalese." Patrick confirmed this. He went on to point out that many of the details will need to be worked out. For example, some Oracle people asked why three rather than four or five standard licenses are being proposed. This and similar details could be worked out through discussion and negotiation. He pointed out that the hope was that we can provide a proposal - similar in its detail to those provided by IBM, CloudBees, and RedHat - that has been "pre-approved" and that can then form the basis for discussion and negotiation with a high probability that real results can be obtained in a finite (though probably not short) time.
Heather Vancura, with backing from Bruno Souza, presented a report on the Individual members Working Group. Patrick asked who had participated in the group. Answer: Heather, Bruno, Patrick Curran, Anish Karmarkar, Werner Keil. Heather explained that the group's deliberations had been recorded in a Google Docs document.
Steve Wolfe asked wether the proposals are predicated on employers' unwillingness to sign the JSPA. If so, he suggested that any such concerns might be alleviated by the work we are doing through JSR 358 to simplify the JSPA and that it might therefore be premature to prepare detailed proposals on that assumption. Patrick suggested that the real problem is employers' reluctance to sign Exhibit B rather than the JSPA.
Steve Wolfe reiterated that a new JSPA might solve the problem. Anish Karmarkar responded that the primary issue is not IP grants. Patrick responded that we might still need two types of agreement: one being the Contributor Agreement and the other the Membership Agreement.
Ed Lynch asked whether we have done any research to determine whether what we are offering ("a membership card") is what people want. Bruno responded that these are brainstorming ideas but reiterated that we have many active participants who want to formally associate themselves with the JCP in some way. This would be a good thing. Patrick agreed, reminding EC members that many of the individual JCP members recorded in our database are probably "inactive" (the PMO will soon work to clear this up) and that it would be good if we knew that the majority of our individual members are active participants.
Patrick then asked what was meant by the term "strengthened Exhibit B." How would we handle the case of an individual who is employed by a company that could legitimately be thought to have an interest in Java but which is not a member in its own right? Would the new Exhibit B incorporate the same IP commitments as the JSPA itself? He suggested that this might be impractical, and that it might be better for the new Exhibit B to include the statement the signer has also signed the JSPA. Heather responded that this is an implementation detail but agreed that this approach might be the best. The intention is to ensure that employers of such individual members do make the necessary IP commitments.
Patrick concluded that much work remains to be done, particularly in the area of IP commitments, but commented that the approach looks promising. He encouraged other EC members to participate in the Working Group.
Patrick presented an outline of the proposed JSR Review process (based on the Eclipse Release Review process discussed during the January f2f meeting) which is intended to define a standardized way of collecting information about the progress of a JSR, particularly about the way in which the Expert Group is interacting with the community. (See the presentation for details.)
In response to his concerns about how we can persuade Spec Leads to gather such a large amount of information Mike Milinkovich responded that Eclipse tells project leads that they must fill out the templates, but that a clear distinction is made between information that is required and that which is optional (although strongly encouraged.) He noted that giving them a template to fill out and providing pre-canned queries (e.g., for bug databases) tended to encourage them to participate.
Bruno Souza suggested that much of the information we seek will be available on the JSR's online project and that if this is hosted on java.net we could automatically extract the data. The more automation we can provide, the better.
Ed Lynch asked whether the reporting requirements would apply to the "900 series JSRs" (those that were grandfathered-in to the JCP, having been initiated before the process existed.) He noted that he had some particular concerns with JSR 907: Java Transaction API (JTA) and asked whether a review of this JSR could be scheduled for the Zurich meeting.
Patrick said he would try to schedule a review (an AI has been logged.) As for the general question of whether the reporting requirements could be applied to the 900-series JSRs members agreed that they could be applied to all JSRs, and Patrick noted that the PMO could require information to be provided whenever a Spec Lead proposes that a JSR moves to a new stage (as the PMO does today with the Transparency Checklist.) He said that the most important thing we can do is to shine the light of publicity on how Expert Groups are behaving; public opinion will then ensure that they do the right thing.
Susanne Cech said that she liked the proposal, and suggested that we focus on identifying what information is required, what is not required, and what is optional but recommended at each stage. Patrick agreed. Heather Vancura promised to schedule a new Working Group meeting to consider next steps (an AI has been logged.)
Patrick reminded members to RSVP for the Zurich meeting. He said that the agenda would include plenty of time (as much as a day) for JSR 358 work, and promised Spec lead presentations on the new Java ME JSRs (360 and 361.) He asked members for additional suggestions for the agenda.