Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Total attendance: 20 of 25 voting members
|Since 75% of the EC's voting members were present, the EC was quorate for this session|
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 was no change in voting privilege as a result of this meeting.
See the JIRA.
Heather presented the usual EC stats (see the presentation for details).
Patrick explained that since the roll-out of JSR 364 we have received a significant number of new membership applications (see the PMO Presentation for details). He reminded EC members that since since the 2016 elections will be held under the new rules it is important that we recruit a significant as many Associate members as possible before then. He encouraged EC members to spread the word and to encourage people to join.
Geir Magnusson addressed a topic that he had previously raised on the EC-private mailing list. He started by emphasizing that he did not wish to discuss the Oracle-Google litigation, but was concerned by the current state of US law which is that APIs are copyrightable. He said that he wanted to ensure that developers who are implementing Java specifications in open-source projects can do so safely, given that the Spec Lead will have a copyright interest in the implementation of the specification's APIs.
Patrick asked Geir whether he was talking about implementations that are complete and compatible, noting that the JSPA grants all necessary rights for Independent Implementations.
Geir responded that while the implementation is in progress (before it is completed) it is necessarily incompatible. Open-source projects distribute intermediate implementations and during this period they are vulnerable. He argued that five years ago he had no concerns about distributing implementations-in-progress under the Apache license, for example. Now he believes it is not possible to do this under US law because APIs are copyrightable, though in Europe this would be permissible. He emphasized that he has always been a strong supporter of the JCP's compatibility requirements, and has no wish to weaken these.
Patrick noted that Geir had said that his concerns were not related to the Google lawsuit, but if so then the situation five years ago would have been the same. Geir responded that now it is certain that APIs are copyrightable whereas five years ago it was not. He also noted that an open-source community cannot place any constraints on downstream users.
Chris Dennis said that he is not sure how useful any potential copyright grant would be to someone using an open source license if the grant required the user to have an intent to push toward passing the TCK in the future.
Patrick said that he had already passed Geir's original message on to Oracle Legal but that they had thought he was addressing partial implementations. Geir volunteered to write up his concerns once more in order to clarify them. Patrick agreed that this would be worth doing, and promised to pass the new write-up on to Oracle Legal.
Following up on our discussion at the last EC meeting Martijn Verburg updated members on community responses to the current state of Java EE. He said that the Java EE Guardians have a new website on which they have published a mission statement and a public request for a response from Oracle. They have also initiated a petition on change.org.
He reported that a panel discussion on this matter was held at Devoxx UK. Participants in the panel included Mark Little from Red Hat, Ian Robinson from IBM, David Blevins from TomiTribe and Java Champions Antonio Goncalves and Peter Pilgrim. The discussion was well-attended.
The community expressed strong support for Java EE and said they wanted to see Java EE moving forward, preferably with Oracle's support but if necessary without Oracle. Martijn noted that many of the large financial services companies in London are heavily dependent on Java EE and are very concerned that Oracle's lack of action on Java EE and lack of response to community concerns indicate that they are no longer interested in supporting the Java ecosystem. These companies are now reconsidering their own commitment to Java and are looking for alternatives.
Alex Blewitt said that Credit Suisse is also very concerned. Martijn said that some of the large and smaller vendors in the Java EE space are willing to help with Java EE development if Oracle will permit them to do so.
Chris Dennis said that the information vacuum created by Oracle not communicating on this issue is allowing FUD to spread, and that that this now seems to be causing as much if not more damage than the (apparent) lack of investment itself.
Martijn said that his own company (jClarity) will not use Java EE going forward - they cannot take the risk. Geir Magnusson noted the irony of an EC member saying that they cannot commit to using Java EE in the future.
Patrick asked whether people are talking about forking Java EE. Martijn said that they are reluctant to use the word "fork", but yes - they are.
Mike DeNicola said that if Oracle will not respond to the EC's request for a dialog then that will confirm that Java EE is going away ("no news is bad news").
Patrick promised to bring the minutes of this meeting to the attention of Oracle management, and to ask once again for a response to the EC members' statement from the May meeting.
We then adjourned in order to re-assemble for the public portion of this month's meeting. Minutes and a recording of that meeting will be posted on the public EC meeting materials web page on jcp.org.