Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sun, Java, governance and community

A progress report on Sun's move to free Java (under the GPL). The GPL version of choice is 2, and while most of the work is complete, some issues remain:
Sun hopes the open-source community will help it resolve the issue of Java source code that remains "encumbered," where Sun doesn't hold enough rights to release the code under GPL.
The article goes on to discuss how this situation will be first worked-around, and then resolved fully with a rewrite of the code. But code availability, as long recognized in any flourishing FOSS community, is only part of the picture, and Rich Sands, community marketing manager for OpenJDK community at Sun has done well to note this:
"Open-source developers need to have rules and governance spelled out for them for how they use and interact with the code base".
Sun's approach is to create an OpenJDK interim governance board, tasked with creating a constitution and gaining the community's approval for it. Of the five-person board, two will be Sun employees. With a constitution in place, the OpenJDK community will elect a new governance board (including two Sun employees).


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