Oracle drafts OpenJDK bylaws

The company calls the posting a starting point, though analysts worry Oracle and IBM are trying to set up a puppet governing board

Oracle has issued a set of draft bylaws that it hopes will guide the process of developing its preferred open source version of the Java programming language, the OpenJDK.

The goal of the governance document is to encourage "members to act in an open, transparent, and meritocratic manner," the bylaws state. OpenJDK is the open-source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition.

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"This is a starting point, not a done deal. There are numerous bugs and missed corner cases in this draft and, no doubt, even more numerous ways in which it can be improved," wrote Mark Reinhold, chief architect of the Java 7 Platform who served as editor for the document, in a blog post.

Reinhold will accept and consider comments until March 3, after which he will submit it to OpenJDK Community members for ratification.

Some criticism has already been weighed against the work's heavy reliance on Oracle and IBM personnel.

In addition to Reinhold and another Oracle worker, two employees of IBM also helped draft the document, along with Java developer Doug Lea and the Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich. Reinhold also borrowed from the work of Sun Microsystems' interim OpenJDK governance board.

In a Twitter post, Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond noted that the bylaws favor a "duopoly" that Oracle and IBM are now building over the control of Java, a charge that he detailed in a recently released report.

Mike Gualtieri, another Forrester analyst, echoed a similar sentiment on Twitter as well, accusing Oracle of running a "puppet governing board."

Milinkovich, however, defended the work, noting that the draft "largely succeeded" in setting up an impartial governing structure.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's email address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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