Two years ago, the OpenJDK Governance Board was announced with some hoopla as a new governing body for the newly open-sourced Java during JavaOne. The first few meetings and information from the governance board looked quite promising. Meetings were private but extensive minutes were prepared and put on blogs and in the mailing list. The mailing list itself had some quite active commentary for a while.
The sole goal of this group was to write a constitution for the OpenJDK community and get it ratified. The board was created with a dissolution date of one year as a forcing function to get this done. As the original one year timeline approached, the board requested that Sun expand the number of members from 5 to 7 and extend the board’s time for another year. The plan at that time was to have a draft constitution by the end of the year (2008).
Neal Gafter asked back in January about the status of finding new members and drafting a constitution. A conversation ensued that seemed to indicate that a constitution was unnecessary (although you may want to read those mails yourself).
This is not an immaterial question, in light of the ongoing questions over changes going into the OpenJDK 7 tree and the lack of a Java 7 JSR. The GB should theoretically be addressing these questions of how OpenJDK interacts with the Java 7 process but currently that direction is absent (or hidden?).
In any case, today the board’s charter time limit expired with no additional developments. It will be interesting to see what happens with all of this when Oracle takes the reins of the JCP soon.