James A. Gosling, OC (born May 19, 1955 near Calgary, Alberta, Canada) is a software developer, best known as the father of the Java programming language. James Gosling, the notable programmer who founded Java at Sun Microsystems, has joined Google, a company locked in a lawsuit over how the technology is used in Android.
Gosling announced his new Google employment today on his blog. “I don’t know what I’ll be working on. I expect it’ll be a bit of everything, seasoned with a large dose of grumpy curmudgeon,” he said.
When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems last year, Gosling decided not to join.
Oracle’s ways evidently didn’t agree with Gosling. He called Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison “Larry, Prince of Darkness.” And, he said, “During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle, where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer’s eyes sparkle.”
Oracle sued Google for patent and copyright infringement concerning how Android uses software called Dalvik that’s very similar to Java. A prime benefit to using Java is that it shields programs from the differences of underlying hardware, such as different processors, letting a single program run on a variety of computing devices.
Google has some of the bubbling, research-intensive ethos that characterized Sun, but it’s vastly more commercially successful. And unlike Sun, it’s managed to become a household name.
Gosling was on his own for about a year. “One of the toughest things about life is making choices. I had a hard time saying ‘no’ to a bunch of other excellent possibilities,” he said on his blog.
Stephen Shankland writes about a wide range of technology and products, but has a particular focus on browsers and digital photography. He joined CNET News in 1998 and since then also has covered Google, Yahoo, servers, supercomputing, Linux and open-source software, and science.
James Gosling latest post in his blog >>
Next step on the road… Monday March 28, 2011
Through some odd twists in the road over the past year, and a tardis encountered along the way, I find myself starting employment at Google today. One of the toughest things about life is making choices. I had a hard time saying “no” to a bunch of other excellent possibilities. I find it odd that this time I’m taking the road more travelled by, but it looks like interesting fun with huge leverage. I don’t know what I’ll be working on. I expect it’ll be a bit of everything, seasoned with a large dose of grumpy curmudgeon.
Education and career
In 1977, Gosling received a B.Sc in Computer Science from the University of Calgary. In 1983, he earned a Ph.D in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and his doctoral thesis was titled “The Algebraic Manipulation of Constraints”. His thesis advisor was Raj Reddy. While working towards his doctorate, he wrote a version of emacs (gosmacs), and before joining Sun Microsystems he built a multi-processor version of Unix while at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as several compilers and mail systems.
Between 1984 and 2010, Gosling was with Sun Microsystems. He is known as the father of the Java programming language.
On April 2, 2010, Gosling left Sun Microsystems which had recently been acquired by the Oracle Corporation.Regarding why he left, Gosling wrote on his blog that “Just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good.” He has since taken a very critical stance towards Oracle in interviews.
On March 28, 2011, James Gosling announced on his blog that he had been hired by Google.
He is generally credited as the inventor of the Java programming language in 1994. He created the original design of Java and implemented its original compiler and virtual machine. For this achievement he was elected to the United States National Academy of Engineering. He has also made major contributions to several other software systems, such as NeWS and Gosling Emacs. He co-wrote the “bundle” program, a utility thoroughly detailed in Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike’s book The Unix Programming Environment.
In 2007, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. The Order is Canada’s highest civilian honour. Officers are the second highest grade.
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