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Java Businesses Oracle Sun Microsystems

"Father of Java" Resigns From Sun/Oracle 396 396

Thrashing Rage writes "James Gosling has confirmed he is leaving Sun/Oracle: 'Yes, indeed, the rumors are true: I resigned from Oracle a week ago (April 2nd). I apologize to everyone in St. Petersburg who came to TechDays on Thursday expecting to hear from me. I really hated not being there. As to why I left, it's difficult to answer: just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good. The hardest part is no longer being with all the great people I've had the privilege to work with over the years. I don't know what I'm going to do next, other than take some time off before I start job hunting.'"
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"Father of Java" Resigns From Sun/Oracle

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  • Re:One of Many (Score:5, Interesting)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @10:54PM (#31804390)

    My bet is he'll be at Google before the end of the year.

  • Re:Job hunting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @10:55PM (#31804392)

    Yup. And it seems these days "Software/Internet Pioneers" have three choices: retire, start a new company, or work at Google.

  • by oldhack (1037484) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:00PM (#31804418)

    This from the blog of Gosling, the man himself: []

    If you browse his blog entries, you see the noose was tightening, as was expected. SUN and Oracle may both be in the Valley, but their cultures were radically different.

    Another good guys sank...

  • Re:One of Many (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ls671 (1122017) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:00PM (#31804422) Homepage

    > IBM probably would have been a better suitor

    This is interesting and I am tempted to agree.

    Of course Sun avoiding becoming bankrupt by some other financing means would have been preferable but faced with a buy-out, I think I would have preferred IBM too.

    So my question to /. is this:

    Are you and I the only ones who think IBM would have been better ?

    Second corollary question, since my judgment might be altered by my own perception of both companies :

    Am I the only one perceiving Oracle as more, so to speak, "evil" than IBM ?

  • Not a big deal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fm6 (162816) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:01PM (#31804430) Homepage Journal

    When I was at Sun, Gosling had less and less to do with actual work on Java. By the time I left the company, he seemed to be mainly an evangelist. Java was almost entirely his brainchild, of course, but it's been a long time since he contributed to it in any significant way.

    Sun had a fair number of people who were paid to do more or less what they wanted. Most of the time I was at Sun, Gosling was more or less in that category. Some of these folks did some really brilliant work, but I'm not sure they really earned the money Sun paid them. That wasn't a big deal when everybody wanted Sun's high-end hardware and there was plenty of money for this sort of thing. Towards the end, though, money got tight, and there were fewer people like that. But even during the last days, I think they really had more Blue Sky People then they could really afford.

  • by oldhack (1037484) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:07PM (#31804474)
    Go to Gosling's blog directly and you would see that he saw changes unrolling not to his liking. People of his rep can roll with the punches and hang around if they wanted. So...
  • Oh good grief... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by IANAAC (692242) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:21PM (#31804582)

    As to why I left, it's difficult to answer: just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good.

    Just say that you can't answer. It's very likely that it's not at all difficult to answer and you just can't talk about it.

    You did some fine work, but things have changed. That often happens.

  • by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Saturday April 10, 2010 @11:28PM (#31804622)
    In a way, he may have a harder time that you think. At Sun, he could pretty much do as he pleased. There aren't many openings for "do as you please." Google or IBM might actually want him to be "one of the team." Think he still wants to be a "team player?" He might prefer to start his own team. I would.
  • Re:Not a big deal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Dun Kick The Noob (904001) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:02AM (#31804844) Homepage

    Sorry, have to disagree, the problem is to do with management not idea generators and visionaries. Their job is to come up with ideas, management is to make the cash flow happen. Enterprise side licensing, training and certifications, better APIS, consultancy, tweaking hardware to work better on sun machines(controlled jvm on sun?) Controlling standards is no easy thing and SUN definitely did that. Problem was they couldn't tap the huge market potential. Perhaps thats what oracle is doing now, making it more profitable, sure some people will get pissed, but jobs are at stake. Cash flow comes first. A nice company wont last forever, its just not scalable. As for Gosling, he will rise again in whatever company that he decides to join but I wish that he start his own. Too many app builders and so few raw tech companies these days. Just my 2 cents.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:20AM (#31804938)

    Oracle still makes their money on software. Making money by selling people extremely expensive software licenses only really works if you can get various kinds of locks and holds on them

    It ALSO works if you produce a far better product than other solutions that scales far better.

    I don't use Oracle these days, but a decade ago it would be laughable to say Oracle did as well as they did by "locks and holds", they simply had a very powerful database that a lot of technical people liked using.

    I would wager that is still true today, though for most common business uses even MySQL is fine at this point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:29AM (#31804984)

    Java wasn't a disaster, it was just Sun making a market for it's technologies, they had tones of servers powering the internet but you and I weren't running SPARC. So to make sure software would still be produced (this is in the days before our "polished" open source OS :-P) for these systems and to enable (closed source) developers running x86 to write code for SPARC they needed a language that had binary compatibility. I suppose they also figured (like Google does with advertising) the more devices they could make internet enabled the more people would be buying their servers to host data on.

    It's basically the same as Google working on Ogg Theora, it doesn't actually make them money but it does promote something that does (internet video means internet advertising).

    This might of worked if the mass production of PCs didn't mean they could undercut the expensive Sun gear and while still providing the same basic file/web/database hosting service. And it was a bad day for Sun when people worked out a cluster can do many of the things a 64 processor monster can do and at half the price... Basically they thought they were indispensable because their stuff was so much better and, like DEC, they found that the market doesn't actually care about quality.

  • Re:One of Many (Score:2, Interesting)

    by samkass (174571) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @12:55AM (#31805130) Homepage Journal

    Oracle still makes their money on software. Making money by selling people extremely expensive software licenses only really works if you can get various kinds of locks and holds on them, if you can control their behavior. You can sell them consulting, support and hardware all day without needing any kind of lock, but not software.

    It's funny, I have exactly the opposite opinion about software business models. My view of Linux is that the business plan is to find the most obtuse, difficult to maintain, esoteric software stack in the industry today, give it away for free, then charge for support. Companies like Apple would rather just charge you a higher price up front for something that actually works well and needs little maintenance or consulting. I think Oracle falls somewhere in-between.

  • Re:One of Many (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @01:39AM (#31805300) Journal

    My bet is he'll be at Google before the end of the year.

    Either that, or Microsoft (no, really - there are some ex-Java guys there in language design department already).

  • by Lord of the Fries (132154) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @02:19AM (#31805506) Homepage

    OK, I hate to see any human out of work and generally unhappy, that's the good moral way to feel. So as a fellow being, I grant Gosling that.

    But I'm having a hard time seeing his "passing" from some sort of throne as the inventor of Java, as anything but a very belated sense of "finally!" (pun somewhat intended). Java was one of the worst things to happen in the evolution of Programming Language history. By selling itself as having features of dynamic languages, it marginalized just about every progressing dynamic language model and replaced them with something that Gosling described at OOPSLA 96 with the comment "will Java work? of course Java will succeed, there's not a damn new thing in it." Or at least so the myth goes. It's taken 15 years of stupidity and massive wastes of canceled project and total rewrites all in the name of "doing the mainstream thing" to finally realize that we're left with something that is only just short of the complexity found in C++, and as arcane and stiff to write in.

    You can all mourn the passing of "Father of Java" or the passing of Sun the once-cool hardware maker. I think they both got what they deserved for ever foisting Java upon us. I hope James is forced to take a job maintaining some J2EE install with millions of spaghetti code lines.

  • Re:One of Many (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EsbenMoseHansen (731150) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @03:47AM (#31805838) Homepage

    C# is very close to Java, especially in spirit, so that does not seem far-fetched at all.

  • Re:One of Many (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@ma[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Sunday April 11, 2010 @03:58AM (#31805866) Journal

    Microsoft seriously offended him the last time he went there for an interview. I don't think they'll get another chance.


  • Re:One of Many (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rodgerd (402) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @04:06AM (#31805902) Homepage

    Most likely. But RedHat are now driving a decent chunk of Java business (making more from JBoss than RHEL these days, I believe).

  • by symbolset (646467) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @04:51AM (#31806034) Journal

    I was expecting the question, "Why is Apple not in this list". Since you asked the question...

    IBM is slow moving, and they're targeting software and services as nearly 90% of their offerring, as the grandparent post proves with a link. Network, server and storage are mostly hardware. Software and service is a fraction. If IBM wants in to this fight they're going to have to migrate from a service & software biz to a different type of organization or intrepeneur one. They're definitely able to get in this game if they want to - I just don't see them trying yet. If they get in they had better bring their A game, because people aren't going to want to hear the mainframe pitch in this space. They have the OS, the VM, the hardware and in all of those they're second to none. They're weak in storage. Hitachi isn't the best SAN partner but WTFEver, we're moving to SSD and iSCSI anyway. They still need a network to get convergence. They've got some serious patents in that regard, but what are they shipping in switches and routers? Nada.

    Oh, yeah, and they're going to have to get over the whole price thing. The very word IBM makes people cringe. That's not a good way to start a dialog. Not giving prices has got to go. Most everybody that IBM hasn't already sold has a policy of "If you won't quote a price, it's too much" to counter the traditional "If you have to ask, you can't afford it". In my world if it hasn't got a list price and an expected discount, it's off the table.

  • by SplashMyBandit (1543257) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @05:07AM (#31806098)
    Plus, Java has NetBeans, IntelliJ and others. NetBeans in particular has been coming on in leaps and bounds, and is much easier (and reliable) to use than either Eclipse or VisualStudio. Microsoft systematically crushed alternative provides (Borland etc) leaving the .NET ecology relatively barren and arguably infertile as a result.
  • Of course.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Junta (36770) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:45AM (#31807090)

    It seems Oracle is explicitly disinterested in Java, so IBM may get the one thing they would have wanted on the cheap, a chance at the people behind Sun's Java as they leave/are forced out of Oracle.

  • by sillybilly (668960) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @09:39AM (#31807418)
    I blame the university professors for java proliferation, not Gosling. He just meant well, but the checks and balances failed. And once the purist university professors so far removed from the real world settled on this abstraction bloat as core curriculum, MS had to follow suit by creating dotnet. MS did not have a choice. I think the general industry that purchases computer services and hires computer scientists needs to lobby the government to mandate passing a standard computer hardware architecture/assembler/C programming core exam, before awarding a BS in computer science or even an MCSE. Assembler knowledge is crucial. Whip out good old Borland Turbo C++ 3.1, and MSDOS hardware access. Which is how universities still teach computer science in India. Even in 2010. The basics are important. I'm thankful to my university engineering professor for teaching me how to measure flowrate with a bucket and stopwatch. The basics are everything.

    Btw, MS is not guilty of java or dotnet, but they are guilty of sabotaging and overcomplicating access to the hardware by the programmer, including mandatory driver registration fees. Soon if you want to run any program, even a "Hello World", you'll have to purchase a run-permit from MS. Or Verisign. In the name of security. In a world where Windows refuses to run without an internet connection, without an umbilical cord to the MS servers, to where it constantly uploads a "nonpersonally identifiable" GUID history of clicks and typing actions. Because the only way to secure computing is to watch over and monitor every click and keypress anyone in the world is doing. How else can we trust that they are not about to write yet another virus?
  • by sillybilly (668960) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @09:53AM (#31807508)
    Actually, Windows, Office, OS X and PC's will be a thing of the past. All we'll have will be cellphones, or cell-phone like devices, with unprogrammable and mysterious features to the user, which refuse to boot without a sim card and a functioning network connection. Then monitoring of every click is automatic, at the mercy of the corporation providing the "service". Why do you think Apple is coming up with all these permanently connected gadgets? You want freedom of computing? Standalone PC's will be banned. GNU and personal computing rights are irrelevant on my Nokia or Samsung with built in Bluetooth and megapixel cameras. The monthly fees are not. It's hard to ask for a monthly fee for a traditional PC, so it will be slowly eliminated from the market by market forces that see making more money on monthly fees than one time user licenses. Get your PC's while they are available. Vintage models without a built-in kill date are preferred. What is this world coming to? Total centralized control?
  • Re:One of Many (Score:3, Interesting)

    by atomic777 (860023) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:49AM (#31807852)
    This would be interesting if it were true. IBM consultants are quite happy to sell Oracle-based solutions and do so quite often -- the linkages between IBM software, consulting and hardware are really quite loose.

Experiments must be reproducible; they should all fail in the same way.