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"Father of Java" Resigns From Sun/Oracle

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the oracle-must've-seen-that-coming dept.

Java 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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One of Many (5, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804340)

Several of the biggest names at Sun have departed since the Oracle merger. The memories of Sun are fading fast. IBM probably would have been a better suitor for Sun than Oracle, but now it's all over but the crying.

Re:One of Many (4, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804390)

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

BREAKING NEWS!! "JAVA IS DEAD", SAYS GOSLING!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804618)

Cue fat lady!!

Re:BREAKING NEWS!! "JAVA IS DEAD", SAYS GOSLING!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804802)

They need love too.

Re:BREAKING NEWS!! "JAVA IS DEAD", SAYS GOSLING!! (3, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805102)

Java is the fat lady these days.

Re:One of Many (4, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804422)

> 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 ?

Re:One of Many (1)

KiwiSurfer (309836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804468)

I agree on all counts, would have preferred IBM over Oracle.

Re:One of Many (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804496)

I think IBM would've been better too. It's too bad they wanted to lowball on their offer and missed their chance.

And, yes, I think Oracle is more "evil". I think this is for several reasons:

  1. Oracle hasn't really truly found a way to live with Open Source yet and their core database business is under threat by Open Source solutions.
  2. 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.
  3. Oracle has very little real in-house innovation to speak of. The most innovative things I know of happening at Oracle is btrfs, and that's only really happening at Oracle because the main people who work on it are there.
  4. Oracle thinks it can kill an Open Source competitor by buying it or the technologies it relies on.

All of those things contrast with IBM. IBM makes its money on hardware and consulting, they've mostly learned to live with Open Source (patent threats not withstanding), and there is some real innovation that happens there from time to time. And I think IBM would be smarter than to think they could really kill an Open Source project by buying it.

Re:One of Many (4, Insightful)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804890)

Oracle and IBM ruthlessly compete in similar markets, so it's hardly fair. DB2 and Websphere are open source? IBM consultants are hardly going to recommend mysql and jboss when they could sell you their own solutions. Single vendor lock-in is just as bad!

Oh and Oracle's core DB business? Hmmm, I could have sworn they'd moved beyond that, strategically acquiring Peoplesoft, Siebel, BEA and now Sun in recent years - employing an army of consultants to compete with IBM's.

Come on, you make money on high-end too (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:One of Many (2, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805130)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804580)

Sun's product line was entirely redundant to IBM - 100% of it would have been put into legacy mode and the users would have been pushed onto IBM products. At least with Oracle, the core bits of Solaris/Sparc will survive in some capacity.

Furthermore, IBM would surely fuck up Java with endless "enterprise" bloated retardation.

I suppose IBM have been a better suitor for the typical slashbot LAMP tard who only cares about downloading a free copy of MySQL, but it would have sucked for anyone actually using Sun technology.

Re:One of Many (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804678)

Hey thanks ;-)

A little rude but I enjoy arguments, not only in my methods ;-))

I also like playing the devil's advocate.

This is becoming interesting, let's wait a little bit and see what others have to say.

Re:One of Many (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804702)

I suppose IBM have been a better suitor for the typical slashbot LAMP tard who only cares about downloading a free copy of MySQL, but it would have sucked for anyone actually using Sun technology.

How true.

First the retards here on Slashdot were whining about how bad it would be if IBM bought Sun and how Oracle is a better buyer, now that Oracle bought Sun they're whining about how it would have been better if IBM bought Sun.

You just have to be a retard to whine like that.

Re:One of Many (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804754)

It takes even less of a mind to troll.

Re:One of Many (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804968)

Fortunate for us Sun put Java in GPL for us. Oracle can't "undo" that.

Re:One of Many (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805100)

Very good point !

I was just thinking about this very fact. I was wondering if Sun was realizing the ship was slowly sinking and that that they made that move on purpose in order to assure that Java would live.

If so, they were really smart and kind.

I hear at some point, Sun had the highest concentration of smart people in its ranks compared to other entities in the same field. Of course, given my own perception, the smartness of the people has got nothing to do with economy which is basically based on perpetual growth for which the world should began to realize by now that it is impossible to achieve after a breaking point which we may or are soon to have reached occurs.

Re:One of Many (4, Funny)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805158)

Furthermore, IBM would surely fuck up Java with endless "enterprise" bloated retardation.

Continuing the Java tradition, you mean?

Re:One of Many (4, Insightful)

coredog64 (1001648) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804668)

You're looking at this through the rose-tinted glasses of what might have been. Another poster downthread has already mentioned the 100% overlap in the Sun and IBM product lines. I'm not thrilled at some of the things that have played out so far, but I have a hard time seeing how it could have gone any better if IBM bought them out.

Re:One of Many (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804836)

> You're looking at this through the rose-tinted glasses

I couldn't agree more with you but it is sometimes enjoyable to speculate. Who knows ? It might help us taking action in events that haven't occurred yet instead of proposing an alternate path for past events.

I re-read my posts and I thought I stated this but I haven't:
"Of course all our speculations won't change the path that our realty took."

In short, it remains interesting thing to play the "what if" game in order to enhance our skills. Of course, people exclusively playing the "what if" game without porting the experience to actual decision making will remain perpetual losers. ;-)

Re:One of Many (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804922)

quoted from my own previous post:
> I re-read my posts and I thought I stated this but I haven't:
> "Of course all our speculations won't change the path that our
> realty took."

I knew I must have done it, I posted on a top level post before replying to this thread and it sounds like what I was saying.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1613862&cid=31804364&art_pos=5 [slashdot.org]

Re:One of Many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804692)

I suspect what happened was that Scott McNealy was pretty depressed about the whole matter of handing over his life's work, and the IBM executives he was negotiating with were.... bureaucratic IBM executives, obsessed with legal and accounting minituae. At one of those boring meetings McNealy probably decided that at least Larry Ellison was an impressive guy, a man's man and committed amateur athlete like McNealy (sailing instead of hockey and golf), so McNealy would get one last kick by telling the Armonk crowd to go f***.

And that's how Oracle got a hold of Java.

Re:One of Many (4, Insightful)

poor_boi (548340) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804828)

IBM would have absolutely been a better steward for Java. They have a controlling interest in the world's most popular Java IDE: Eclipse. And they have better ties with the open source community. And they are a generalist technology company, like Sun was. Oracle tends to specialize. But at the end of the day, too much of Sun's holdings overlapped with IBM's. IBM has their own JEE platform. They have their own hardware divisions. They even have their own Java world-class Java compiler: JDT. And they built their own JVM in Jikes. IBM would have been a better steward of Java. But Oracle had much more to gain from Sun than IBM did, and that's why they were able to offer a better deal to Sun when the chips fell.

Re:One of Many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31805032)

Nope, IBM would have been a much better suitor that Oracle. Oracle seems to have become a bottom feeder insisting upon ever increasing software and maintenance costs, while providing very little in terms of new features or desirable functionality. Most of their new stuff seems specifically designed into locking you into their platform.

IBM at least (though expensive), is a service provider that will help in solving business problems without a great deal of concern over the products used to solve those problems. This is the market that I see development tools flourishing in...

Re:One of Many (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805060)

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

You're not alone, but that just means that you're not alone in being wrong. First, define "evil" in a company? Unless you're producing Zyklon B for Nazis or something, "good" and "evil" for a company is a rather useless term, because it depends completely on perception. What makes a company good or bad? Personally I'd say that a good company is one that makes money, keeps growing, and keeps its investors happy. If they do all those things, then likely they're also providing jobs and being a productive part of the economy.

Others define "good" differently, but if you're looking to a company as a moral center, I'd say you're going to be disappointed. Google's whole thing was "don't be evil", but in many respects, they've violated that according to the denizens of Slashdot. If you want good and evil, go to church or go crusade for something.

As for IBM being "less evil" than Oracle... no. They've just done a better job of massaging the PR machine. They're another company. That's pretty much the size of it.

Re:One of Many (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804480)

Several of the biggest names at Sun have departed since the Oracle merger.

Whenever there is a merger / acquisition taking place, there bound to be some key personnels leaving.

This is normal, very normal, nothing to cry over.

And key techies leave their jobs all the time. It happens to Linus, to Alan Cox and to many others.

They always seem to find other exciting things to do later. :)

Re:One of Many (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804564)

IBM wouldn't have been any friendlier to the recent departures. The various Open Source people that Oracle fired were attached to projects that just didn't make sense for Sun. And Gosling hasn't played a major role in Java development for years.

Anyway, recent departures are nothing compared to the folks who've been abandoning ship for the last 5 years. A huge number of key Java people (most notably Josh Bloch, who really had more to do with the Java APIs in their current form than any one person) have moved to Google. Others left Sun because they couldn't live with the idea of Java going open source.

But the most emblematic departure, was Andy Bechtolsheim. He pretty much invented the company: Sun exists because he couldn't find an existing company that wanted to license his hardware designs. Then he left because he couldn't convince anybody that Sun needed to be less SPARC-dependent. A decade later, Sun bought up a company he had founded just to get access to the really cool x64 servers he had designed. (I worked on the documentation for one of them.) They made a big thing about getting back "Badge Number 1", but once again, they managed to drive him away. Officially he never left, but his role is so reduced, it's conspicuously a face-saving thing.

Very informative (0)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804726)

Parent is very informative, please take action !

Re:One of Many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804868)

But the most emblematic departure, was Andy Bechtolsheim. He pretty much invented the company: Sun exists because he couldn't find an existing company that wanted to license his hardware designs.

And how many other companies are out there that really do design and ship a product? Andy has had to basically create his own companies to do the stuff he wants--and once he proves that his ideas are dumb they're snapped up by larger players. Not many players do the whole stack anymore and Sun and Andy are a good fit for each other. Most companies are doing software nowadays, and Andy is a hardware / systems guy.

He's a smart person who can basicly can write his own ticket, and he really doesn't need the money: he's the first person Larry and Sergey got money from, and when out wrote the cheque out to "Google, Inc." for $100,000, they had to actually had to go out an fill out the paper work to incorporate so they could cash it--Google literally didn't exist when Andy invested in their idea.

Re:One of Many (1, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804988)

(most notably Josh Bloch, who really had more to do with the Java APIs in their current form than any one person)

You mean Josh Bloch is to Java APIs what Alan Smithee [wikipedia.org] is to films?

(I'm sorry; I have nothing against Java, but your sentence was just too funny to pass up.)

Re:One of Many (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805044)

I don't mind you making fun of me, but that joke is really lame!

Re:One of Many (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805078)

Only us loners enjoy making groaners. ;)

ATT unlocked my iphone!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804720)

I called ATT and insisted I talked to a manager about unlocking my iPhone after 2yr contract was up. They sent a request to apple!!! They just started doing this the manager said... Fully legal!!!

Re:One of Many (1)

sheehaje (240093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804750)

Funny thing is, we were just getting ready to order Sun 7310 and 7210 Unified Storage systems, and backed down and went with Equallogic PS6500x and PS6500e's at the last minute instead... We did a lot of research on both, and the one thing that was selling us on the Sun was the open architecture. Well, Oracle has made some moves lately that had us worried on the future of Sun. As much as the Sun had the "cool" factor, we felt more comfortable going with the Equallogic in the end. It's also has us looking away from the Sunfire line of servers.

Re:One of Many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804760)

Nope - IBM would have outsourced nearly all of Sun to India in the first 90 days.

Re:One of Many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804876)

It seems that way. Bill Joy left long before the merger, but a lot have left after the merger. I know Oracle *WAS NOT HAPPY* when IBM scooped up Rational. I took an Oracle DBA course 8 years ago, and they were talking Rational up a lot. But that was before the IBM acquisition. For database design, a lot of people, ...A LOT... used rational as part of the process. I can't say whether Java would have been "IBM-ified", you know, put in a dozen new archaic commands, put on a really really crappy user interface, port it to the mainframe, and call it good. It could be that IBM just mostly leave Java alone, and support it in much the same way Sun did (probably most likely), but it seems Oracle tried to muck about with Java. Fortunately Java was made open prior to Sunset, as was MySQL, otherwise they would either share the same coffin, or the new per-processor enterprise-only licence prices would make even Fortune-10 CXO's blink twice, roll their eyes and mutter 'damn!'

The final nail in the coffin for Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804344)

N/T

Not the best timing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804350)

Looking for a job? Get in line, buddy.

Re:Not the best timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804436)

I bet he's laughing at that.

All that can be said is that he will be missed, but I’ve no doubt that his contributions (wherever he goes) will continue to innovate the Java, like he has done it in the past. Every company would hunt to hire him and I would love to see Google, IBM (leaders in Java) watching closely on it.

Re:Not the best timing (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804460)

some how i suspect the main developer behind one of the most influentual technologies of the decade isn't going to be standing in line behind you.

here's how it'll go. while you are queing for that entry level position, you'll see managment greeting him at recieption, shaking his hand and then taking him upstairs to talk with the big boys.

Re:Not the best timing (5, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804522)

Much like Chuck Norris ... it's not hunting, as that implies the possibility of failure. James Gosling goes job *killing*.

Re:Not the best timing (4, Interesting)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 the best timing (5, Funny)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804812)

You know how sometimes tech jobs request things like "Java: 15 years experience" that leave you screaming at the HR people that the language wasn't even released until 1996? While you're busy crying about that, James Gosling is going to laugh at you and take that job.

Re:Not the best timing (2, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805036)

You know how sometimes tech jobs request things like "Java: 15 years experience" that leave you screaming at the HR people that the language wasn't even released until 1996? While you're busy crying about that, James Gosling is going to laugh at you and take that job.

Yeah, but the problem with job requests like that are things like they said Java when they really meant JavaScript, and they also want you to be an expert in .Net, databases, Photoshop and Flash, all at the same time. And they pay $18/hr.

Job hunting (5, Funny)

wigaloo (897600) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804352)

I don't think James is going to be job "hunting"... Unless it is the kind of hunting where you stay at home and accept "applications" from prospective employers.

Re:Job hunting (4, Interesting)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804392)

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

Re:Job hunting (1)

wigaloo (897600) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804432)

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

I wonder if working at IBM is a more likely possibility? The future of Java as a platform is in question. IBM, with a substantial Java activity, could seize the initiative here in hiring the "father of Java".

Re:Job hunting (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804530)

IBM wouldn't be unheard of, but probably not near as likely. I'm pretty sure Google is the single largest user of Java in the world today.

Plus, both companies being in Mountain View, his new office would probably be less than a mile from his old one :)

Re:Job hunting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804462)

for Google. Steve Jobs works at Apple, Mr. Gosling would work for Google.

Happy to clear that up for you.

Re:Job hunting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804656)

Steve Jobs is Apple. Remember what happened the last time he left the Company?

Re:Job hunting (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804558)

Who not go to college? Java is a very good language for learning programming.

Re:Job hunting (-1, Flamebait)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804896)

Let's just hope he doesn't go to Microsoft. I'd hate for C# to turn into a piece of crap like Java.

Re:Job hunting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31805164)

Too late.

Re:Job hunting (1)

daveb (4522) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804452)

>I don't think James is going to be job "hunting"... Unless it is the kind of hunting where you
>stay at home and accept "applications" from prospective employers.

Oh he's smart enough to go hunting.

Not the kind of hunting that I would do which would involve hitting up anyone who crosses my path. He will be hunting out the next place which will be a best "fit" for him. If he sits at home waiting for someone to come to him then he might miss out on the wonderful position at a place where people don't think he'd be interested.

You probably mean just that he can take his pick - and he probably can. But I suspect he'll be a bit more proactive than waiting to see who comes to him

based on this can it be inferred (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804360)

...that the Oracle/Sun merger was not good for the goose?

Farewell sir. (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804364)

Farewell sir,

The reasons why you left are now up to speculations and it could turn out insightful in understanding the direction former Sun products will take.

Maybe he can find work (2, Funny)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804380)

as a rigger on Ellison's boat.

Re:Maybe he can find work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804742)

as a rigger on Ellison's boat.

It's a galley? Oh, wait...

Re:Maybe he can find work (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804852)

I really misread your post and at first took it for a GNAA troll.

Any ideas why? (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804406)

just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good.

Any ideas why? And how to fix at least some of them?

Re:Any ideas why? (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804484)

He's speaking in code. The translation is "Ellison's lawyers will feed by balls to the dogs if I don't keep quiet".

Re:Any ideas why? (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804512)

How and why?

"artistic differences" (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804782)

With mustard on, and because that's what Larry pays them to do.

I think it's pretty fair to guess they had some kind of disagreement (about the future openness of java? whether it has a future at all?) but there's some kind of confidentiality clause.

Re:Any ideas why? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804604)

Maybe you're not familiar with these two outfits.

SUN was an engineering company with sales on the side. Oracle is a sales company with software on the side.

Am I the only one who lol'd at: (2, Funny)

chrisl456 (699707) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804410)

"just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good"? I'm gonna guess he wasn't a fan of the merger....

An interesting graphic (5, Interesting)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804418)

This from the blog of Gosling, the man himself:

http://nighthacks.com/roller/jag/entry/so_long_old_friend1 [nighthacks.com]

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...

Resigned or was fired? (4, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804426)

Here's why I ask: not because he's not a smart technologist - he clearly is, and while I don't love everything about Java it was a pretty darn good idea.

However, from a business standpoint Java was basically a disaster, because it required quite a lot of support from Sun while at the same time not giving them something they could sell. To become a standard, they had to give away the basic tools and describe the standard so that other people could make JVMs. Once they did that, there was really nothing that Sun had to sell that its competitors (including open source projects) couldn't build either better or cheaper.

Now, you could make the same criticism of Microsoft's C# language, except that Microsoft always treated its languages as a loss leader for selling MSDN and Windows server licenses. Since Java was specifically cross-platform, it couldn't do the same for Sun.

Re:Resigned or was fired? (2, Interesting)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#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...

Re:Resigned or was fired? (4, Insightful)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804860)

Larry Ellison has already stated [informationweek.com] that he estimates Oracle was making about as much money from Java technology as Sun was. So whether or not the Java business was profitable for Sun, Oracle already knows how to productize it into profit, particularly after their purchase of BEA Weblogic [oracle.com] . They paid 8.5B for BEA [redherring.com] just to have a leading Java enterprise stack; do you really think they'd have fired Gosling when they consider Java that strategic?

Re:Resigned or was fired? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Not a big deal (5, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804430)

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.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804500)

Outsider here. A guy like Gosling or Joy would have so many demands on their time that they wouldn't have any cycles to spare to spearhead development of a hot new API or code up a prototype of a promising new product. Successful new development requires large, contiguous blocks of time for the principal developers.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

burris (122191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804682)

Look up a guy by the name of Drew Major.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804504)

Which group were you in and when?

Re:Not a big deal (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804716)

I did two stints as a contractor, writing docs for the core Java software. First in 97 through 98, then 05 through 06. Later I was a regular Sun employee, but on the hardware side.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804846)

So you saw them from their peaking to downfall. I didn't mean to be accusitive. That whole period I worked at an outfit less than 10 miles away.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804878)

That whole period I worked at an outfit less than 10 miles away.

Close enough.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804908)

Well, Ok, not very close, but you know, SUN dragged huge shadow there, you know.

Re:Not a big deal (2, Interesting)

Dun Kick The Noob (904001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804844)

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.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805072)

People seem to be reading my post to say Gosling sat around playing video games for 10 years. Not my intent. Just pointing out that he's moved totally away from creating new products.

Re:Not a big deal (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31805076)

You are making a Greek tragedy out of this. Java was a marketing idea from the beginning. He is not as visionary as you might think.

bad (1)

z-j-y (1056250) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804476)

1st, you can't get any unemployment check if you resigned.

I'm not surprised he left java. the direction of java is clearly out of the control of the fathers of the language, their design principles cannot withstand pressure from the "community" who want shinny new things without considering the consequences.

Re:bad (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804566)

Java was born in SUN's battle with Microsoft, and rallied the industry (the "community" as you noted) behind it, producing some abomination like EJBs. Nevertheless, despite it all, the core remained such that it more/less became the successor to C as the language for education and application programming.

It's an interesting contrast to Python, another language that "grown-ups" like.

Re:bad (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804586)

I don't really think he needs that unemployment check.

Re:bad (5, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804634)

unlike your job at burger king, he would have plenty of money put away to not have to worry about unemployment checks.

it's not too late (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804562)

for him to brush up on his vb.net skills

and maybe he should get some ms access experience

I never could understand Java (5, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804576)

Finally long super volatile import Ellison break instanceof native abstract class Glosling.

Oh good grief... (3, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Been w/ Java since 1996... I left it too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804646)

Mostly because the back end mess it has evolved into is such a nightmare to work with. Who wants to work with Struts, Spring, Hibernate, JSTL, Maven etc. just to make a login form... a Slashdot article hinted that Java is the next COBOL... and sadly... that's what it seems to have become.

Java is dead, long live Java.

Eilson Wins! ... Sun Micro Killed ... Ein Vounder! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804744)

nough said.

However, will Eilson now kill Oracle in order to cash out.

Re:Eilson Wins! ... Sun Micro Killed ... Ein Vound (1)

tagattack (412693) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804932)

Kill Oracle....hahahah.

Perhaps now he can admit a few mistakes in Java (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804776)

... like the lack of a pre-processor ...

... and making everything a class (oh - already did that one) ...

... and StupidlyLongNamesForSoManyThingsThatItsNotFunny (which is one reason it really needs a pre-processor - terse but readable is better than verboseAlphabetSoup).

Re:Perhaps now he can admit a few mistakes in Java (1)

thoughtsatthemoment (1687848) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804926)

Well, how long is too long? Even in C code you can use long names without having to resort to MACROS to save typing.

Re:Perhaps now he can admit a few mistakes in Java (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804976)

Well, how long is too long? Even in C code you can use long names without having to resort to MACROS to save typing.

Huh? Want to try that again??

BTW, the pre-processor does more than macro expansion. There's conditional #includes, for example. And there's the ability to override $defines with -D from the command-line. And doing some nice stuff with make.

He will be missed. One question though. (4, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804778)

Is he quitting? Will he leave all his stuff behind for garbage collectors to pick up? Or will he clean up after him by hand?

Re:He will be missed. One question though. (5, Funny)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804872)

It depends on whether any of his coworkers use him as a reference.

Re:He will be missed. One question though. (4, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804928)

Is he quitting? Will he leave all his stuff behind for garbage collectors to pick up? Or will he clean up after him by hand?

Unfortunately, his garbage collector is non-deterministic.

Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31804862)

Would be the best place for him to go.

two of my favorite pics of the java guy (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804970)

shot at sun's (internal) 10th anniv java party in santa clara:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/19/121338473_07823a9da0_b.jpg [flickr.com]

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/221/472512518_f105cdd983_o.jpg [flickr.com]

(just a canon pocket cam, not an slr or anything good)

those photos need captions; left as an exercise to the reader.

this was one of the few 'sun parties' I remember in my 5 yrs there; sun just didn't have many events like that in the final few years ;(

but this was a nice/fun one.

Bye Bye, Java Patriarch. Goodbye, Mr Coffee (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 4 years ago | (#31804972)

Starbucks is convenient for unemployment.
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