On Monday James "Father of Java" Gosling, the programmer who founded Java at Sun Microsystems, said that he is now working for Google. The surprising news arrives as Google and Gosling's former employer are currently embroiled in a patent and copyright infringement dispute on how Java may or may not be used in the Android operating system.
Although Gosling didn't specify any particular role he'll be taking on under the search engine giant's roof, he said that accepting the job was a difficult decision to make. After leaving Sun Microsystems during the Oracle $7.4 billion acquisition last year (April 2010), other companies had immediately reached out with "excellent possibilities." But Gosling eventually chose to "take the road more traveled by," accepting Google's proposal.
"One of the toughest things about life is making choices," he said in a blog Monday. "But 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."
During his time at Sun Microsystems, Gosling created the original design of the Java programming language and implemented its original compiler and virtual machine. But once Oracle began to assimilate Sun into its collective, he knew it was time to go, calling Oracle's Chief Executive Larry Ellison the Prince of Darkness.
"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," he said.
Gosling also added that the work environment at Oracle was much different than what he experienced at Sun. "Just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good," he said at the time of his departure.
Oracle filed a lawsuit against Google over the Java patents four months after his resignation (August), claiming that Java was "one of the most important technologies Oracle acquired with Sun." The patent issue surrounds software that's similar to Java called Dalvik which is used in the Android OS. Google has since denied allegations of Android's infringements, and is seeking to have the patents declared invalid.
Gosling was on his own for a year while floating between Sun/Oracle and Google. As for his present job, there's a good chance he could be working on Dalvik, perhaps to further distance it from Oracle's just-assimilated Java technology.