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Recent James Gosling Talk – comments and video link


I had the pleasure of hearing James Gosling, “Father of Java”, talk recently at the Mountain View Googleplex for the SV Web JUG and SV JavaFX UG groups.  He simply opened up with Q&A, and the questions poured until he cut them off.

It’s refreshing to hear someone with deep expertise talk easily, candidly, and with humour.  Gosling said he was “shocked as hell” by the recent IBM and Apple truce, and thinks Oracle really didn’t know what they had bought when they got hold of Sun/Java.  A big question mark hovers over real-time embedded as they don’t yet understand it.  Still, Gosling is optimistic about Java under the Oracle umbrella.
What to do with Java as we move toward multi-core  computers is a fascinating issue for him – what happens when core count becomes exponential?

Gosling is frustrated by all the attention web engineering gets when he claims it is only about 10% of the computing landscape.  Biology; modern medical research, such as protein folding; computer simulation in modern materials; and “neolithic” car systems replacement are examples of a few other areas dependent on computing.  Most scientists write code!

He points out that it is challenging to get kids excited about computing and tech jobs:  Enrollment in tech related majors has declined since the dot com bust due, in part, to a false sense that all the tech jobs are overseas when the truth is there are LOTS of tech jobs EVERYWHERE.  He pointed out the efforts of the Alice project at Carnegie-Mellon to engage youth in tech.

What is Gosling up to now?  Working with VW and the Stanford Lab Vehicle Group on the math behind skidding.  Watch how their vehicle does on a gravel climb at the Pikes Peak Rally in 2011!

Fun facts:
·         Second favorite language is Scala.
·         He’s hooked by the “lame but damn compelling” game of Fruit Ninja.
·         He crawled the tunnels of CERN before they turned it on.
·         He attended the Washington DC Rally to Restore Sanity.

You won’t find Gosling on social media anytime soon – he’s simply not interested – but I recommend you catch his next talk and watch the  video from November 17th, 2010 on Markana. Hear his commentary about the forking of Java due to Apache quitting the JSP;  the Java mobile world becoming fractured;  Steve Jobs deprecating Java for the Macs;  Java ME’s incredible popularity outside of North America;  the philosophical difference between Oracle Open World and JavaWorld; and why he developed Java.

Props to:  Van/Kevin (from SV Web JUG), Stephen/Keith (from SV JavaFX UG), Max Walker, and Aleksandar (Saša) Gargenta

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