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James Gosling riffs at TSSJS keynote

By Mark Fontecchio, Editor, SearchOracle.com

16 Mar 2011 | TheServerSide.com

LAS VEGAS - James Gosling gave the keynote address at TheServerSide Java Symposium on Wednesday, touching on topics including Oracle's stewardship of Java, the importance of Java Virtual Machine (JVM), JDK 7 and cloud computing.

On Oracle's ownership of Java: One of Gosling's slides read: "No clue what Larry (Ellison) will do. But he won't shoot himself. I hope."

"It's in their own self-interest to not be really aggressively stupid," Gosling said, prompting audience laughter. "But it's been clear that it's been something of a learning experience. It's been clear that they didn’t understand what they bought, what it meant to deal with communities and people and all the arguing and discussion and consensus building that’s involved in communities."

On JVM: Gosling said that in the Java world, what he really cares about is JVM.

"That's what ties it all together," he said. "It makes all kinds of languages able to coexist."

Gosling added that in the non-JVM world, being able to go back and forth between different languages is much more difficult. But with JVM, it is "remarkably straightforward" to write a piece of your program in Java, in JavaScript and in Ruby.

On SOA and REST: "They've sedimented down and they've become the bedrock that so much stuff rests upon."

But he added that his big problem with SOA and REST today is that "people get service-happy. They start building thousands of services that should be coalesced into fewer services."

On JDK 7: "The Oracle folks have been doing a pretty good job of getting that marching forward. The JDK had been stuck on a bunch of JDP procedural issues."

Also: "They decided they wanted to get things out sooner rather than later, so the feature list isn't everything we wanted, but it will get there."

On cloud computing: "The word cloud has become really annoying. Every marketer has a new take on it. It will cure cancer. It will find the fountain the youth."

"There are a bunch of interesting things in clouds," he added. "I am a fan."

"It's this combination of real management and dynamics that really set clouds apart," he said.

On social media: "I'm about the geekiest guy you could imagine, but all the successful things out there, if you were to ask me about them, I would say they are really stupid. I just don't get Zynga. I just don't get FarmVille. I just don't get it."

But that doesn't discourage him.

"The Web these days - and this is kind of cool - is now the domain of the artists and the social scientists," he said. "For myself as an engineer, I'm just kind of a plumber in the basement of the place. And yeah, you can get a little depressed about that, but it really is exciting. It opens things up to people who are differently able, who have different skills from me."

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