SAN JOSE, Calif. -- In a sign that Google is still the place to be for a software developer, James Gosling, the father of the Java programming language, announced on his blog Monday (March 28) that he has joined the search giant.
In his bio on Wikipedia, Gosling is credited as the original designer of the Java language, its compiler and virtual machine. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering for his work.
For years, Gosling also was the public face of Java at Sun Microsystems, known for on-stage antics such as firing Java T-shirts out of a handheld canon into packed crowds at Sun's annual Java One conference in San Francisco.
Gosling left Sun when it was acquired by Oracle last year. A cut both in pay and the ability to make decisions about the future of Java contributed to his decision to leave, Gosling said in press interviews last year.
In his year off, Gosling turned down a number of job offers. "I had a hard time saying 'no' to a bunch of other excellent possibilities," he said in his blog, according to one report.
EE Times was not immediately able to access Gosling's blog, a sign that the site is either being deluged with visitors or Gosling may have decided to block access to the site.
Gosling does not yet have a clear assignment at Google. "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," he said in his blog.
Google took a path that branched away from pure Java when it rolled out its Android mobile operating system using the Dalvik virtual machine.
Like Sun with Java, Google is trying to walk a middle ground with Android, making code open source but also managing its evolution with regular releases. OEMs recently expressed frustration over Google's attempts to limit the release of its Honeycomb version of Android for tablets.
Google must keep its Android code base from fragmenting as it tries to support different kinds of devices such as tablets and smartphones. It also must maintain quality of the code while enabling a broad set of OEMs to customize it for their systems—a problem not faced by archrival Apple which keeps tight control of its iOS.
One analyst recently said Google is churning out new Android releases faster than OEMs can recoup their return on investment in new devices using it.
Gosling could help Google expand its open source offerings into PCs and servers, territory familiar to the Java developer. He also brings experience herding the cats of a broadly used open source project.
In some of his comments about Oracle, Gosling's sympathies appear to align closely with the open source movement. After Oracle acquired Sun it decided to sue Google over infringement in Android of Java patents.
"During our 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," said Gosling in his blog.