Thursday, March 31, 2011

Google hires Java creator James Gosling despite Oracle suit

Java's core creator James Gosling revealed on Monday that he was joining Google. He didn't know what his efforts would focus on but did anticipate it would be a "bit of everything." The new, unnamed position took effect the same day.
The hire is likely to focus on Android, where Java is the core of the app system.

Google's timing has raised attention as it comes just as the company is facing Oracle accusations of copying Java code. The Dalvik Java engine that powers Android 2.2 and later has multiple instances where code appears directly lifted from Sun, which Oracle now owns. If Oracle was successful in its lawsuit, it could force Google to change its Java code, reach a royalty deal, or face a ban on virtually all Android devices that could cripple competition with Apple.

Gosling wouldn't necessarily be brought on to rewrite the disputed Java code but would be uniquely qualified to do so by having an understanding of the very deepest levels of the run-anywhere platform. His experience could also be used simply to improve Java for future versions of Android. [bottom image via Peter Campbell]


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