March 16, 2011, 3:38 PM — Although Java founder James Gosling left Oracle last year after a short, dissatisfying experience with the company following its acquisition of Sun Microsystems, he nonetheless sees Oracle as having no choice but to do a good job in its stewardship of Java.
In discussions Wednesday morning at the TheServerSide Java Symposium in Las Vegas, Gosling stressed that a large faction of Oracle's business is based on Java. For example, Oracle Fusion Middleware, including the WebLogic application server, is based on enterprise Java. "It's in their own self interest to not be aggressively stupid," said Gosling, who was a prominent Sun engineer and has been called the father of Java.
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Oracle has stumbled with Java, falling short in dealing with Java user groups, he said. On the positive side, Oracle has made peace with IBM and Apple over Java, enlisting IBM's support for the OpenJDK open source version of Java and taking over the implementation of the Java Virtual Machine on the Apple Mac, Gosling said. Apple also has signed on to OpenJDK. Additionally, Oracle has moved forward with Java platforms themselves, Gosling acknowledged. (The Java Community Process unanimously approved the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 7 specification this month.)
But Oracle was duplicitous in seeking formation of an independent foundation to oversee Java when Sun was in charge and not following through on this after buying Sun, Gosling said. "They basically admitted that we were doing the right thing," said Gosling. He described his brief stint at Oracle as presenting "an extremely unpleasant environment." These days, Gosling has been working with different projects and is not employed, he said.