Gosling: There Is Life for Java After Oracle-Sun Buyout

Part 2: In a wide-ranging discussion with eWEEK, Java creator James Gosling sheds light on where he sees innovation in Java, the future of the platform, the legacy of Sun and the new Java Store, among a variety of other topics. In what Sun said was his only formal interview at what could have been the last JavaOne conference, Gosling sat down with eWEEK Senior Editor Darryl K. Taft to engage in an annual tete a tete, which this time proved to be both enlightening and emotional. In this segment, Part 2 of 2, Gosling talks about Sun's, Java's and his own future as Oracle moves to complete its acquisition of Sun.

Q: What's your sense about the future of Java now that Sun is moving into a new era?

A: It's pretty much impossible to say. Assuming the deal closes, it's now up to Oracle and Ellison [Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle] and that whole crowd. I know pretty much as much as you do.

Q: Any indication from them what they expect from you?

A: No.

In Part 1 of eWEEK's interview with James Gosling, Gosling takes Google to task. Read Part 1 here.

Q: Life as is? Or something else?

A: There's no data. Larry in his public statements has been unbelievably supportive. But until the deal closes, the two companies have very limited communication. It's really funny, we have less communication now. We're in this sort of quiet period where we can do data dumps to them so they can do some planning, but it's fairly strictly one way. We are two companies operating independently. At some point there'll be a magic instant where that changes, but ...

Q: Did you have a preference [in terms of suitors], IBMversus Oracle?

A: If it were between those two, I would certainly prefer Oracle. I used to work for IBM.

Q: What's the sentiment in the engineering ranks at Sun? Is it a sense of relief, excitement or what?

A: It's kind of all of the above. You can find people who feel one way or the other. It's certainly been a pretty turbulent few years. We felt like we were on a pretty good recovery vector until March of a year ago, when all the banks just went quiet. That kicked the guts out of just about everybody.

Q: I could imagine. But Oracle has a certain reputation, at least from the business side. And it doesn't seem to have the same culture as Sun. Do you think that that will change?

A: It's hard to know. The cultures are different. They kind of are what they are. I'd like to think there's some chance that we can make a difference, but it's pretty much unknowable.

Q: Well, the main sentiment that I was hoping to get and what I feel like I am getting is that you're hopeful.