Gosling: There Is Life for Java After Oracle-Sun Buyout - Page 2

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A: Yeah, I'm hopeful. I mean it's certainly plausible. It would certainly be interesting being a part of a software company. And they're deep in all the technologies that we do. So they clearly care about this stuff. I could see it going all kinds of different ways.

Q: But their history as a citizen of the Java ecosystem, how would you grade them?

A: Colorfully.

Q: Well, that comes back to the culture of Sun. You guys are known for being pretty laid back, but even through that you remained sticklers about compatibility.

A: Yeah, well, we're pretty laid back but we're not into anarchy. It's kindergarten 101. If you let a bunch of kids out on the playground, it gets pretty ugly pretty fast, unless you've got a teacher out there looking out. So it's not like the teacher on the kindergarten field is being a tyrant imposing their will-which unfortunately sometimes they do. But properly done, what they do there is they stop bullies from being bullies. And if you're going to give a bunch of kindergarten kids the freedom to play and have a great time, you've got to have a little bit of structure so that the bad patterns don't evolve.

Q: Do you feel like this is like the end of an era? Or the beginning of a new one?

A: Well, it's both. Assuming the deal closes, Sun Microsystems as we know it is no more. With a new owner it's hard to know. It could go any old way. No data.

Q: So is there any sadness? Because yesterday when Scott [McNealy, chairman of Sun] was on stage it was kind of emotional.

A: He had a hard time holding it together. Everybody cried. One of the things that we work really hard on at Sun is it's really hard to have a good customer relationship with somebody who hates you. And the fact that that whole audience leapt to its feet was pretty incredible.

Q: It's definitely the end of an era for me because I've really enjoyed covering Sun.

A: Well, Sun is now a viral body in a strange host. So we'll see.

Q: Do you think you'll be here?

A: I have no way to predict that.

Q: Well, there are things you will and won't put up with.

A: Absolutely. So I can imagine future histories where I'm gone. And I can imagine future histories where I'm not. Right now, no data.