James Gosling, the creator of Java, has joined Google. Oracle, which bought Sun, Goslingâ€™s former company, must hate this.
I always thought Oracle buying Sun was a dumb idea. While you can argue that, there canâ€™t be any argument that Oracle/Sun quickly lost its leading open-source lights such as Gosling, XML co-inventor Tim Bray, and Simon Phipps, Sunâ€™s chief open source officer. Since the purchase, Oracles seems intent on monetizing Java by suing Google, among others, for Java patent violations rather than producing new code or products.
Oracle may regret that approach. Gosling himself has said that many of Sunâ€™s patents were jokes. Gosling wrote, on August 15th, 2010, â€œIn Sunâ€™s early history, we didnâ€™t think much of patents. While thereâ€™s a kernel of good sense in the reasoning for patents, the system itself has gotten goofy. Sun didnâ€™t file many patents initially. But then we got sued by IBM for violating the â€˜RISC patentâ€™ - a patent that essentially said â€œif you make something simpler, itâ€™ll go fasterâ€. Seemed like a blindingly obvious notion that shouldnâ€™t have been patentable, but we got sued, and lost. The penalty was huge. Nearly put us out of business. We survived, but to help protect us from future suits we went on a patenting binge. Even though we had a basic distaste for patents, the game is what it is, and patents are essential in modern corporations, if only as a defensive measure. There was even an unofficial competition to see who could get the goofiest patent through the system. My entry wasnâ€™t nearly the goofiest.â€