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James Gosling

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Title: James Gosling  
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Subject: Java (programming language), Java/Selected biography, NeWS, Patrick Naughton, Emacs
Collection: 1955 Births, American Computer Scientists, Canadian Bloggers, Canadian Computer Programmers, Canadian Computer Scientists, Canadian Inventors, Carnegie Mellon University Alumni, Emacs, Fellows of the Association for Computing MacHinery, Free Software Programmers, Java (Programming Language), Java Programming Language, Living People, Officers of the Order of Canada, Open Source People, People from Calgary, Programming Language Designers, Solaris People, Sun Microsystems People, University of Calgary Alumni, Winners of the Economist Innovation Awards
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James Gosling

James Gosling
Born James Gosling
(1955-05-19) May 19, 1955
Near Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Residence San Francisco Bay Area, California, United States
Nationality Canadian
Institutions Sun Microsystems
Oracle Corporation
Liquid Robotics[1]
Typesafe Inc.
Alma mater Carnegie Mellon University
University of Calgary
Thesis Algebraic Constraints (1983)
Doctoral advisor Bob Sproull[2]
Known for Java (programming language)
Notable awards Officer of the Order of Canada
James Arthur Gosling, OC (born May 19, 1955) is a Canadian computer scientist, best known as the father of the Java programming language.[3][4]


  • Education and career 1
  • Contributions 2
  • Honors 3
  • Books 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Education and career

In 1977, Gosling received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Calgary. In 1983, he earned a Ph.D in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, supervised by Bob Sproull.[2][5][6] While working towards his doctorate, he wrote a version of Emacs called Gosling Emacs (Gosmacs), and before joining Sun Microsystems he built a multi-processor version of Unix[7] while at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as several compilers and mail systems.

Between 1984 and 2010, Gosling was with Sun Microsystems. He is known as the father of the Java programming language.[8][9]

On April 2, 2010, Gosling left Sun Microsystems which had recently been acquired by the Oracle Corporation.[8] Regarding why he left, Gosling cited reductions in pay, status, and decision-making ability, change of role, and ethical challenges.[10] He has since taken a very critical stance towards Oracle in interviews, noting that "During the integration meetings between Sun and Oracle, where we were being grilled about the patent situation between Sun and Google, we could see the Oracle lawyer's eyes sparkle."[9] Later, during the Oracle v. Google trial over Android, he clarified his position saying "Just because Sun didn't have patent suits in our genetic code doesn't mean we didn't feel wronged. While I have differences with Oracle, in this case they are in the right. Google totally slimed Sun. We were all really disturbed, even Jonathan [Schwarz]: he just decided to put on a happy face and tried to turn lemons into lemonade, which annoyed a lot of folks at Sun." [11]

On March 28, 2011, James Gosling announced on his blog that he had been hired by Google.[12] Five months later, he announced that he joined a startup called Liquid Robotics.[1]

Gosling is listed as an adviser at the Scala company Typesafe Inc.[13] and Strategic Advisor for Eucalyptus.[14]


Gosling is generally credited with having invented the Java programming language in 1994.[15][16][17] He created the original design of Java and implemented the language's original compiler and virtual machine.[18] Gosling traces the origins of the approach to his early graduate-student days, when he created a pseudo-code (p-code) virtual machine for the lab's DEC VAX computer, so that his professor could run programs written in UCSD Pascal. Pascal compiled into p-code to foster precisely this kind of portability. In the work leading to Java at Sun, he saw that architecture-neutral execution for widely distributed programs could be achieved by implementing a similar philosophy: always program for the same virtual machine.[19]

For his achievement the National Academy of Engineering in the United States elected him as a Foreign Associate member.[20] He has also made major contributions to several other software systems, such as NeWS and Gosling Emacs. He co-wrote the "bundle" program, a utility thoroughly detailed in Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike's book The Unix Programming Environment.



  • Ken Arnold, James Gosling, David Holmes, The Java Programming Language, Fourth Edition, Addison-Wesley Professional, 2005, ISBN 0-321-34980-6
  • James Gosling, Bill Joy, Guy L. Steele Jr., Gilad Bracha, The Java Language Specification, Third Edition, Addison-Wesley Professional, 2005, ISBN 0-321-24678-0
  • Ken Arnold, James Gosling, David Holmes, The Java Programming Language, Third Edition, Addison-Wesley Professional, 2000, ISBN 0-201-70433-1
  • James Gosling, Bill Joy, Guy L. Steele Jr., Gilad Bracha, The Java Language Specification, Second Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2000, ISBN 0-201-31008-2
  • Gregory Bollella (Editor), Benjamin Brosgol, James Gosling, Peter Dibble, Steve Furr, David Hardin, Mark Turnbull, The Real-Time Specification for Java, Addison Wesley Longman, 2000, ISBN 0-201-70323-8
  • Ken Arnold, James Gosling, The Java programming language Second Edition, Addison-Wesley, 1997, ISBN 0-201-31006-6
  • Ken Arnold, James Gosling, The Java programming language, Addison-Wesley, 1996, ISBN 0-201-63455-4
  • James Gosling, Bill Joy, Guy L. Steele Jr., The Java Language Specification, Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1996, ISBN 0-201-63451-1
  • James Gosling, Frank Yellin, The Java Team, The Java Application Programming Interface, Volume 2: Window Toolkit and Applets, Addison-Wesley, 1996, ISBN 0-201-63459-7
  • James Gosling, Frank Yellin, The Java Team, The Java Application Programming Interface, Volume 1: Core Packages, Addison-Wesley, 1996, ISBN 0-201-63453-8
  • James Gosling, Henry McGilton, The Java language Environment: A white paper, Sun Microsystems, 1996
  • James Gosling, David S. H. Rosenthal, Michelle J. Arden, The NeWS Book : An Introduction to the Network/Extensible Window System (Sun Technical Reference Library), Springer, 1989, ISBN 0-387-96915-2

See also


  1. ^ a b I've moved again : On a New Road. Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  2. ^ a b James Gosling at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  3. ^ List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
  4. ^ List of publications from the DBLP Bibliography Server
  5. ^ Gosling, James (1983). Algebraic Constraints (PhD thesis). Carnegie Mellon University. 
  6. ^ Phd Awards By Advisor. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  7. ^ James Gosling mentioned a multiprocessor Unix in his statement during the  
  8. ^ a b Guevin, Jennifer. (2010-04-10) Java co-creator James Gosling leaves Oracle. Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  9. ^ a b Shankland, Stephen. (2011-03-28) Java founder James Gosling joins Google | Deep Tech – CNET News. Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  10. ^ Darryl K. Taft. (2010-09-22) Java Creator James Gosling: Why I Quit Oracle.
  11. ^ My attitude on Oracle v Google
  12. ^ Next Step on the Road. Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  13. ^ Typesafe — Company: Team. Retrieved on 2012-02-21.
  14. ^ Eucalyptus. Retrieved on 2013-04-22
  15. ^ Allman, E. (2004). "Interview: A Conversation with James Gosling". Queue 2 (5): 24.  
  16. ^ Gosling, J. (1997). "The feel of Java". Computer 30 (6): 53–57.  
  17. ^ "Sun Labs-The First Five Years: The First Fifty Technical Reports. A Commemorative Issue". Ching-Chih Chang, Amy Hall, Jeanie Treichel. Sun Microsystems, Inc. Retrieved 2010-02-07. 
  18. ^ Gosling, James (2004-08-31). "A Conversation with James Gosling". ACM Queue. ACM. Retrieved 2014-07-03. At Sun he is best known for creating the original design of Java and implementing its original compiler and virtual machine. 
  19. ^ McMillan, W.W. (2011). "The soul of the virtual machine: Java’s abIlIty to run on many dIfferent kInds of computers grew out of software devised decades before". IEEE Spectrum 48 (7): 44–48.  
  20. ^ "NAE Members Directory – Dr. James Arthur Gosling".  
  21. ^ The 2002 Economist Innovation Award Winner.
  22. ^ Governor General Announces New Appointments to the Order of Canada. February 20, 2007
  23. ^ ACM Names Fellows for Computing Advances that Are Transforming Science and Society, Association for Computing Machinery, accessed 2013-12-10.
  24. ^ IEEE John von Neumann Medal

External links

  • James Gosling's personal weblog
  • Presentation by James Gosling about the origins of Java, from the JVM Languages Summit 2008
  • Slide show depicting Gosling's life
  • The Process of Innovation – James Gosling's talk at Stanford University (video archive)
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