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On a New Road

Next??Saturday April 17, 2010
The couple of weeks that have passed since I resigned have been amazing. All the touching comments on my blog, emails, facebook and linkedin messages have been wonderful. It was an incredible community of people that together did great things and had a lot of fun. I've spent an awful lot of time reading these messages and answering as many as I could. Between all this and spending quality time with my lawyer, resigning has been a full time job (before I quit, several friends said I'd need a lawyer because "this is Oracle we're talking about"... sadly, they were right).

There's been lots of speculation on what I'm likely to do next. Darryl Taft's list covers some of the landscape, including some amusingly implausible ones :-) I truly don't know what I'm going to do next. I didn't leave Oracle because I had some next great thing to go to. I'm feeling pretty burned out and trashed, so the only thing I know for certain is that I'll be taking some time off.

These are interesting and challenging times. The global economy is showing signs of life and the technological landscape has some pretty interesting terrain, despite the apparent consolidation of the industry through a rash of acquisitions. Here in Silicon Valley, starting a company has become pretty tough: the traditional method of getting funding from venture capitalists has largely fallen apart. A couple of key factors have been the poor health of the financial markets, making exit strategies hard to come by; and the expensive and grotesque mockery that SOX compliance has become. But bootstrap funding can be workable for service and support businesses, which is a common model in the open source world. Given that a central pillar of Oracle's acquisition methodology is making job offers that involve a (often significant) salary cut, there are lots of talented folks leaving and trying to figure out what to do next in their lives. One significant positive impact looks like it's going to be the creation of a whole pile of small businesses. It's already happening, and I'm sure there will be a lot more.

Java is far from dead, it's path has become complicated, but still vibrant. I'll still be involved. Not sure how yet.

One of my personality quirks that makes my "what's next" question more difficult is that most of the things that interest me are science projects rather than sensible business plans. Instead of starting a company, I'll be having fun.

Comments:

I'm a developer, and it took me many years to trust that Sun. I trusted that Sun was doing what it thought was best for the industry. With JSR's and an open discussion of the future of the Java, I thought that Sun was was creating something that would outlast one company and help the industry in the long run. I trusted Sun. I don't trust Oracle. Sun has set the a bar that is so high I don't see that any company can come close to matching it. I hope I am wrong.

Posted by nickhomeaccount on April 17, 2010 at 10:11 PM PDT #

Whatever u do is good.. We trust u.. We follow u.. We love u wholeheartedly.. Java is on a new road.. we believe..

Posted by Carol Raj on April 18, 2010 at 12:43 AM PDT #

maybe start another SUN. one that will promote what we all loved so much. I'm sure you can. One that will promote what the Real Sun believed in. Software for the good of all by all. No hidden complex licensing! Its all plain. One that promotes innovation(wonderland) and competition(glassfish). if George Bush will be remembered for Iraq by history you James Gosling will be remembered by generations forever as the Father of Java. We Salute you! Long live openness and fairness! Long live Java

Posted by Farouk Alhassan on April 18, 2010 at 03:48 AM PDT #

That is the nice part of the evolution. Some things may die but some others new and hopefully better may appears. If something new evolves in Java ecosystem, I'am pretty convinced that you will be there. Good luck and enjoy your new life!.

Posted by Diego Gil on April 18, 2010 at 08:07 AM PDT #

Sounds more like a divorce than a resignation... All of the best!

Posted by Axl on April 18, 2010 at 08:21 AM PDT #

To nickhomeaccount: You've summed up my thoughts: I trusted Sun. I don't trust Oracle. But, with changes like this also come the opportunities for new birth, into something greater than we could have imagined.

Posted by Bill Chatfield on April 18, 2010 at 08:23 AM PDT #

Yes James, have fun, and keep sane! Best of luck to you.

Posted by Ray Gans on April 18, 2010 at 11:08 AM PDT #

I'm very disappointed since Oracle has acquired Sun Microsystems. Sincerely, I preferred that IBM instead of Oracle. I think that IBM has much more compromise with open source than Oracle. Java was democratic, with Sun, Oracle, IBM, BEA Systems, and other great firms defining the future of the platform. Now, we only have two great Java players on the market: Oracle, and IBM. What is the future of Red Hat, with the JBoss Application Server? Probably, in a near future, it will be acquired by Oracle or IBM. Is the end of democracy on Java Platform? Will Java developers migrate to other platforms? One thing is certain, the future of Java Plataform is uncertain in the Oracle domain!

Posted by Rogério Moraes de Carvalho on April 18, 2010 at 02:42 PM PDT #

Sorry for naivety... Maybe you need to construct wider social connections to solve funding problem... Take into account Java Community... Good luck!

Posted by COSA Project on April 18, 2010 at 02:54 PM PDT #

A few months ago I started to learn Java, and I read about you. I know that you are Alpha in Java world, but are you Omega too?

Posted by Vladimir on April 18, 2010 at 04:36 PM PDT #

At this point, I'm really sorry that I spent ten years of my life trying to be a better Java programmer. There was so much hope and energy in the beginning. Now it feels like a long, tedious funeral.

Posted by Ken Warner on April 18, 2010 at 05:27 PM PDT #

Huuuuh, enough to so much sad-fell? The earth still turning , isn't it? Try this, https://on.dev.java.net, I believe it will fill your intresting, as I just live with intresting. You know java's badness and weakness, in my sight, the ON's mental more than it self. And I feel design will let people sink into it.

Posted by qinxian on April 18, 2010 at 05:29 PM PDT #

Its good in a sense that you resigned. Now you can start again, and create something better than what u did in the past.

Posted by Radin on April 18, 2010 at 06:53 PM PDT #

James, I think it's time for you to get out of CA. There are other places where it will be easier to start new ventures. Come on out to Colorado. I'll be your first investor; I have some cash to invest. Whatever you decide to do, I'm sure you will successful. Having made a living on Java for many years I thank you. Cheers!

Posted by mbdenver on April 18, 2010 at 07:04 PM PDT #

Hi James, what about talking to Steve Jobs? Seriously! Objective-C isn't the yellow of the egg - while Java could benefit from the very good object-orientation Methodology, Objective-C is famous about. Also the WebObjects API from Apple is somehow a Sleeping Beauty... As you stated many years ago: A good programming language should be simple but powerfull - Objective-C is just the last, while Java is both! So this could be a magnificent win-win-solution... Well... for me it would be a pleasure, if there would be Java for the iPhone/iPad/iPod... Robert

Posted by Robert on April 18, 2010 at 11:23 PM PDT #

Hi James, I was really shocked by hearing that you have left Sun/Oracle. Because, as I think, Oracle is one of the best and greatest investors in the Java technology. So, I wanted you to keep close to Sun/Oracle. Not only for me but also for the entire community Java may not be mentioned without the mention of James Gosling. James you are highly respected by all the Java community. Your continuous support to the Java and the open source community is highly appreciated by all of us. I wish you are fine and that you are going to spend good days. I will always remember you as the FATHER OF THE JAVA. With my best regards, Bassel A. Nassif

Posted by Bassel A. Nassif on April 19, 2010 at 12:38 AM PDT #

I am so disappointed by Oracle. All the best Mr. Gosling.

Posted by Mlungisi on April 19, 2010 at 01:23 AM PDT #

@Rogerio Moraes de Carvalho: You've also summed up my thoughts. Even I don't know much about Oracle or IBM (even Sun). I don't know why I trusted Sun and fell in love with Java. I also prefer IBM over Oracle, and felt frustrated when Sun rejected IBM's offer. I'm a software developer using Microsoft technologies by the way. I use Java in my home projects because it's free and open. Thanks to you James Gosling. If I've known you early, I would start my career in Java. I don't know you personally but I believe in you and you look kind. Reminds me of Santa Claus. Good luck to you and I'm pretty pretty sure that whatever your endeavors are, you will succeed and excel on them.

Posted by Alvin on April 19, 2010 at 02:18 AM PDT #

In my dreams, James and other ex Sun current Oracle drop outs, gather together and create a new Sun. 'Helios' maybe :) Goof luck.

Posted by Lazo Lazarev on April 19, 2010 at 02:24 AM PDT #

Why not talk to Michael Abbott? /Fred

Posted by Fred on April 19, 2010 at 04:07 AM PDT #

Good that you are out .. Wish you all the luck and happiness :)

Posted by Tarakanath on April 19, 2010 at 05:00 AM PDT #

Hi James, actually, I am happy to read that your interests are in science projects. I think too many companies are purely business-driven, while a scientific appoach could give some new insights and it could be much more rewarding (even in the monetary sense). Remember what the "U" in "SUN" stood for. So, if you could really start science projects, like for example creating or improving programming languages from a "science point of view" , I think the "what's next" is a far more interesting question. Some great questions of computer science are not yet solved, I am looking forward to your answers. Does P=NP? Is Emacs really better than vi? ;-) All the best to you! Chris

Posted by Chris S. on April 19, 2010 at 07:05 AM PDT #

I would be happy to know that you chose to work on Scala language. I think they are driven first by scientific and technological goals not business ones. They are research and innovation oriented. Their development process is open and they have a bright future. I really hope you join them :)

Posted by Jihed Amine on April 19, 2010 at 07:20 AM PDT #

Hello James, I will also be very happy if you decide to work on Scala language. Please, think deeply about this opportunity. I am sure that it will be good for you and for all of us.

Posted by Giovanni Di Mingo on April 19, 2010 at 08:44 AM PDT #

Guys, do you think a guy like Mr. James Gosling needs to worry about a job or about Java's future? Well, no I don't think so :) He is James Gosling, THE James Gosling! Who is serious enough to turn his back on a guy who's extremely passionate with his work, his hobby, his love such as Mr. Gosling?! If I had the money I would sign a contract with him with the amount of his choice! About the company suggestion, let's do a little mythology research. I know (because it's my language) that Sun (Helios in Greek) was the son of Titan Hyperion, who Sun also had a nickname, named Phoebus (Fivos in Greek which means luminous). Well, OpenPhoebus (because Phoebus exists as a company) and dedicate it to your community, simple as that :D Keep up the good work. P.S.: How am I supposed to add paragraph or space here in your blog? The preview is ugly and needs to get tighten up a bit.

Posted by Stefanos Michael Sofroniou on April 19, 2010 at 09:26 AM PDT #

Maybe you should consider writing a nice, full-function text editor or maybe a distributed windowing system.

Posted by Gary Keim on April 19, 2010 at 02:12 PM PDT #

Hey james I hope things are going good for you. It seems that Oracle decided charge 90.00 fee for ODF plug for MS Office. That's the same amount of the cheapest MS Office suite. Talk about being smacked around in the face. Don't get me wrong, I am for Open Document Format Thanks to Oracle, they made things complicated for everyone. idiots. 90.00 with minimum of 100 which makes 9,000.00 is real steep, that's just one year. I mean, not everybody is that rich. I can buy a lot of groceries with 90.00. With the of cost ODF plug, I can't eat it, nor that I want to eat it or wear that darn thing. why the heck they would slap a huge fee on the average home computer user. It sounds like killing open office, big time. There's an old saying, its all about the money. making a quick buck. I was thinking of making a switch to open office. Now I am not so certain.

Posted by Joshua on April 19, 2010 at 02:22 PM PDT #

I'd be great if you got into one of the other great programming languages on the JVM. For example, a certain statically typed programming language that must remain unmentioned on this blog.

Posted by 60.240.111.207 on April 19, 2010 at 03:43 PM PDT #

Hi James, I think your comment blacklisting system needs work

Posted by Steven Shaw on April 19, 2010 at 03:46 PM PDT #

Are GitHub Pages urls blacklisted?

Posted by Steven Shaw on April 19, 2010 at 03:48 PM PDT #

Ok, now I mention the "unmentionable" Scala :) this time without my GitHub page url

Posted by Steven Shaw on April 19, 2010 at 03:49 PM PDT #

you had to design Java with parametric types, and shouldn't have allowed design the current Collections framework. otherwise, you did a good job :)

Posted by argyn on April 19, 2010 at 05:16 PM PDT #

Hi James, I went through the blog and following comments. I strongly feel that you have the potential to emerge as a "Promoter" of a company much much bigger than the so called "SUN". There are many who will invest on you.

Posted by Sunil Kumar Dhage on April 19, 2010 at 11:37 PM PDT #

Enjoy your new life... All the best

Posted by Jayanth Raj on April 20, 2010 at 02:28 AM PDT #

Hi James. Please build a Java-based OS with a compelling JavaFX UI and the JavaStore as the main application discovering and installation medium. I long forward to the day i would pick up a laptop, flip it open, power it on, and watch Java boot to the desktop...That will be awesome.

Posted by vehe on April 20, 2010 at 02:58 AM PDT #

Hey James, do you need a sidekick at the Hot-Dog thing? I'm sick of these last happenings at the software development world too... :D

Posted by Marcus Milanez on April 20, 2010 at 03:29 AM PDT #

Hello sir i am satisfied with your idea to work with the science project. Actually i think now you have to do something special so that not only the big companies take there benefit but also the whole world. i am heartly your big friend. And i think u can do it

Posted by amit shukla on April 20, 2010 at 04:09 AM PDT #

Sir, We (All the people live with your Java) cant explain our faith to you. Your Java is now feeding lot more people in the WORLD. You know You Can do it. Always the community is with you. All the best wishes.

Posted by Rajitha on April 20, 2010 at 07:40 AM PDT #

What about saving the world by building a global sharing system for items? So that people could give, lend and swap/exchange items worldwide. It could be a decentralised open system, free for everyone, locality based - using XMPP and pubsub e.g. It could be written in Java. Having augmented reality on mobile phones / android. etc. One step to a better future for the mankind. Everyone could have everything, everywhere. Because everyone has something to give. And there is surely someone out there who needs this. Vice-versa there are people who have what you want. There is only one gap: 1-to-1 communication between them. A system which brings people together who need something. For free. Open Source. Sure, it's not that technically funny. But to see happy people, kids who use such a system - this is what truly makes lucky.

Posted by Aron Homberg on April 20, 2010 at 02:34 PM PDT #

Sir J, I've been a follower as wells as a programmer of Java since you built it and I keep fighting for those devs who use MS and trying to crash down the Java. I know there is a very good reason why you quit. What I am worried of, we will be monopolize and required to pay using Java. I hope this won't happen. If this will happen, that's the time I will shift to a new career like Fishing or Hunting for free food which I can consider it Free. How about creating another Java Technology and more better than Java...

Posted by Ray A on April 20, 2010 at 10:17 PM PDT #

There is no substitute for you in this industry I met you for the first time during Sun Tech days 2004, India. I was the youngest participant in that conference. And, I tried so hard to take a photograph with you, but some how I didn't get that chance.

Posted by lakshmanan on April 21, 2010 at 03:25 AM PDT #

there is no substitute for you in this industry

Posted by lakshmanan on April 21, 2010 at 03:26 AM PDT #

James,You've been a leader,I just hope you will bring us something new,something even better than java :-), damn oracle

Posted by Titus on April 21, 2010 at 03:40 AM PDT #

No reason that you can't overlap science projects and business plans, even though finance guys will never see how it's possible - find something you're really passionate about. If it's Focal, I'll wonder ;) Good luck!

Posted by Duane Sharman on April 21, 2010 at 10:56 AM PDT #

Hi James I saw that you had resigned from Oracle. Congratulations and good luck embarking on a new chapter of life. The reason I'm writing is because I'm currently designing a new programming language similar to Java although also draws from PHP, JavaScript, SQL and several other syntaxes. It's designed for the next-generation of the web; high-performance, multimedia and 3D-friendly, extremely versatile and extensible, and basically perfect for advanced web-based applications. I feel certain that it will surpass any existing web programming technology. I just felt inspired to tell you about it in case you would like to be involved in the design or discussion. If so, feel free to contact me at shaun@starmultimedia.biz Warmest regards, Shaun

Posted by Shaun Moss on April 21, 2010 at 02:46 PM PDT #

It is inevitable - Google is your destiny...

Posted by Neville Ridley-Smith on April 21, 2010 at 06:37 PM PDT #

James, send me an email if we can talk anymore about any of this.

Posted by pkrill on April 21, 2010 at 09:58 PM PDT #

James, send me an email if we can talk about any of this.

Posted by pkrill on April 21, 2010 at 09:59 PM PDT #

Nice graphics. Good to see that you have kept your sense of humor. Life can be tough. A good laugh always helps.

Posted by a reader on April 22, 2010 at 05:49 AM PDT #

Dear James, all the best for your future... your spirit will always stay in the Java Community! I also read all the comments... the best I found was: "Helios is born" ... THAT would be fantastic... a new SUN! Cheers from Switzerland

Posted by swiss java developer on April 22, 2010 at 07:31 AM PDT #

yes. we need new sun. But what about java. i need sun and java. if i have timing machine i will go back for a year :)

Posted by Prince on April 22, 2010 at 08:16 AM PDT #

From Java Beans to Hotdog? Sounds interesting. James, go to the scenic North Idaho. and Relax. Move away from the Stressful California. rocky

Posted by Rocky Castaneda on April 22, 2010 at 01:06 PM PDT #

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