Java’s founder goes Google

March 28, 2011, 5:13 PM UTC

James Gosling joins Google as it fights Oracle over Java patents.

Gosling in 2008, CC License

Google (GOOG) has picked up a major player in the history of Java in James Gosling today.

Gosling left Sun/Oracle (ORCL) in April, saying on his blog,

“As to why I left, it’s difficult to answer: Just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good. The hardest part is no longer being with all the great people I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years.”

Outgoing Google CEO Eric Schmidt also played a big role in the early days of Java at Sun.

However, that work was while employed at Sun and, unfortunately for Google, makes little difference in the ongoing legal battle with Oracle over Java patents.

The Google hiring announcement was also made today on his blog. Gosling said, “I don’t know what I’ll be working on. I expect it’ll be a bit of everything, seasoned with a large dose of grumpy curmudgeon.”

Perhaps Android could use him as an “adult in charge”.  He told eWeek in 2009 that leadership was needed in that area (though I can think of a lot of people who’d disagree).

And what’s going on in the Android world is there’s kind of no adult in charge. And all these handset manufacturers are doing whatever they damn well please. Which means that it’s just going to be randomness. It could be let a thousand flowers bloom, but it also could be a dog’s breakfast. And I guess having been around the track a few times, it feels like it’s going to be more of a dog’s breakfast.

Gosling joins other Internet engineering luminaries on Google’s payroll including Vint Cerf, Stu Feldman, Peter Norvig, Al Spector, Udi Manber, Tim Bray, and even Eric Schmidt.

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