Saturday, August 21, 2004

James Gosling = =java

EA : I'm curious about your opinion of some of the other languages that in some sense overlap Java. Notably, C#.
JG : They did such a job of copying Java, it's hard to criticize them. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

EA :They did have a different philosophy. Java's was "write-once, run anywhere." And the whole initiative of C# was "write in anything run on Windows."
JG :Yes, and no. You can actually build all kinds of compilers for the JVM, and people have done hundreds of them. We just never mounted a major marketing campaign about that which is maybe a mistake on our part. One thing I think was pretty significantly stupid on Microsoft's part is that it built its virtual machine environment so it would support languages like C and C++, and we thought long and hard about doing that. As soon as you support C and C++, you blow away most of the security story.

EA :The mantra of Java at least at one point and probably still is "write once run anywhere." In the early days, that was generally felt to not really be true. Everytime you moved to another environment, you still had to port your code. What's your take on where it is now?
JG :In the early days, that problem was a result of two issues one was that some of the VMs weren't very well tested, and the other was that Microsoft was aggressively trying to make it false, even though it had contractually agreed otherwise. We ended up dragging them into court, and it got ugly, and we won, and they ended up paying us a big pile of money.


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