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Interview with James Gosling

Edit: The transcript can be found here

James GoslingPicture a Sunday Evening, you've just arrived from where ever you hail from to San Francisco. You got up at some ungodly hour to catch your flight, only to learn its been delayed 2 hours. Once you arrive catch the BART to your hotel, and come to realize "yeah, even two hours difference in timezone does add up". You have to put on your game-face though, there are Mai Tais to be drunk at the Tonga Room, and there are JavaOne "after parties" to hit.

The After Party circuit is a key sub-layer to the conference experience. Even if you aren't connected, you can still get into these "who's who" showcases as a lot of the partners open them up to anyone who registers on their respective websites.

For instance, our first after-party was the GlassFish party which took place at a favourite haunt of the Basement Coders called "The Thirsty Bear". The beer there is just spectacular. These after-parties are a great way to meet people you might never have talked to outside of a mailing list. Beer greases all social wheels.

James Gosling and The Basement CodersAbout a half hour into our libations in walks a legend: James Gosling, creator of Java itself. Nervously, but keeping our cool, we approached and introduced ourselves. We left it at that. As the beers flowed, our courage and machinations began too as well. "What if, now just what if, we could get Gosling to do a cast?" But doubting thoughts prevailed: "Nah we aren't big enough" "Do we really want to disturb a guy drinking his beer?" Quickly some of the Coder's wives keyed into our anxiety over the issue. Wanting to play match maker, they approached James and asked him if he'd be willing to do a podcast with us. And wouldn't you know it, he whipped out his iPhone (yay James!), opened his calendar and said "Sure! What works for you guys?" Speechless.

Have a good long listen to our coffee-shop interview with James Gosling. It's an unfiltered and organic talk with a legend of our craft. A Coder's Coder, and an all around great guy. If you like what you hear, why not buy one of his T-shirts and support the Free Java movement?

Listen here:




P.S.: We'll try to work on the quality of cast and filter out more of the background noise. The Server Side has offered to transcribe the cast, so stay tuned for a link to that. If you know any audio processing tricks, please let us know! We also have other related media which we'll post soon.

JRebelP.P.S. we also met a group of great guys from Zero Turn Around, they make this really interesting (and useful) product called JRebel which helps Java developers such that when you make changes to your code base, you no longer have to restart your application server to realize the changes. So no more restarting Tomcat or Jetty when you change your underlying source code! Very very cool stuff. Even better is they want to become a show sponsor, which is awesomer (probably not a word :D ).

About the Author

Craig Tataryn started his career as a Visual Basic programmer, but don't hold that against him! The system he helped create was a cutting edge, n-tiered revenue collection system whose transactions per second metric was off the charts! Around the year 2000 he discovered Struts and never looked back. A professional Java developer for close to a decade, Craig has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from Recruiting, Purchase order, Revenue collection and Mortgage systems. More recently Craig has written web services for children's educational toys and has honed his skills on Wicket, SOA and iOS application development. "I love to learn and more importantly I love to teach. Hoarding knowledge is one of the most petty and selfish things you can do, especially as a contractor. This is why I always make it a point to document and share my knowledge with my client's employees"

General, Podcast ,

  1. September 22nd, 2010 at 17:48 | #1

    Gosling on IBM: “They’d do anything they could to screw Sun over. I mean, they didn’t name Eclipse casually.”

    That’s a great quote!

  2. September 22nd, 2010 at 18:15 | #2

    “I don’t know how to say it other than to say they [Oracle] were lying, duplicitous shits…Oracle is kind of a funny company because they take glory in that. They have no issues with being categorized that way. Some of their PR people might get a little uncomfortable with it, but up at the top, they deeply, deeply don’t give a shit.”

    Sorry. Just another quote I had to share, just in case someone didn’t get to the 23rd minute.

  3. zqudlyba
    September 23rd, 2010 at 00:39 | #3

    Oracle is making money. SUN was losing money.

    Oracle therefore thinks that SUN must be doing it all wrong, so Oracle stepped up and made decisions for SUN.

    Oracle has every rights to make decisions for SUN. After all, it owns SUN.

    What Oracle had done to SUN’s senior staff might be immoral, but perfectly legal.

    Oracle was simply doing what it does best…make money “at any cost”.

    Does Oracle owe Gosling anything ?

    Does Gosling think the world owes him anything ?

  4. September 23rd, 2010 at 07:38 | #4

    zqudlyba, that’s pretty much exactly what Gosling says in this interview. Here’s another quote from the basementcoders.com interview saying just that:

    “Sun’s board was controlled by an extremely small number of institutional investors, and so it was really those institutional investors who were driving everything. The sale had nothing to do with the business or what would be good for the employees or any of that. It was totally a bunch of investment banks needing liquidity now. And they were looking for the best terms with the most certainty.”

  5. Frank
    September 28th, 2010 at 18:40 | #5

    WTF is up with all the commercials? Interesting interview, but not worth the wait, the commercials, and the slow….. talking… guy… that… used…. run… on….. sentences…

    Re-run from What’s Happening just called, he needs his tape recorder back for the Doobie Brothers concert tonight.

  6. Nicholas
    September 28th, 2010 at 19:41 | #6

    Have you considered simply using 2 mics and a differential amplifier? the cast was too difficult to listen to, so I resorted to the transcript.

  7. September 28th, 2010 at 19:45 | #7

    Maybe it’s like in the Simpsons where Bart is in the “special ed” class of his new school and he meets Gordie:

    Gordie: “I’m from Canada, they think I’m slow eh?”


    The great thing about digital media is it’s RAM (unless you stream it), So skip past the commercials if they bug you. The companies we have sponsoring us either help the podcast out in some way (i.e. The Server Side hosting our podcast file so we aren’t pwnd) or help us get the word out to their own user base so we can grow our audience.

    Believe me when I say this, we aren’t making a cent, we do this for fun. That being said, we’d love to be able to do this full-time, but I don’t think you are allowed to have this much fun at work ;)

  8. September 28th, 2010 at 19:47 | #8

    Actually we were using two mics! Here’s a transcript of a comment I made over on SlashDot about the audio troubles:

    Actually it wasn’t a hand held device at play, it was two condenser mics, two MBPs and Garage Band in a *very* noisy venue with a soft spoken guest :) Sorry we couldn’t clean it up anymore. Near the end of the cast you can actually detect the drift (echo) between the two MBPs recordings… oops :)

    Can I just say one thing, and it might have just been my computer because Guillermo’s was fine, but Garage Band cannot be trusted on its own for live recordings. You should always record in tandem with someone else. It crapped out on my computer twice. Once was at the end of this interview, luckily though the underlying recording was recoverable from the .band package (although the track wasn’t showing up in GB, can you say… HEART ATTACK?)

    If anyone has any tricks to get rid of the background noise, please let us know over at The Basement Coders!

  9. September 28th, 2010 at 20:12 | #9

    [inaudible] Connecticut > Stamford, Connecticut

  10. Sanjay
    September 28th, 2010 at 20:59 | #10


    …aaand this is how I know America is finished.

  11. Emilian Bold
    September 29th, 2010 at 02:37 | #11

    The order of Canada photo is here: http://www.daylife.com/photo/022h3wC2ZhaZc

  12. Eric
    September 29th, 2010 at 06:06 | #12

    “Without further ado…”?

    I actually listened to the ads just to see how long they went on for. 3 minutes and 13 secs. I did not listen to the interview.

    In case it helps, I listen to podcasts while I’m doing something else, usually driving to work, mowing the lawn, fixing something around the house. If 10% of a 30 minute activity is spent listening to something I do *not* care about, I’d rather just listen to my own thoughts.

    I understand the need for sponsorship, but this is not 1999. Look at other podcasts publishers for ideas on building loyalty and tying it to revenue. I’m sorry, but I won’t be back.

    Best of luck.

  13. Ray (software engineer)
    September 30th, 2010 at 11:41 | #13

    Excellent interview

  14. October 1st, 2010 at 08:01 | #14

    Thanks Ray! It was a pleasure doing the interview, he’s a great and interesting fellow.

  15. James
    October 1st, 2010 at 12:56 | #15

    Its was a good interview, kudos to the Basement Coders fellas. The question still remain— what is the future of Java under Oracle? Gosling didnt sound hopeful about Oracle. The community must ensure that- Oracle does not succeed in strangling the language!

  16. October 1st, 2010 at 13:03 | #16

    Check out our other interview for Oracle’s take on the direction they want to go with Java: http://basementcoders.com/?p=745 Essentially, they want to make the next two releases pretty fast, but get community feedback on features to implement.

  17. October 19th, 2010 at 08:31 | #17

    Fuck Oracle

  18. Jeb
    October 22nd, 2010 at 13:44 | #18

    You don’t think Oracle owes Gosling anything after his years of service? Come on! Sure legally, they don’t. But ethically, what they’ve done is pretty shitty — to him and to us. By alienating the guy they only further muck the community up for the rest of us.

  1. September 23rd, 2010 at 04:35 | #1
  2. September 30th, 2010 at 13:15 | #2
  3. October 28th, 2010 at 15:01 | #3
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