Monday, May 24, 2004

Gosling, James

I had a chance to meet James Gosling at a meeting with HYSEA which he graciously (albeit in a slightly bored manner) attended and gave us a few minutes of insight into his thoughts on a variety of subjects and primarily on Java.

Some excerpts : (I am writing this from memory so the words arent the same ones he used and I shall try to the best of my knowledge to convey what I understood :-) )

What do you think about releasing a version of Java which embraces the Windows platform, e.g. providing easy access to the Win32 API without having to resort to JNI?
Developers are not feeling a need for such a release. The way Java works is that if a bunch of people need a particular feature say Scanning, then the go out and design a high level API that captures the essence and much more of the requirement which will have the default implementation perhaps only on Windows but the ability to extend it remains. Other examples are the NIO subsystem.

What would you design differently in Java if you got to design it again?
I wanted to make the syntax as close to C or C++ at that time because they were the most commonly used languages. At the end however, syntax is syntax. I would have changes the syntax of the switch statement.

What can we expect in the JDK 1.6 release?
Its too early to say what can be expected in the JDK 1.6 release. However, if you feel strongly about something you should talk to the expert group at the JSR. JDK 1.5.1 will have a release providing features similar to AOP.

What do you think about Java being taught in colleges?
Pascal used to be taught because if you made any mistakes, it was easy to explain them. In C if you go past an array, you find out about it in mysterious ways. Java has an easy to use memory-model and has the same qualities as Pascal. Pascal did not have too many commercial implications. Java has considerably many. Therefore using Java in colleges to teach programming makes a lot of sense.

And some more...maybe later

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