You gotta love interviews with James Gosling. They are usually quite a
trip. He just says what he thinks, that's all. Man, I wish I could do
that instead of bouncing all over the place like I do. Anyway, in this
Q&A -- Developer
spotlight: James Gosling
-- in Builder AU Gosling talks Java
course), tools, IBM, software patents, Emacs and Richard Stallman (a
must read), and the Solaris platform. Yes, Solaris
. Check it out:
the moment you are using an Apple for day-to-day use. Can you see a day
when you will be using Solaris on x86? A: One of the problems with Solaris on
x86 has been that support for laptops has been very thin. With
Solaris 10 there is a lot of laptop support. I’m
currently looking to get myself an x86 laptop but I want to get
the right one because Apple notebooks are just physically better, they
are mechanically more solid than most of the PC ones. I put too many
files on my laptop to deal with something that is going to break and
every PC laptop I’ve ever had is a piece of crap, technically speaking.
Can anyone recommend a good laptop for Gosling?
Anyway, I'm happy to see Gosling talking Solaris. I remember a few
years ago when I used to do PR in the software organization. I got a
call from Bob McMillan at Linux Magazine. He wanted to do a story on Gosling
... Java technology
and Linux ... why isn't Sun doing more with Java
on Linux. At the time
I didn't know James, but I thought Bob's idea was a good one (I agreed
with him totally, too), and also I wanted to work more with Linux
Magazine since I was interested in open source
So I said, yah, let's
do it. I'll try to get Gosling. Nice. How do I get Gosling? No clue. Well, lucky for me at the time he wasn't doing much PR (he goes
through cycles), and no one in PR really had responsibility for him.
You see, PR people are childishly possessive over their "spokespeople,"
so ordinarily this is enough to scare anyone away. But, no PR person
was in sight as far as the eye could see, so I was golden. Ok, next
problem, do I know anyone who knows Gosling to give him a heads up on
this? No. Not really. So, I decided to just call him.
Ring ... ring ... ring. "Hello," he answered. Ok ... now what do I do?
I was more than a little intimidated in case you haven't noticed. But I
wanted this interview, so I just dove in. After he listened for a
moment, he said he'd do it and that "we should be talking to these guys
a lot more." Cool. I took that as a sign. :) So, we're on our
way. The next week we met the editors of Linux Magazine at some fancy
restaurant in Palo Alto for a three hour dinner in our own private
room. Really nice place, too, though I can't for the life of me
remember the name. Here's
the story, though
. It all worked out pretty well, other than I got
into a little trouble for talking to Linux Magazine -- you see PR at
the time was nervous about open source issues. Go figure.
I did many interviews with Gosling after that while I was in PR, but
this interview was especially substantiative. I realized that Java
James was an amazing spokesperson for ... Solaris
. Who knew?
no one in PR, that's for sure. During the dinner, he spent at least an
hour (I took detailed notes) talking about Solaris. I was fascinated. I
mean he really dug deep into the system -- comparing it to Linux, to
AIX, to Windows -- with relatively little concern about marketing and
politics. Most of the Solaris stuff didn't didn't make it into the
article (3 hours is a really long interview), but it was really
wonderful to listen to.
By the way, there was no need for me to be intimidated. James is an
extremely gentle and kind soul.