Surprise guest at JavaOne: Java founder James Gosling

Former Sun/Oracle engineer mostly talked about robotics venture, but his appearance could indicate he and Oracle are burying the hatchet

For the first time since 2009, Java founder James Gosling on Thursday morning appeared onstage at the JavaOne technical conference during a Java community keynote presentation.

Gosling was a longtime Sun engineer but left Oracle shortly after the company acquired Sun in 2010. Currently working at robotics firm Liquid Robotics, he had been critical of Oracle after he departed from the company. This morning's appearance at the San Francisco event, the premier Java conference of the year, could signal a bit of a hatchet-burying between Gosling and Oracle, which now produces JavaOne in conjunction with the Oracle OpenWorld conference.

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Gosling, long considered the father of Java, talked about his company's ocean-probing devices during a brief appearance onstage. He did not mention Oracle during his presentation and instead focused on robotics and networking. Part of his presentation featured a Java Swing application showing the telemetry of four robots. "One of the cool things about Java that most people don't really think about is it's really good at doing AI (artificial intelligence) kinds of things," Gosling said.

Gosling was one of several top Sun engineers who departed from Sun or Oracle in the wake of Oracle's acquisition, with others like XML co-founder Tim Bray leaving as well. Java debuted in 1995.

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