[Computer Science]

[Icon][James Gosling, Computer Programmer]

Today, when you think of the Internet, perhaps you think of things like web browsers, and search engines. When you think of programming for the Internet, you might think of languages, like HTML and Java. Well, Java was invented by a Canadian computer scientist named James Gosling. He now works for Sun Microsystems Inc. as a Software Engineer.

[James Gosling]James Gosling was born on May 19, 1956. He was interested in computers from a very early age. When it was time for university, he chose to go to the University of Alberta to study computer science, and he finished his Bachelor of Science degree there in 1977. He went on from that success to Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. At Carnegie-Mellon he took his Ph.D. also in computer science. The title of his thesis was The Manipulation of Algebraic Constraints. After he graduated in 1983 he joined Sun Microsystems in 1984.

While at Sun Microsystems, James Gosling has amongst other things built a multiprocessor version of Unix, and several compilers (a compiler is necessary for a programming language to be read by a computer; the compiler will change the text of the programming into a form that the computer can understand, that is, binary). He was the lead engineer of a windows manager called Network Extensible Windowing System (NeWS), a PostScript-interpreter based system of distributing computer-processing power across a network. He wrote the first version of a text editor called `Emacs' for Unix systems, which is now a very popular and powerful text editor.

Most recently, James Gosling was the leader of the team that developed the Internet programming language Java. The work on that language began in 1991, and as is the case with many important inventions, the initial work was not on a programming language for the web at all. Instead, a team called the Green Team (of which Gosling was the leader) was formed with the idea of creating an easy way for different appliances in a house to connect and work together. The project went through several changes on its way to becoming Java. First they renamed the project First Person, which was to be a group working on an interactive television. When the Internet became so important a little later in the nineties, the team worked to create applications that would work on any Web client. From that came Java.

Java is now one of the fastest-growing tools for the web. People are scrambling to learn it fast enough and to push it to its limits.

Click here to see an example of Java.


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Last updated on 14 August 1998.