March 11, 2006

Sun on the Run?

Talking, as I have been recently, about marketing, it was interesting to see a report of Sun's James Gosling apparently going negative at a recent education and research conference. In politics, and by extension in marketing, typically the frontrunner starts going negative when they perceive their lead is threatened. It's also interesting to see him breaking a cardinal rule and mentioning "the opposition" by name -- he's a techie at heart. Even though Python is mentioned only once in the article I linked to, we should be grateful for the free publicity.

Another significant feature of the report is that although Python is mentioned with a number of other languages, it's the other languages that are then dissed, leaving Python to suffer by association. Putting all this in context, though, Gosling's remarks were actually made in response to a question from an audience member.

The link I pointed you to makes it looks like Gosling's whole purpose was to defend his products against competing languages, when in fact that was far from reality. So another lesson is "don't believe everything you read in the papers (or on the web, for that matter)". The reporters have their own agenda, which is to spice things up and make them look like they're worth reading. They want your eyeball-seconds!

Just the same, I think it's revealing how Gosling chose to respond to the question. He's obviously feeing some sort of pressure from Python and its kind. I've given my own opinions on his language before, so I'll content myself with reiterating that this defensive response, coupled with a complete absence of objective criticism, can only be good news for Python.

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