The 'father' of the Java programming language has hit out at cloud vendors for keeping their customers locked in to strict commercial deals with heavy financial punishments for removing data or applications.
Gosling opened his keynote at IP Expo yesterday by telling the audience: "I'm not selling anything." He went on to warn about the dangers of committing too deeply to one cloud provider.
"These days the buzzword in almost every part of this show is cloud. People talk about it like it's magic pixie dust, which it isn't," he said.
Gosling described the cloud as a "complicated subject", and cited Amazon Web Services as an example of a firm looking to sink its claws into customers, although in reality he could have named just about any cloud vendor.
"You get cloud providers like Amazon saying: 'Take your applications and move them to the cloud.' But as soon as you start using them you're stuck in that particular cloud. You have to be sure that all your customers will be OK with the terms of service of the cloud provider you choose," he explained.
Gosling is now involved with an Internet of Things (IoT) company that makes semi-autonomous robots that can swim the oceans collecting data. It is not the classic career path of the average coder, and Gosling described his current work as being on the "lunatic fringe".
"In my case there are no providers I'm happy with. Lots would make my life hugely easier, but convincing coastguards from random countries that they should trust Amazon is really hard," he said.
Gosling concluded by describing the IoT in his own inimitable way: "The 'things' part is sexy. The internet is just what ties it all together."
Java is currently at the centre of a costly legal battle between Oracle and Google. Oracle contends that APIs should be subject to copyright, and wants an impressive $9.3bn from the search firm.
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