I can’t believe this isn’t in every JVM earlier.

Gosling replies to Jonathan Schwartz’s email after SUNW changed to JAVA (from Schwartz’s blog):

Our marketing lead knew someone who was a “naming consultant” (I don’t remember his name, but he was great). We could neither afford the price nor the time of a conventional product naming process. He agreed to do something rather odd, but effective and quick: he acted as a facilitator at a meeting where about a dozen of us locked ourselves in a room for an afternoon. He started asking us questions like “How does this thing make you feel?” (Excited!) “What else makes you feel that way?” (Java!) We ended up with a board covered with essentially random words. Then he put us through a sorting process where we ended up with a ranking of the names. We ended up with a dozen name candidates and sent them off to the lawyers: they worked down the list until they hit one that cleared their search. “Java” was the fourth name on the list. The first name on the list was “Silk”, which I hated but everyone else liked. My favorite was “Lyric”, the third one on the list, but it didn’t pass the lawyers test. I don’t remember what the other candidate names where.

So, who named Java? Marketing organized the meeting, the consultant ran it, and a whole pile of us did a lot of yelling out of random words. I’m honestly not real sure who said “Java” first, but I’m pretty sure it was Mark Opperman (see notes).

The blog was posted on 8/30 11:45pm. At 8/31 9:09am someone from Herndon, VA put it on Wikipedia . What took it so long?


Mark Opperman is an extremely interesting guy, according to this bio. He’s born in Urbana (yeah), got math bachelor from Stanford and CS master from Berkeley, studied Chinese in Paris, and once taught CS in Beijing University. “He speaks fluent French, conversational Chinese and Japanese, and can understand British English, but not British humor.” — That’s British humor at its best 🙂

Advertisements