James Arthur Gosling, (born May 19, 1955) is a Canadian computer scientist, best known as the father of the Java programming language.
Gosling is generally credited with having invented the Java programming language in 1994. He created the original design of Java and implemented the language's original compiler and virtual. Gosling traces the origins of the approach to his early 19s graduate-student days, when he created a pseudo-code (p-code) virtual machine for the lab's DEC VAX computer, so that his professor could run programs written in UCSD Pascal. Pascal compiled into p-code to foster precisely this kind of portability. In the work leading to Java at Sun, he saw that architecture-neutral execution for widely distributed programs could be achieved by implementing a similar philosophy: always program for the same virtual machine.
For his achievement he was elected to Foreign Associate member of the United States National Academy of Engineering. He has also made major contributions to several other software systems, such as News and Gosling Emacs. He co-wrote the "bundle" program, a utility thoroughly detailed in Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike's book The Unix Programming Environment.
Gosling pied a Bill Gates impersonator on stage during the Worldwide Java One Developer Conference in 1998.