Geek Time with Josh Bloch

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In addition to being known as “The Mother of Java,” Josh Bloch is also the Chief Java Architect at Google. Josh sat down with fellow Open Source Programs Office colleague Jeremy Allison to chat about APIs, the importance of openness, and the successes and failures of Java.

Some highlights from their conversation:
(0:45) Josh describes what he does for Java and at Google.

(1:59) Jeremy expresses his disappointments with Java, based on the early potential that it showed. Josh responds with an explanation of some of the difficulties that Java faced.

(4:48) Josh and Jeremy talk about some of the factors that contributed to Java’s successes.

(9:51) Josh’s explains his philosophy towards creating APIs.

(14:30) Josh talks about the APIs that he’s most proud of.

(19:45) Josh and Jeremy discuss the importance of reading other people’s code, and the impact of Sun’s decision to put the code and bug database for Java on the web.

(24:00) Josh explains how he came to be in his current position and gives advice for others who are looking for ways to get started programming.

(27:32) Josh wrote the standard Java best-practices guide, Effective Java, and co-authored two other Java books: Java Puzzlers, and Java Concurrency in Practice. As a special treat for this blog’s readers, Josh is offering signed copies of his books for the first two people with correct responses to the following puzzle. Submit your answer as a comment on this post, then use the same Blogger ID to leave a separate comment with your contact info and inscription request (for your privacy, the comment with your contact info will not be published).
Josh’s Puzzle: “The Story of O”

The following Java program is not quite complete; it’s missing a parameter declaration for o. Can you provide a declaration that makes the program print “O noes!”? (The program must compile without generating any warnings.)

public class Story {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
       Object o = null;

   private static void story
(<you provide the declaration> o) {
       if (o != null)
           System.out.println("O noes!");

Remember to leave your answer and contact info as two separate comments!

By Ellen Ko, Open Source Team