Java creator James Gosling at the Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, Calif., in 2005. Gosling is one of 29 Canadians named Officers of the Order of Canada and will receive his insignia later in 2007. ((Jeff Chiu/Associated Press))

The man credited with inventing the Java programming language commonly used on the World Wide Web has been appointed to the Order of Canada.

James Gosling, a vice-president of Sun Microsystems Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., has been named an officer of the Order of Canada, the office of the Governor General announced on Monday.

Gosling was responsible for the original design of the Java programming language and implemented the original compiler for the so-called Java virtual machine. Java programs are compiled or converted into machine code by a program called a compiler when they run.

A virtual machine is a computer program that creates an operating environment that is independent of the computer and its operating system, allowing software written for the virtual machine to run on any computer.

The list of Order of Canada recipients — 87 in all, including three Companions, 29 Officers and 55 Members — was submitted to Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean and approved on Oct. 5, 2006.

The time between the list's approval and its public announcement is meant to allow for those named to the Order be notified and giventhe opportunity to accept or decline inclusion in it, Marie-Paule Thorn, a spokeswoman with the Governor General's office, told CBC News Online.

People named to the Order will receive their insignia at a ceremony to be held later. The next ceremony is to be held in May or June.

Recipients of the Order of Canada may attend any one of four ceremonies held each year — usually in February, May or June, September or November and October or December — at which they can receive their insignia and certificates. Attendance is determined by the recipients' availability. The last ceremony was held on Feb. 9.

The Order of Canada recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement and contributions to society and the country by Canadians from all walks of life.