Go: Google’s new programming language

Google Inc, the search giant has introduced a new open source programming language, which is designed for apps of massive scalability and multi-processor systems. The new language is called “Go,” which will solve few of the problems with existing languages such as Java and C++.

The initial design of the language was started in September 2007 which related to the Inferno operating system, but it was officially announced on November 11th, 2009, with implementations released for the Linux and Mac OS X platforms.

Google is neither stranger to the open source world nor to the programming language. It has released the underlying code for several of its tools and services under open source licenses over the years. Also, the company had launched Simple, a BASIC dialect for developing Android applications in July this year.

Benefits of ‘Go’

In first look, Google ‘Go’ hints as C++, but borrows few points, such as garbage from scripting languages like Python and javascript.

Fast: According to the search giant, Go compilers can produce fast code, which is comparable to C or C++ code and is open source. In a demo video, the company has showed the entire language, over 120K lines of code, compiling in just 10 seconds.

Safe: The Company indicates that the language is type safe and memory safe. For random access, developers can use slices, which know their limits. The language has builds, clean syntax, garbage collection and run-time reflection.
Google added that the language has smoothness of a dynamic language but has the speed and safety of a static language.

Why Did Google Make Its Own Language?

Google explains the main motivations behind the introduction of the new programming language. It explained that from last decade no major systems language has emerged but the computing scenario has changed tremendously over the time. The company also said that current PCs are very quick, whereas software development is not up to the mark.

The company also added that new multi-core computers have generated worry and confusion among the developers. Various fundamental concepts like garbage collection and parallel computation are not supported by present languages. Due to difficulty in working with Java and C++, people are turning towards typed languages such as Python and javascript.

Google has designed the present platform for apps of massive scalability and multi-processor systems. As a systems language, Go will target various developer applications, for example, web servers.

Future prospects

The company said that the new language is not for very beginners, but also not very difficult to learn. The company compares ‘Go’ with Java in terms of its learning curve. It is available after two years of homework under a BSD-style license. At present, the language is very young and experimental.

At present, Go has two compilers, Gccgo, which works on the GCC as a back-end, and a suite of compilers for 64-bit x86 and 32-bit x86 systems respectively.

Small controversy

There is also a language with similar name by developer Mr. Francis McCabe, called “Go!” However, Mr. McCabe had not registered its name therefore nothing serious about it. Meanwhile, Mr. McCabe has requested Google to change the name, but the search giant has not responded to that request.

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