Go offers scalable alternative to C++
August 20, 2012 —
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Go quietly entered the world outside of Google in 2009. At the time, it was described as a “20%-time project” to build a better C++. Along the way, the language has won over many new fans who claim it offers an easier way to write massively scalable applications.
Today, the language is available as version 1.0.2, and the development world is abuzz at the prospects of this concurrent, garbage-collected language. Mark Summerfield, a development consultant and author, became so enamored with Go that he wrote a book on the language, titled “Programming in Go: Creating Applications for the 21st Century.”
“I read the specification early on within a few weeks of them announcing it publicly, and it just grabbed me,” he said. “It was an interesting spec, it was clear and understandable. You could see some of their sources: It's C-oriented, but they've also given you some high-level stuff. Maps are like Python dictionaries. Slices are like Python lists.”
Taking its lead from C++ and Python, Go has gathered a following among programmers who've had many of the same complaints as Summerfield. Andrew Gerrand, developer relations lead for Go at Google, said that “The response to Go has been phenomenal. Since the open-source launch in 2009, the project has attracted hundreds of contributors, and developed a growing ecosystem of libraries and tools. A vibrant community of Go users has sprung up to support the language. This is impressive growth, especially when compared to the trajectory of today's mainstream languages.”