Less than four months after its unveiling at an early, experimental stage, Google Go looks promising to developers who say it offers significant improvements over other programming languages.
While Go is still a work in progress, some developers are so encouraged by its features and design that they have started using it to build noncritical applications. They have also praised the Google Go team for improving the language quickly and consistently, while communicating regularly with developers who offer feedback about the project.
Much work remains to be done, and developers interviewed all cautioned against using Go to build applications for critical business functions because it changes quickly and often, and certain key areas are far from mature.
Still, expectations and enthusiasm are running high and Google may be on track to fulfilling its main goal: to reduce the complexity of coding without compromising application performance, by offering the development speed of dynamic languages like Python with the robustnes of compiled languages like C++.
"It's certainly promising. I've learned more and more every day to appreciate certain things about the Go language and the style of programming you do with it," said Roger Voss, software development manager at Seattle-based Tideworks Technology, a subsidiary of marine terminal operator Carrix.
Developers seem enthused about Go's concurrent programming model, which lets it handle multiprocessor work particularly well. This is the feature that most appeals to Voss, who has built distributed enterprise software systems for Tideworks for the past decade.
Go is designed with internal messaging capabilities, intended to simplify the creation of applications running on different nodes, and improve their performance.
"It's a way to try to address how to write concurrent software that's more robust, as opposed to using the old threading model of Java and others," Voss said.