Go grows up with with 1.2 release
It’s been party central at Go HQ recently, with a fourth anniversary milestone last month being topped with the launch of Go 1.2 today.
Google’s statically-typed programming language has enjoyed a steady ride up its in-house search engine rankings since it was first launched, as the chart below shows, with a rapid spike up the charts beginning with Go’s official debut.
Google is aiming to pitch Go as a low-level language which combines the simplicity of an interpreted high-level language with the efficiency and safety of a compiled language. It features a similar garbage collector to Java, as well as type safety, Closures, reflection and classless object orientation, however, the curly brackets embedded within it are more reminiscent of C.
With a couple of IDEs and plugins for well-known IDEs such as Eclipse and Netbeans, the general consensus seems to be that Google’s little upstart is now all ready to graduate from development-kindergarten to real world use.
Coming seven months on from the release of Go 1.1, Go 1.2 is the first of what Google hope will be a regular series of updates to the language at comparable intervals going forward.
So what new tricks has the little Gopher picked up since 1.1? Well, along with a bit of rejigging on language implementation and tools, there have been some ‘minor’ language tweaks and more than a couple of additions and backward-compatible changes to the standard library.
According to the official blog, other highlights of the release include a shiny new three-index slice syntax, as well as the ability to specify capacity as well as length. With this development, programmers can pass a slice value that can only access a limited portion of the underlying array - a practice that previously required the use of the unsafe package.
Although it’s been touted as *sigh* yet another Java killer, it’s got a long way to go before Oracle begins to break a sweat. Nevertheless, with a large and growing open source community around it, Go is gaining traction, and, with new releases set to pop up with the frequency of critters in game of Whack a Mole, we're going to be reading a lot more about it in months to come.