Does it have what it takes?

Can Go dictate trends in 2016?

Gabriela Motroc
Image of an empty finish line image via Shutterstock

After Java champion Adam Bien revealed at JAX 2016 that he is using Go and Swift in his spare time, many developers predicted that the former might dictate trends this year, especially since its simplicity has convinced a plethora of startups to transform Go into their language of choice.

Google’ Rob Pike said in a 2012 keynote that “Go’s purpose is not to do research into programming language design; it is to improve the working environment for its designers and their coworkers. Go is more about software engineering than programming language research. Or to rephrase, it is about language design in the service of software engineering.” The talk revealed some of this programming language’s biggest advantages, namely readability, pragmatism and clarity. Pike claimed that Go was created to address a set of software engineering issues which Google had been exposed to in the construction of large server software.

Dave Cheney, an Australian programmer and author said in his closing keynote at Gophercon India last year that Go chooses “not to include many features that other programming languages have accustomed their users to believing are essential.Or as Rob Pike puts it ‘less is more’.”

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” —this quote has been with us since time immemorial, but it looks as if it was created for Go. Cheney encourages programmers to choose simplicity over completeness because the latter always comes with a cost —complexity might mean debt in the long run.

SEE ALSO: Go 1.6 is now available

The Go community was pleased with the seventh major stable release’s  fixes, improvements, and additions.The release of Go 1.6 came just a few months after the language marked its sixth anniversary and even though Go 1.5 incorporated massive implementation changes, this release is considered “more incremental,” the blog post read.

Go adoption in the enterprise

Go adoption has not always been strong, but that changed after its inclusion in high-profile projects, including Docker. Go has been used by The New York Times and BBC Worldwide, but also by, Dropbox, SoundCloud and more and the trend continues. If the pace continues, Go adoption could become the next Java in enterprise, according to a blog post by Shiju Varghese, a Solutions Architect and published author.

What’s next for Go

Austin Clements, associate at TenOneTen Ventures explained in a Reddit AMA after the release of Go 1.6 that for the next few releases, they are planning to focus on GC throughput to reduce the total CPU time spent in the garbage collector. ” We’re attacking this on both the ‘micro-optimization’ level, by improving how quickly the garbage collector  can scan memory, and the ‘macro-optimization’ level, by reducing the amount of memory the garbage collector has to scan by focusing on areas of the heap that are more likely to be fruitful,” he said. Clements concluded that although they are not planning to “rework” the garbage collector in the next few releases, they are planning to keep improving it.

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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