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Google’s Languages: Introducing Go November 15, 2009

Posted by ddouthitt in General Languages.
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A few days ago, Google introduced the Go programming language (with a flurry of press attention). It’s not the first time – Google created the Noop language for the Java Virtual Machine, and Simple, a BASIC-derivative for Android – but it does seem to be creating quite a stir, more so than the others.

It appears that the Go language will be used in-house in time, though it is not currently so.

The language was created by several Google engineers, including some UNIX historical icons: Ken Thompson and Rob Pike (with Robert Griesemer). Thus, is it any wonder that the icon for Go is very similar to that for Plan 9, the unsuccessful follow-up act to UNIX?

The press attention has been amazing. Chris Dawson over at ZDNet wrote Is Google’s Go language worth teaching or learning? – I say yes to both. The magazine eWeek had an article about the launch,ComputerWorld’s IT Blogwatch had an article detailing a smattering of blog reactions, and InfoWeek also covered the language’s introduction as well.

Over at Ars Technica, they had an extensive writeup on the language (though they seem to have used an illustration from P.D. Eastman’s Go Dog Go! – isn’t it still under copyright?) The article talked with Rob Pike about the language and provided some examples.

Perhaps the most interesting article for programmers was an article by Google’s own Mark Chu-Carroll over at Good Math, Bad Math – which article he followed up the next day with another about concurrency in Go.

The only sour note so far is from Frank McCabe, who states that the name was taken by his Go! language since 2000. The issue came up in the language’s issues section and was noticed by InformationWeek; no word yet on what Google will do.