Golang (also known as Go or Go language) is a general-purpose open-source computer language. Google employees created Go to construct stable and efficient software. Go is statically typed and explicit, and is most closely related to C.
The language was created by combining the productivity and relative simplicity of Python with the capability of C. Slow build times, uncontrolled dependencies, effort duplication, the difficulty of building automatic tools, and cross-language development are some of the issues that Go solves.
Go uses “goroutines,” or lightweight processes, to achieve greater efficiency. Go also has a package system for effective dependency management.
Google, Cloudflare, Dropbox, MongoDB, Netflix, SoundCloud, Twitch, and Uber are among the companies that utilize Go.
What is Golang?
Go is a statically typed, compiled programming language created by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson at Google. It has the same syntax as C, but it has memory safety, garbage collection, structural typing, and CSP-style concurrency. It is commonly known as Golang due to its old domain name, golang.org, however, its full name is Go.
There are two significant implementations:
• Google’s self-hosted “GC” compiler toolchain, which targets several OS systems and WebAssembly; and
• gofrontend, a frontend to other compilers that uses the libgo library.
The combination with GCC is gccgo; with LLVM, the combination is gollvm.
Go was created in 2007 at Google to boost programming efficiency in an era of multicore, networked devices, and enormous codebases.
The creators aimed to respond to criticism of existing languages used at Google while retaining their desirable characteristics:
• Run-time efficiency and static typing (like C)
• Multiprocessing and high-performance networking
Its creators were largely motivated by a mutual disdain for C++.
Go was first introduced publicly in November 2009, with version 1.0 released in March 2012.
Go is widely utilized in Google’s products as well as many other corporations and open-source projects.
Type designers Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes created the Go and Go Mono typefaces in November 2016, particularly for use by the Go project.
Go is a humanist sans-serif that looks like Lucida Grande, whereas Go Mono is monospaced.
Both typefaces are WGL4-compliant and were created to be readable, with a big x-height and unique letterforms.
Both Go and Go Mono are DIN 1450 compliant, featuring a slashed zero, lowercase l with a tail, and capital I with serifs.
The old logo was updated in April 2018 with a stylized GO slanting right with trailing streamlines. (The Gopher mascot stayed unchanged.)
What’s the Name? Go or Golang?
You may hear the language referred to as both Go and Golang, which might be confusing. I used to believe they were names for various languages. However, Golang is simply another name for Go, which maintains the official nomenclature.
The word Golang was derived from the domain name of the official Go website, golang.org.
This is very useful because “Golang” is considerably more searchable on Google than “Go.”
As a result, it makes life a bit simpler for individuals seeking knowledge about the programming language.
How Go Came into Existence
Because Google’s codebases were becoming increasingly complicated, the Go programming language was established.
It was created by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson, all of whom supposedly despise C++. Go was initially revealed to the public in 2009, and its first version, 1.0, was published open source in 2012.
Because of its simplicity, readability, efficiency, and concurrent nature Go quickly gained popularity and became many developers’ first choice.
Concurrent indicates that it can do numerous tasks at once.
Go is used for server-side programming (backend), game development, cloud-based programming, and even data science.
It is also often used to create command-line utilities.
Many tech behemoths now employ Go, including Google, Netflix, Twitch, Ethereum, Dropbox, Kubernetes, Docker, Heroku, and many others.
It’s no surprise that Kubernetes, Docker, and Heroku utilize Go because cloud-based programming is one of the primary reasons Go was created.
What does the Go programming language do?
Go has a lot of features, including a standard library, package management, static typing, testing support, and platform independence.
The usage of distributed packages is the foundation of Go’s standard library.
Package management refers to how Go will handle user-based and external package management support.
A simple set of commands can be used to publish packages.
Static typing is a type system that guarantees conversions and compatibility while avoiding the problems associated with dynamically typed languages.
Golang also allows unit tests to run concurrently with written code.
Furthermore, because of Go’s modular nature, the code may be compiled on practically any platform.
Golang, in particular, employs lightweight processes that provide parallel processing and act similarly to threads.
The syntax will follow patterns observed in dynamic languages.
Some of Go’s tools worth mentioning are “Gofmt,” which automatically formats and indents code for readability, “Go run,” which compiles and runs code concurrently, “Go get,” which integrates with GitHub, and “Godoc,” which generates HTML-based documentation based on code structure and developer comments.
Benefits of Golang
There are several advantages of using Go over other programming languages, including:
• Fast compilation and execution speed
• No requirement for a virtual machine (VM)
• Concurrency-supporting lightweight goroutines
• Interfaces enable loosely connected systems
• Automatic garbage collection
• Memory safety
• Independent error handling
Drawbacks of Golang
• Does not allow generics or the ability to build abstract, implicit code;
• lacks runtime safety;
• imposes stringent constraints; and
• is incompatible with function overloading.
• Not often object-oriented
Applications of the Go Programming Language
Go is used by a variety of software development teams and in a variety of software.
Container services like Docker and Kubernetes use Go, as do cloud services like Terraform and OpenShift, service orchestration tools like Juju, and other applications like Bitcoin networks like Lightning Network.
Couchbase, which utilizes Go for Query and Indexing services; Dropbox, which switched from Python to Go; MongoDB, for tools linked to MongoDB instances; and Netflix with some of its server designs are among the companies that employ the Go programming language.
Golang Versus Competitors
Golang contains similarities to other programming languages yet offers a distinct approach.
Unlike some other prevalent languages, Go’s fundamental design purpose is to promote quick compilation.
When compared to C++, Go has fewer runtime errors and dependencies while improving memory safety and management.
Ruby is a more secure option, but it requires an interpreter and takes longer to compile.
Another popular programming language is Java; however, it requires a virtual computer to run the code.
Go eliminates this requirement while also combating the complexity and verbosity of Java code.
When it comes to web development, front-end development, command-line scripting, and network server applications, developers will want to code in Golang.
Golang has become a popular language for creating microservices due to its rapid startup time, minimal runtime overhead, and ability to operate without a virtual machine.
Furthermore, Golang may be used for concurrent programming, which is a mechanism for executing numerous tasks at the same time.
Why Should You Learn
Go Easy Learning Curve?
Golang is one of the most basic programming languages available. It is simple to learn, especially if you are already familiar with another programming language.
In my situation, I mastered the basics of Golang in a single sitting.
Many Go developers who are confident in their teaching talents claim that they can educate a complete newbie on how to construct an app in only a few hours.
According to the 2020 StackOverflow Developer Survey, one of the key reasons Golang rose from 10th to 5th most popular programming language is its simplicity.
Good documentation and an active community
Go has comprehensive and simple documentation.
Aside from documentation, Go has a friendly and active community behind it, so if you get stuck, you can always obtain help.
The hashtag #golang is widely used on Twitter, so if you get stuck, you may tweet your query with the hashtag attached.
Go Can Help You Get A Lot Done
Go is a versatile programming language, which means it can be used for a variety of tasks like web development, data science, cloud computing, and more.
If you want to work in cloud computing, you should learn Go since systems like Amazon Web Services, Kubernetes, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) all support it.
Wages are attractive.
With a median pay of $74,000, Go engineers are the third-highest paid behind Perl and Scala, according to the 2020 StackOverflow Developer Survey.
This amount is likely to rise more as Go grows in popularity year after year and is in high demand. So, if you want to make more money, you should learn Go.
How to Install and Run Go on Windows 10
You must first download Go from the official website to install it on your Windows system.
It is compatible with all major operating systems.
Install the one that corresponds to your operating system.
1. Before installing Go, open a command line and type “go” into it.
To access the command prompt, type “cmd” into the Windows Search box and then choose the first app that appears.
When you type “go” and press enter, you should get the message “‘go’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program, or batch file.”
Don’t worry, you can install Go by double-clicking the Installer obtained from the Go website.
2. To install Go, double-click the downloaded installer.
Go will be installed if you follow the directions.
3. After installing Go via the installer, return to the command line and type “go” once again.
This time, various commands should be accessible in Go.
4. However, you cannot begin programming in Go in this manner.
You must configure environment variables to configure your Go workspace. So, go to your desktop and make a folder called “go-workspace.”
You may give it whatever name you like. This is the location for all of your Go projects.
Only when the GOPATH variable’s value is set to it. This is done in the following steps.
5. In the Windows Search bar, type “env” and then select “Edit the system environment variables.”
6. Select “Environment Variables.”
What you’re going to do here is set the GOPATH variable to the folder you established in Step 4.
7. Check that “GOPATH” is chosen, then click “Edit…”.
8. Select “Browser Directory.”
9. Navigate to the folder you made in Step 4.
That is, “go-workspace,” or whatever you want to call it.
Click “Ok” one more.
And “Ok” once again.
On your Windows PC, you can now begin programming in Go.
Go Language has something for everyone
Go is described in the documentation as “a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
Even massive Go programs can be compiled in seconds.
Furthermore, Go avoids most of the costs associated with C-style including files and libraries.
Go simplifies the developer’s life in a variety of ways.
Go is convenient
In its ability to meet many common programming demands, Go has been likened to scripting languages such as Python.
Some of this capability is built into the language, such as “goroutines” for concurrency and threadlike behavior, while others are accessed via Go standard library packages, such as Go’s HTTP package.
Go, like Python, has automated memory management, including garbage collection.
Unlike scripting languages such as Python, Go code compiles to a native binary that runs quickly.
In addition, unlike C or C++, Go compiles exceptionally quickly, making working with Go feel more like working with a scripting language than a compiled language.
In addition, the Go build mechanism is simpler than those of other constructed languages.
Building and running a Go project requires only a few steps and little accounting.
Go is fast
Go binaries are slower than C binaries, but the difference is insignificant for most applications.
Go is portable
Executables built with the Go toolchain are self-contained, with no external dependencies by default.
The Go toolchain is available for a broad range of operating systems and hardware platforms, and it may be used to cross-compile binaries.
Go is interoperable
All of the following is provided by Go without compromising access to the underlying system.
Go applications can communicate with external C libraries as well as perform native system calls.
Go, for example, interacts with low-level Linux functions, cgroups, and namespaces to do container magic in Docker.
Go is widely supported
The Go toolchain is publicly accessible as a binary for Linux, macOS, or Windows, as well as as a Docker container.
Many prominent Linux distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Fedora, contain Go by default, making it slightly easier to deploy Go source to those platforms.
Go is also well-supported in a wide range of third-party programming environments, from Microsoft Visual Studio Code to ActiveState’s Komodo IDE.
Where Go Language works best
No language is suitable for every job, although certain languages are more suitable than others.
The following application categories benefit the most from Go development.
Go’s concurrency and networking capabilities, as well as its high degree of portability, make it ideal for developing cloud-native apps.
Go was utilized to create numerous cloud-native computing pillars such as Docker, Kubernetes, and Istio.
Distributed network services
Concurrency is the lifeblood of network applications, and Go’s natural concurrency features—goroutines and channels, in particular—are ideally suited for the task
As a result, many Go projects are for networking, distributed functions, and cloud services, such as APIs, web servers, and simple frameworks for web applications.
Utilities and stand-alone tools
Go applications generate binaries with few external dependencies. Because they launch rapidly and can be easily packaged for redistribution, they are perfect for developing utilities and other tools.
Teleport is one example of an access server (for SSH, among other things). Teleport may be rapidly and simply installed on servers by constructing it from a source or downloading a prebuilt binary.
Go Language Limitations
The opinionated collection of features in Go has elicited both acclaim and criticism. Go is intentionally meant to be tiny and simple to comprehend, with certain features intentionally excluded.
As a result, several capabilities that are prevalent in other languages are simply not accessible in Go—on purpose.
One long-standing issue was the lack of generic functions, which allow a function to take a wide range of variable types.
For many years, the Go development team resisted introducing generics to the language because they desired syntax and a set of behaviors that complimented the rest of Go.
However, as with Go 1.18, which was published in early 2022, the language now has a syntax for generics.
The takeaway is that Go introduces new features seldom and only after careful deliberation, to maintain broad compatibility between versions.
Another disadvantage of Go is the size of the produced binaries.
By default, Go binaries are statically built, which means that everything required at runtime is provided in the binary image.
This method streamlines the development and deployment processes, but it comes at the expense of a basic “Hello, world!” weighing in at roughly 1.5MB on 64-bit Windows.
With each subsequent release, the Go team has worked to minimize the size of those binaries.
It is also feasible to compress Go binaries or remove Go’s debug information to make them smaller.
This last option may be more appropriate for stand-alone distributed programs than for cloud or network services because debugging information is important if a service breaks in place.
Another lauded Go feature, autonomous memory management might be viewed as a disadvantage, as garbage collection necessitates some processing cost.
Go does not provide manual memory management by design, and garbage collection in Go has been criticized for not dealing effectively with the types of memory loads seen in corporate systems.
Having said that, each new version of Go appears to increase memory management features.
For example, Go 1.8 introduced much lower trash collection latency times.
Although Go developers may utilize manual memory allocation via a C extension or through a third-party manual memory management library, most Go developers choose native solutions to such challenges.
The software culture around the creation of sophisticated GUIs for Go programs, such as those found in desktop apps, is currently fragmented.
The majority of Go apps are command-line utilities or network services.
Having said that, several projects are striving to create sophisticated graphical user interfaces for Go applications.
There are GTK and GTK3 bindings available.
Another project aims to create platform-native UIs, albeit it relies on C bindings and is not built entirely in Go.
The walk is also available for Windows users. However, no obvious victor or the safe long-term bet has emerged in this field, and several initiatives have fallen by the wayside, such as a Google attempt to establish a cross-platform GUI framework. Furthermore, because Go is platform-independent by design, none of them are expected to become part of the standard package list.
Although Go may communicate with native system functions, it was not meant to create low-level system components like kernels or device drivers, nor was it intended for use in embedded devices.
After all, the Go runtime and garbage collector for Go apps are both OS-dependent.
(Those looking for a cutting-edge language for this type of work might check out the Rust language.)
Go Language Futures
Go’s future development is focusing on the wishes and requirements of its developer community, with Go’s maintainers modifying the language to better fit this audience rather than leading by obstinate example.
One example is generics, which were eventually added to the language after a significant discussion about the best approach to do so.
According to the 2021 Go Developer Survey, Go users are generally pleased with the language’s capabilities, although there is still potential for development.
The top areas where Go users sought improvements were dependency management (a perennial struggle in Go), bug diagnosis, and reliability, with memory, CPU use, binary sizes, and build times ranking far lower.
Most programming languages converge toward a core set of use cases.
Go’s specialization has become network services in the decade it’s been around, and it’s certain to continue increasing its grasp.
The language’s largest use case was providing APIs or RPC services (49%), followed by data processing (10%), web services (10%), and CLI applications (8%).
Another indicator of the Go language’s rising popularity is the number of developers who choose it after assessing it.
75% of those asked who contemplated adopting Go for a project did so.
Rust (25%), Python (17%), and Java (12%) were the top options among those who did not select Go.
Rust, for safe and quick systems programming; Python, for prototyping, automation, and glue code; and Java, for long-standing corporate programs, have all found or are on their way to finding new niches.
Is rust better than Go?
The most optimized Rust code was at least 30% quicker than the most optimized Go code for all of the evaluated algorithms. In many cases it was much faster; for the binary-trees benchmark, the most optimized Rust code was 12 times faster than the most optimized Go code!
How fast is Golang vs C?
Golang can run at nearly four times the speed of its interpreted and dynamic counterparts. However, when it comes to speed, nothing beats C++ (and most C languages).
All of the coding and compilation labor has paid off.
Because it is pre-compiled to machine code, Go has a faster startup and compile time.
How fast is Golang vs C?
Golang can run at nearly four times the speed of its interpreted and dynamic counterparts.
However, when it comes to speed, nothing beats C++ (and most C languages). All of the coding and compilation labor has paid off.
Why is Golang not object-oriented?
One of the fundamental principles of OOP is inheritance, which allows you to create a hierarchy and derive a class from another class that inherits its properties, attributes, and methods.
Golang, on the other hand, does not support inheritance, which is an “is-a relationship model,” and instead favors composition over inheritance.
Is Golang worth learning?
Is it worthwhile to learn Golang in 2022? Yes, Golang is still worth knowing in 2022, since its popularity among developers has grown.
According to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey, Golang rose to fifth place on the list of most popular languages from ninth place in 2019.
Is Golang declining?
So, if you’re wondering if Go will be dead in 2022, you may rest assured that Golang is still popular and will not expire very soon.
Is Golang used at Microsoft?
Although Microsoft currently uses a variety of languages for AI (including Python, C, C++, and Rust, to name a few), Go is a versatile language with a wide range of capabilities.
It remains to be seen how far Go’s speed and ease of development will carry it in additional use cases, as well as how deeply Go will permeate enterprise development.
But Go’s future as a significant programming language is already secure—at least in the cloud, where its speed and simplicity make it easier to build a scalable infrastructure that can be maintained in the long run.