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11 May 2011, 15:09

Google I/O: App Engine to support Go

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App Engine Go logo
App Engine Go's mascot
Source: Google
Google has announced version 1.5 of its App Engine cloud platform and has added its own Go language to the list of supported languages available to developers, albeit on an experimental basis. App Engine was launched in 2008 with support for Python and in 2009 that was joined by Java support. Now the Go language, introduced in 2009, joins them and will be the first compiled language to run on the App Engine platform, using the 64 bit x86 6g compiler to build applications from source. This will allow efficient CPU-intensive programs to run in the cloud. A self-contained SDK is available to developers which includes a "dev app server" which mimics the cloud's "upload and compile" cycle so a coder doesn't even need the Go compiler separately installed.

There are limitations on Go in the implementation of goroutines and channels. These are used to implement parallelism in Go, but on the App Engine, there is only one thread available; is expected that this restriction will be lifted over time. Other restrictions include a "trimmed" syscall package and the lack of an unsafe package.

Developers can sign up today for early access to the Go runtime on App Engine. An example application with source code is available. App Engine SDKs for all languages and platforms, as well as Eclipse plugins and documentation are available to download. The Go language is available under a BSD licence and the libraries and SDK are under an Apache 2.0 licence.

AppEngine 1.5 itself includes support for Backends (longer lived processes for more complex processing) and Pull Queues (a more flexible task queuing system). It uses a high replication datastore as a default, increases the maximum size of HTTP requests and responses to 32 MB and forces emails to be sent via Google managed accounts. Google also presented the 2011 business plans for App Engine.


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