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29 March 2012, 14:02

Google's Go 1.0 is good to go

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Announcement Go(pher) Google has published Go version 1.0, also known as Go 1, calling it a "stable foundation for creating reliable products, projects and publications". The release comes two and a half years after Google first presented its alternative language for systems programming. The Go 1 release is the first edition of the language that is available in supported binary distributions for Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X and Windows. Go 1 is also marking a commitment to forward compatibility for the language over the lifetime of Go 1, for Go 1.1, 1.2 and so on.

Go has its roots in a discussion between Rob Pike, Ken Thompson and Robert Griesemer in 2007. Frustration with existing languages for systems programming drove them to consider what a new language, that addressed systems developers, would look like. Go has been praised by developers as a simple, well-defined, fast and powerful language with good error reporting, effective concurrency, and easy to comprehend code.

Go 1 is not identical to the Go language as it has been previously seen; the developers have used the development of Go 1 to clean up inconsistencies and improve portability. Various backward incompatible changes to the Go language, which had been held off from being introduced in development versions of Go, have been introduced in Go 1. These changes can introduce incompatibilities for older programs but the Go developers have included a go fix tool which automates many of the required changes.

The changes include new types for Unicode characters and errors, a new time package and renamings in the standard library, and, a reworking of the package hierarchy to make groupings of packages more related. The changes are detailed in the release notes. The Go 1 toolchain has also been restructured and is now built around a go command. The go command uses the Go program source code to determine how to build; this eliminates the need for makefiles.

Google has also updated the Google App Engine SDK for Go, which was released in experimental form in May 2011 and is currently in beta.

Google Go is available to download from where installation instructions , documentation, references and information on the go packages can be found. Go 1 is published under a BSD style licence and source code can be found on the project's Google Code page.


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