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Google says 'Go' to new programming language

Google announced the first stable release of its new programming language -- dubbed "Go" -- on Wednesday, providing an initial base of support for new projects and applications. Binaries have been released for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and OS X.

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The idea, according to the search giant's FAQ on the new language, is to provide a development ecosystem that allows for fast compilation while keeping everything streamlined, logical and easy to use. Google says that it's already using Go to power several internal projects, including the server that hosts the main Web portal for the language itself.

"The driving motivation for Go 1 is stability for its users. People who write Go 1 programs can be confident that those programs will continue to compile and run without change, in many environments, on a time scale of years. Similarly, authors who write books about Go 1 can be sure that their examples and explanations will be helpful to readers today and into the future," Google engineer Andrew Gerrand said in the company's announcement.

He noted, as well, that Go 1 isn't a major new release of the language, which has been in development for several years. Instead, it's intended to be a baseline of the way Go is used at present and a starting point for further development. Nevertheless, there were several changes present in the release, including a new time package in the standard library and organizational tweaks to the way Go arranges items.

Go is fully supported by the Google App Engine SDK, which was re-released alongside Go 1 in order to take full advantage of the new language's features. A report from The Inquirer asserts that Go is Google's attempt to graft the usability of high-level languages like Python and Ruby onto a lower-level language for use with App Engine.

Email Jon Gold at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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