Go, the increasingly popular programming language Google first announced in late 2009, is now available in its first stable version. This release also marks the first time that a native support for Go is available to Windows users. Dart, another language developed by Google’s engineers, is mostly meant for web applications, while the developers of Go aimed to create a modern general-purpose language for networked and multicore computing. While Go took quite a bit of inspiration from C, it also includes ideas from other languages like Pascal, Newsqueak and Limbo.
As the engineers behind the project note, the reason to release a stable version now is to give developers a stable target for their development efforts. Until now, the language still changed regularly and some of these changes likely broke existing code. Now, Google’s engineers will ensure that – with a few exceptions – every further addition to Go won’t break existing programs. “Code that compiles in Go 1 should, with few exceptions, continue to compile and run throughout the lifetime of that version, even as we issue updates and bug fixes such as Go version 1.1, 1.2, and so on.”
With this release, Google also updated its Google App Engine SDK to support this new version (App Engine is Google’s cloud computing platform for developers). To see how serious Google is about Go, you just have to look at the fact that besides Go, App Engine only supports Java and Python right now.