Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Cognitive Computing , Linux Containers, Release Management

Cognitive Computing : Article

Unix Co-Creator Writes New Open Source Programming Language for Google

If it catches on, it would be the first major systems language to emerge in a decade

Open Source Journal on Ulitzer

Ken Thompson (pictured) and Rob Pike, a couple of the revered old soldiers who wrote Unix, Plan 9 and Inferno at Bell Labs – and programming languages like B, without which C probably wouldn’t exist, and Limbo – have come up with an experimental new programming language called Go that Google, their current refuge, open sourced Tuesday under a BSD-style license.

If it catches on, it would be the first major systems language to emerge in a decade.

One of the small Go team compares it to Java, calling it “performant but garbage collected” and “vastly more enjoyable to code in.”

Go’s primary attribute appears to be that it’s fast. It reportedly compiles to machine code very quickly thanks to a couple of Plan 9-beholden compilers.

Google says “Go combines the development speed of working in a dynamic language like Python” – Google does dote on Python – “with the performance and safety of a compiled language like C or C++. Typical builds feel instantaneous; even large binaries compile in just a few seconds. And the compiled code runs close to the speed of C.”

Go has been in the works for the last two years, but has only been a full-time project at Google since the middle of last year.

It was born, the Go team says, “out of frustration with existing languages and environments for systems programming. Programming had become too difficult and the choice of languages was partly to blame,” a statement that sounds very much like Ken Thompson.

“One had to choose either efficient compilation, efficient execution, or ease of programming; all three were not available in the same mainstream language. Programmers who could were choosing ease over safety and efficiency by moving to dynamically typed languages such as Python and JavaScript rather than C++ or, to a lesser extent, Java.”

“Go,” says one of the team’s FAQs, “is an attempt to combine the ease of programming of an interpreted, dynamically typed language with the efficiency and safety of a statically typed, compiled language. It also aims to be modern, with support for networked and multi-core computing. Finally, it is intended to be fast: it should take at most a few seconds to build a large executable on a single computer. To meet these goals required addressing a number of linguistic issues: an expressive but lightweight type system; concurrency and garbage collection; rigid dependency specification; and so on. These cannot be addressed well by libraries or tools; a new language was called for.”

Go descends from C in syntax and borrows declarations and packages from the Pascal/Modula/Oberon family and concurrency from Limbo, but it’s still a completely new language, its creators say, meant to escape the “bookkeeping, repetition and clerical work” of current languages as well as their “clutter and complexity” while still being “sophisticated.”

It’s object-oriented but without the type hierarchies.

Although it’s meant to make writing the servers and other software Google uses internally a lot easier, Go isn’t mature enough for large-scale production use yet. Its development team is experimenting with it as a candidate server environment and the server behind http://golang.org is a Go program.

Since Thompson’s involved, one would assume that the project’s called Go after the oriental board game that’s sort of like chess. He worked on Belle, the first chess program to get a master’s rating.

See here and here.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The term "digital transformation" (DX) is being used by everyone for just about any company initiative that involves technology, the web, ecommerce, software, or even customer experience. While the term has certainly turned into a buzzword with a lot of hype, the transition to a more connected, digital world is real and comes with real challenges. In his opening keynote, Four Essentials To Become DX Hero Status Now, Jonathan Hoppe, Co-Founder and CTO of Total Uptime Technologies, shared that ...
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...