Go Help

Go 1.0 is Here!

March 28, 2012

Congratulations to the Google Go team.  The Google Go Language has reached Version 1.0.  Since November 2009 the Go team has worked steadily to polish what was already an excellent language idea.    They were very receptive to input from developers and encouraged participation in the development of the language.  It is a great example of how an open source project should be run.

I started this site soon after the introduction of Go to help people get started.  It has not been updated for a while, however much of what it contains is still relevant.  The scripts need to be updated to use the new Go Tools like Go Install for an automated build.  Go is now a standard mime type in newer Linux distributions, so syntax highlighting is already there for  most editors.  Go installation is now much easier, you can just download the appropriate binary libraries for your OS, you do not need to maintain your own sources and compile everything from scratch.

The question most often is asked by the person new to Go is, “What editor or IDE should I use?”.  The short answer is, “To get started, use whatever you like”.  All that is required is a basic editor.  For old school or command line lovers, you can use ed, nano, vi, vim, emacs.  Even though I am old and have used all of these, I prefer a graphic IDE.  Here your choice is again very broad.  For Linux users, you can start with whatever your distribution offers.  Gnome based distributions have or can easily add Gedit.  KDE has Kate.  You could even use Leafpad.

There are 2 other choices that are worth considering for more advanced needs, both are cross platform.   Eclipse is a very full featured professional IDE.  A plug-in has been written, Goclipse, that integrates Go project build and debugging functionality into Eclipse.  GolangIDE is a simple, lightweight IDE for Go that includes all of the important features of a good IDE.  Both include built-in gdb graphical debugging.

The Go language has many interesting improvements in syntax over existing systems languages.  But, what makes Go compelling to me is that it makes concurrent programming easy and robust.  The other mainstream languages, like Java and Python (and I like Python), are clumsy, convoluted and just plain painful in their handling of concurrent processing.  They do not give one any feeling of scalability or robustness.  With the future of processors definitely going toward more and more cores, it important for our programs to automatically take advantage of them without any special consideration,  Go does that with incredible simplicity.




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  15. hey jgord,
    sad to hear about your health problems, i hope all is well now.
    On your question:
    i read up a bit on your comments to various issues like non interactive shells and environment variables and i found that all the “know how” you get while simply doing your go-stuff and that is spread on all these google groups and this site can be a quite impressive source of knowledge for people having issues or just starting out with Go.
    Since you focus on things like
    – Version Control
    – Code Editors
    – General considerations on Go Toolchain

    my suggestion would be to simply dig up stuff like that and compile it. A focused site on these topics sounds like a good idea, i would not go too deep into any of that and simply give general ideas on stuff and use comment section for getting some input on what to flesh out. Also there is new respectable editors around that meanwhile have quite a following aside the usual vim/emacs clique like sublime text. There is even a nice community plugin called GoSublime that together with nsf/Gocode makes an impressive IDE.

    So in a nutshell:
    – use the experience you gain while coding
    – stay focused on the topics and don’t get too broad
    – compile informations from other sources that are on topic
    – benefit from user input/criticism etc.

    that way you get information that is interesting for you. the best help sites are those where the authors get helped too. And there is no such thing as the best IDE. There is a lot of really good stuff around and Programmers are highly individualistic if it comes to the IDE of choice. Programmers are the only plumbers in existence that instead of fixing the toilet ASAP spend huge amounts on finding the right tools first :D

    btw in that thread here you make some good points.
    but there is a multitude of Linux installations out there where $HOME/.profile is modified by some admin software on top of linux.
    In these cases only bashrc remains as an option as sad as it is.

    Comment by shabannaasso — February 20, 2013 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  16. The latest version of the Zeus IDE now has support for Go: http://www.zeusedit.com/go.html

    Zeus is native to Windows but it also runs fine on Linux using Wine.

    Jussi Jumppanen
    Author: Zeus IDE

    Comment by Jussi Jumppanen — January 26, 2013 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  17. I just read your posts and it was pretty much what went through my head too when i thought back.
    I started with Go very early too and your help site about setting up gedit as a Go IDE was a very big help.
    So thanx for this cool contribution.

    Comment by Shaban Naasso (@Shaban_Naasso) — April 27, 2012 @ 3:22 am | Reply

    • Thank you for your kind comments. I am glad to hear that the information was useful. I have been trying out other editors for the last few months, including Goclipse, and I keep coming back to gedit. The latest version 3 has some very nice improvements, including multiple tab groups, ie, side by side edits.

      I would be interested to know your opinion, if you think it would be worthwhile for me to update the site with ways to use gedit 3 for GO 1.

      Thank you

      Comment by jgord — May 2, 2012 @ 3:41 pm | Reply

      • sorry for the late answer,

        to be honest, with all the changes in the Linux User Interface landscape (Wayland, Gnome 3, Unity) i was a bit put off and got me an imac. Not a fanboy but i really enjoy it until Linux finds a better direction at dealing with their Desktop.
        At the moment i am using Goclipse because i have to work with very different Computers and Operating Systems due to my job.
        And the one really good thing about Eclipse is the Remote Systems which give you a reasonably usable Terminal on every desktop (has a few problems with editors in shell mode).

        Sorry again for being so late and not having a lot to contribute to your original question. Just trying to explain my opinion (that a lot of people i recently talked to share) so you can draw your conclusions.
        Wish you a good time and lots of success :)

        Comment by Shaban Naasso — February 15, 2013 @ 7:44 am

      • Better late than never. I too have struggled with OS choices. I stayed with Ubuntu 11.04 with Classic Gnome as long as possible. I tried all of the Linux options and ended up with lubuntu 12.10. I don’t want the OS and desktop to run my life, just applications.

        Almost a year ago, I started building a website for Goclipse to show how to create and use a minimal build just for Go, without all the Java and heavy duty project management stuff. I got sidelined with health issues, but now am thinking about reviving that project. Do you think that there is a demand for that?

        Comment by jgord — February 20, 2013 @ 10:35 am

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