Google Launches Version 1.1 Of Its Go Programming Language, Promises Noticeable Performance Boost

Google today launched version 1.1 of its open source Go programming language. It’s been more than a year since Google launched version 1.0 of Go. The language, which puts an emphasis on concurrency and speed, has seen three maintenance releases since then, but the team has been conservative with bumping up its version numbers. This new version, however, the Go team writes, introduces a number of significant performance-related improvements that warrant the new version number and existing Go code should run noticeably faster when built with Go 1.1.

Version 1 was meant to show that Go had arrived at a level where users could expect a certain level of maturity and stability, as well as compatibility with future releases. Today’s release, the team says, lives up to this promise. It introduces a number of significant languages and library changes, but all of these remain backwards-compatible. “Very little if any code will need modifications to run with Go 1.1,” the team writes.

flying_gopherAmong the changes in this new version are, “optimizations in the compiler and linker, garbage collector, goroutine scheduler, map implementation, and parts of the standard library.”

The new version also introduces method values, makes some changes to return requirements (which should lead to more succinct and correct programs, Google says), as well as a new race detector, which can find memory synchronization errors.

Over the last few months, Go has definitely seen an impressive increase in developer interest and quite a few companies have now adopted it as their go-to language for problems that can benefit from Go’s support for concurrent programming. CloudFlare, for example, uses it in production to run important aspects of its Railgun software, Bitly uses it to power some parts of its infrastructure, as do Heroku and an increasing number of startups and established companies.

While Dart, Google’s browser-based replacement for JavaScript seems to have trouble catching on, the company is clearly on to something with Go and the language, which was first conceived in 2007, looks to have a bright future ahead of itself as developers look for a modern language with built-in garbage collection and concurrency.