Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson created the Go programming language in 2007. It was originally designed as a general-purpose language with a keen focus on systems programming. The creators designed the Go language with a couple of core tenets in mind:
- Static typing
- Runtime efficiency
- Easy to learn
- High-performance networking and multiprocessing
Go was publicly announced in 2009 and v1.0.3 was released on March 3, 2012. At the time of the writing of this book, Go version 1.14 has been released, and Go version 2 is on the horizon. As mentioned, one of Go's initial core architecture considerations was to have high-performance networking and multiprocessing. This book will cover a lot of the design considerations that Griesemer, Pike, and Thompson have implemented and evangelized on behalf of their language. The designers created Go because they were unhappy with some of the choices and directions that were made in the C++ language. Long-running complications on large distributed compile clusters were a main source of pain for the creators. During this time, the authors started learning about the next C++ programming language release, dubbed C++x11. This C++ release had very many new features being planned, and the Go team decided they wanted to adopt an idiom of less is more in the computing language that they were using to do their work.
The authors of the language had their first meeting where they discussed starting with the C programming language, building features and removing extraneous functionality they didn't feel was important to the language. The team ended up starting from scratch, only borrowing some of the most atomic pieces of C and other languages they were comfortable with writing. After their work started to take form, they realized that they were taking away some of the core traits of other languages, notably the absence of headers, circular dependencies, and classes. The authors believe that even with the removal of many of these fragments, Go still can be more expressive than its predecessors.