Google makes Go faster

Go 1.1 features a number of performance improvements, including a faster compiler

Google has updated its Go programming language, making it faster and more suitable for multicore processors.

"The most significant improvements are performance-related," wrote Google engineer Andrew Gerrand, in a post announcing the new version. "It is likely that your Go code will run noticeably faster when built with Go 1.1."

For this release, the Go development team optimized a number of major elements of Go, including the compiler and linker, garbage collector, scheduler, and parts of the standard library.

Google first launched Go in 2009 as an experimental programming language, one that combines the speed and safety of a compiled language such as C++ with the flexibility of a dynamic language such as JavaScript.

The company released the first full version of Go last year, and released three minor updates since then. In addition to using in-house staff to refine the language, Google accepted 2,600 code modifications from 161 contributors for this version.

In addition to the performance improvements, Go 1.1 has a number of other significant features. Programs in the language can run more smoothly across multiple processor cores, thanks to a new race detector. On the programming side, return requirements have been modified, which will reinforce more succinct coding habits.

Go 1.1 is fully backward compatible; it can recognize and run all programs built using Go 1.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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