Google creates programming language to simplify app dev

Called Go, the language is being released as open source

Google has invented a new programming language designed to reduce the complexity of coding without compromising the performance of applications.

Called Go, the language has been tested internally at Google but is still at an experimental stage, so the company is releasing it Tuesday as open-source code in the hope that it will get help with its future development.

"We developed Go because we had become a bit frustrated with how difficult software development has become in the last 10 years or so," said Rob Pike, principal software engineer at Google.

Go aims to improve on the way existing programming languages manage dependencies, which are the software components that applications re-use, such as libraries, Pike said. The language also is designed to handle multiprocessor work particularly well, thanks to its concurrent programming model.

Google started working on Go about two years ago and devoted a team to work on it full time about a year ago. It was conceived as a language for systems programming, such as Web servers, storage systems and databases. However, Google is open to seeing it branch out into other areas.

At this point, Go isn't used in any user-facing Google service or application, since it still has to mature, which is where external programmers come into the picture. "We need better libraries and tools, and the open-source community is great at helping you with things like that," Pike said.

By creating a new programming language, Google continues making inroads into the realm of computing building blocks, prompted by a sense of urgency at making them better. This motivation has also led Google to embark on developing the Android mobile operating system, the Chrome PC brower and the still-unreleased Chrome operating system.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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