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Sunday 4:45 p.m.–5:25 p.m. in Colony Ballroom

Go for Python Hackers

Greg Ward

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There is a resurgence of native-compiled programming languages going on. Some of this work is in response to Python; we're now part of The Establishment against which newcomers are measured. I'll give an overview of Go, a recent native-compiled language, and how it relates to Python.


The next time you need to reach down the stack and use a low-level compiled language for maximum efficiency, C might no longer be the language of choice. There is a small resurgence of native-compiled system programming languages going on. Of interest to Python programmers is that at least some of this work is an obvious response to Python; it seems that we're no longer some obscure language used by a tiny minority, we are now part of The Establishment against which newcomers must measure themselves.

In particular, Go is a relatively young language brought to us by some of the best-known language designers and compiler writers around, including Ken Thompson and Rob Pike. Despite the fact that Go is clearly an evolution of C, that it borrows Java's best feature without Java's many annoyances, and that it is very wary of C++-style magic, Python is a frequent point of comparison in the Go community. I'll give a whirlwind introduction to the major features of Go, try to give you a feel for how it differs from other major languages, and speculate on what this means for Python.

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