Where the compass is spinning around software

Thank you Java, but it's time to Go


I’ve been a dedicated Java developer since 1998 and it’s been a great tool. But recently there’s a couple of things I’ve been fretting about. I always been slow using keyboard (never learnt how to use it correctly). When programming that’s not always a bad thing, it gives you time to think about what you’re writing. But Java is very verbose and all those private, public, ;, getXXX, setXXX kind of gets in the way.

package main

import "fmt"

type Vertex struct {
	X int
	Y int

func main() {
	v := Vertex{1, 2}
	v.X = 4

Another thing that turns out to be complicated is coding standards. It’s all well when your on a greenfield project and the team can decide their own rules. But have you ever worked with legacy code that’s been abused for several years buy developers who rather wish they were on that super cool project? I know you can’t blame Java for this but it’s still a problem. Coding standards are like fashion and every developer has an opinion on where to put the {} and don’t mention line endings when your in a mixed Windows and *nix environment.

# Gofmt is a tool that automatically formats Go source code
$go fmt

When Java was released in 1995 the promise “write once, run anywhere” sounded very tempting but has shown not to be altogether true. There have been, and will always be, bugs and small differences in the JVM which means that your program will always be dependent on the version of the JVM running your byte code. That means you have at least two artifacts to consider and one of them is out of your control.

# Static compiled go binary that can be used in a Docker image.
# The binary is compiled using golang Docker image.
$CGO_ENABLED=0 GOOS=linux go build -ldflags "-s" -a -installsuffix cgo -o main

If your like me feeling young and haven’t aged a day since 1995, the truth is time goes by. Even if you do your best to keep young, it’s hard to change. Java has done a good job: HotSpot, Regular expressions, NIO, Generics, Annotations, primitive wrapper classes with autoboxing, Enumerations, Varargs and Lambda Expressions. Just take a look at the Java version history. But all this adds up and gains weight. Java has become hard to learn and understand and there are many pitfalls and compromises. Some times the right decision is to start all over and make something new based on what you’ve learnt.

$open http://tour.golang.org/welcome/1

I’m keeping Java in my toolbox but I’ve started using The Go Programming Language as my new tool and it’s great fun.

4 Feb 2016 #Development #Java #Golang