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Google Unveils Go 1.1 Ahead of Annual I/O Conference

Google announced the release of version 1.1 of its Go programming language two days before its annual I/O conference, which gets underway on Wednesday. The first major update of the open source language since the search engine giant released version 1 just about a year ago focuses on performance-related improvements, including optimization of the compiler and linker, garbage collector, goroutine scheduler, map implementation and parts of the standard library

Google engineer Andrew Gerrand announced the release on Monday in "The Go Programming Language Blog." "It is likely that your Go code will run noticeably faster when built with Go 1.1," he wrote.

The new version also comes with minor changes to the language itself. Gerrand calls out two of those changes: modifications to return requirements, which he says will lead to "more succinct and correct programs;" and the introduction of method values, which provides "an expressive way to bind a method to its receiver as a function value."

Concurrent programming is also safer in this version, Gerrand says, because of the addition of a data race detector for ferreting out memory synch errors in the program. More details about how the race detector works are included in the new Go manual. Also, the tools and standard library have been improved and expanded.

First announced in 2009, Go (also known as "Golang") is a compiled, garbage-collected, concurrent system programming language that Google reportedly uses in its own production systems. According to Gerrand, more than 2,600 commits from 161 people have been contributed to the project since Go 1.0 was released.

"All this would not have been possible without the help of our contributors from the open source community," Gerrand added, highlighting the contributions of Shenghou Ma, Rémy Oudompheng, Dave Cheney, Mikio Hara, Alex Brainman, Jan Ziak, and Daniel Morsing.

Go 1.1 is compatible with Go 1.0, but the project leaders recommend that users upgrade to the new release, which can be downloaded here.

The announcement underscores the emphasis Google I/O conference organizers are placing on developers at this year's event.

"This is truly a developer conference this year," one event organizer told @ADTmag. "They're definitely the focus this year."

Sundar Pichai, head of Google's Android group, seemed to be managing expectations for this year's event in a Wired interview. The company won't be launching many new products at this year's show, he said, but instead will show off the work being done by developers on the Android and Google platforms.

That organizer also said that this year's event looks to be the largest to date, with more than 5,500 registered attendees, 120 technical sessions, 18 code labs (essentially, hackathons) and 185 partners in the "Sandbox" showing off their products and services.

Posted by John K. Waters on May 14, 2013