Peter Bourgon, an independent software developer in Johannesburg, wrote "trivial" programs in Go after it was announced, but started on a large-scale application in January. "Go seems to be relatively stable and free of unexpected bugs and errors. I'm confident enough in the language that the application I'm working on -- which is, admittedly, mostly a toy -- is 100 percent Go, from the core processing all the way up to the Web server and templating engine serving the interface," said Bourgon, who specializes in multi-threaded server applications.
Developers also give the Google Go team kudos for their efforts at improving the language and at steering the project. "Turnaround on issues seems to be on the order of days, or at the worst a week, which is amazing, and it's great that the designers are extremely active on the mailing list," Bourgon said.
"They're fairly regular about pumping out new releases," said Voss.
Google has managed to incorporate input from developers without letting the open-source project spin out of control, some developers said.
"Open source does not mean anarchy. Somebody has to have a vision and the perseverance to see that through. The open source community can then create their own versions if they wish, but it is best if there is a main line, stable version with a consistent architecture with a guiding force behind it," Gordon said.
"I really appreciate that Go's authors are being very strict about formatting rules, and appear to be willing to push back against feature creep in order to keep the compiler/toolchain simple," Bourgon said. "It's an attitude I would have if I were doing their job, and I think at the end of the day it makes the language a lot stronger."
Google started planning Go in September 2007 and created a full-time team for it over a year ago. It was conceived as a language for systems programming, such as Web servers, storage systems and databases.
At this point, Go isn't mature enough for critical applications, but it is stable enough for "simple Web servers, text processing and other such things," Rob Pike, a Google software engineer who is one of the leaders of the Go project, said.
Google has been happily surprised at the level of involvement from outside developers. "The level of interest from the community has been higher than we expected and is very encouraging," Pike said.