Some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies have turned to Go to be the underlying technology to drive value for their customers. Netflix, BBC, Facebook, Docker, Atlassian, and the company that brought Go to life, Google. And why not? It is quick to learn, easy to master, and above all easy to maintain by individuals all the way up to large teams of engineers. On top of that, the Go community is welcoming with an inclusive and friendly culture–always wanting to continually innovate on the technology. At ActiveState, our interest in Go hails back many years, and we knew eventually we would produce a distribution to help foster the adoption of Go.
I’m very happy to announce that today we have released our beta version of ActiveGo –ActiveState’s distribution of open source Go 1.8. One thing to mention, Go is not beta software in any way, it is rock solid and continues to improve with each passing release. The beta part is entirely ActiveState’s distribution…what we provided, how we packaged it, documented it and the decisions we made. Go is already a prime-time performer, it is ready for your projects. Our goal for ActiveGo (like all our distros) is to make it as easy as possible for developers, and in particular teams of developers, to get up and running with the Go language.
ActiveGo is based on the open source distribution of Go, it is a complete version of the language and the tool chain. To this, we have added 70+ popular packages that will help you get started, point you in the right direction, and keep you productive as you build out your projects. These include packages for microservices development, database connectors, helpful programming packages, big data support, web application development and many more. I urge you to check out our ActiveGo page to see all the wonderful community projects we’ve included.
Note we have reviewed each package for the version (or commit) to use, ensure tests pass (where possible) and reviewed licenses before including in the distribution, so you can use them in your projects. We’ve also included full documentation, and provided both offline and online depending on your development needs. In addition, we’ve built several packages that were not written in pure Go, freeing the developer from C compilers and other dependencies.
On top of the packages bundled into ActiveGo, we also include important packages that are part of the core Go Project but outside the main Go tree–no need to fetch them individually, we provide: crypto, oauth2, image, sync, sys, tools, tour, and text.
For tools we’ve provided prebuilt versions of the delve debugger, golint and goimports for code quality. Speaking of code quality, we recommend our Komodo IDE, which is optionally offered as part of the installation. Komodo has support for Go offering syntax highlighting, code browsing, completion hinting and more to come in the near future!
To start we’ve built our first distribution for Windows, as this is traditionally the platform we start with as language adoption often struggles on this platform since many languages are very Linux or Unix centric. For our full release (which we expect to be out by May), we will provide our distribution on all major platforms, Linux, Windows, and MacOS.
After you have downloaded the beta and given it a try, let us know about your experience. Were there things we missed, any absolute must-haves as a Go developer? What is crucial before you would adopt it for your project? Questions about why we picked what we did? Your feedback is welcome! Send us your thoughts anonymously or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve been thinking about using Go for a project, ActiveGo is a great choice to get rolling. Download and test it out.