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+ By declaring a field/variable []Thing vs []*Thing you get different for loop semantics. Way to easy to think your mutating the array item, but only mutating a local copy or vice versa. If you change the field/variable you need to audit all your code to make sure you haven't broken things.

+ gofmt feels way out of date. These days clang-format (c++), prettier (typescript), black (python), scalafmt (scala) take care of wrapping/unwrapping lines such as function definitions or function calls. They basically cover all formatting needs so you never have to manually format anything.

+ Scope of element in for-range loop isn't right, so capturing that scope in a lambda does the wrong thing with no warning.

+ Encourages use of indexes; which is error prone, most modern languages allow writing most code without needing indexes using map/filter/reduce or comprehensions.

+ No help from type-system for use of pointer without nil check.

+ Very easy to get nils in places one would hope to be able to prohibit them in. EG Using pointer as a poor man's unique_ptr<> means that I also get optional<> symantics (without the type checking) when I don't want or expect such. Also allows for aliasing when I don't want or expect such.

+ Difference between '=' and ':=' is silly, especially since ':=' can be used to reassign values. Even more frustrating that ':=' creates shadowing in nested scopes, so doesn't always do what one would expect it would do, such as accidentally creating a shadowed 'err' that doesn't get checked.

+ if/switch should be allowed to be expressions, allowing much safer single-expression initialization of variables, rather then requiring default initialization and mutation, which is much easier to get wrong.






> By declaring a field/variable []Thing vs []* Thing you get different for loop semantics. Way to easy to think your mutating the array item, but only mutating a local copy or vice versa.

The loop semantics are always the same, the element variable is a copy of the value at the current index. Yes that means that if the value is a pointer, the copy of that pointer can be used to modify the pointed data. This is something a good Go programmer should understand well because this behavior goes way beyond for loops. For example functions - func (t Thing) vs func (t * Thing) - with the pointer version the body of the function can modify the pointed data. Side-effects! Just like the for loop.

> gofmt feels way out of date.

I like to think of it as stable. The biggest strength of gofmt is how universal it is. Everyone uses it and all code out there looks the same. There's a growing collection of Go code out there. If gofmt would keep changing its style, then all the already published code would no longer match the standard. Thus, I think there needs to be a real strong reason to modify anything about it.


I actually like Go's simplicity a lot, it was very easy for me to learn and very easy to programming with it because of that. But I agree strongly with some of your points. = vs := specifically feels like a plain mistake, and even against Go philosophy of having just 1 way to do things.

I think any new language should be designed around options instead of nils. F#, Rust, Zig show different ways to do this, and often any performance penalty can be compiled away.

if/switch being expressions is a simple and helpful idea, languages should allow this.

using map/filter/reduce as the idiomatic way to do things I am less sure about. This can come in handy but also would add a lot of complexity to Go, and in most languages these have a performance penalty.

its important to remember that not all programmers are interested in languages, they just want to get their project done. So being able to hop into a code base and have low cognitive overhead, because there are no mysterious features they have to learn, having quick compile times, and explicit semantics can be really helpful there. That can save you more time than typing less because of generics and meta programming sometimes.


'and in most languages these have a performance penalty' - pretty sure this is due to either bad implementation or because of additional guarantees they provide. Because fundamentally these constructs can be rewritten to be loops by the compiler, except where you're wanting to violate the guarantees they enforce (i.e., maybe you want to mutate every item in the array, rather than treating it as immutable; these won't do that). For those few situations you want to violate those guarantees, you wouldn't reach for these higher order functions. There's not really any reason not to include them except for language design ethos.

> Encourages use of indexes; which is error prone, most modern languages allow writing most code without needing indexes using map/filter/reduce or comprehensions.

Sometimes (most of the time, actually) I want exactly that. Please, take a look at cryptography libraries and try to implement them without using indexes. Horrifying. Try to create a 3-dimensional array in Erlang, for example, and try to work with it![1] No thank you. I do like my arrays and indexes.

[1] I do use and like Erlang for stuff where I do not have to use arrays though.


This doesn't contradict the post you're replying to. Most times (as evident by the wide prevalence of map/filter/reduce functions) there is no need to access indexes. Other times, practically all languages that offer these functions allow you to write a plain for loop.

> + gofmt feels way out of date. These days clang-format (c++), prettier (typescript), black (python), scalafmt (scala) take care of wrapping/unwrapping lines such as function definitions or function calls. They basically cover all formatting needs so you never have to manually format anything.

gofmt is the best formatter out there because it is opinionated. The fact that people constantly tune their formatter (if there is one) in other languages makes it a nightmare to read different codebases. As someone who used to read code for a living, Golang is a pure joy to read, you always feel like you're in the same codebase.

> + No help from type-system for use of pointer without nil check.

I do wish they had an Option type

> + Difference between '=' and ':=' is silly, especially since ':=' can be used to reassign values. Even more frustrating that ':=' creates shadowing in nested scopes, so doesn't always do what one would expect it would do, such as accidentally creating a shadowed 'err' that doesn't get checked.

I too am not a fan of shadowing via :=

> + if/switch should be allowed to be expressions, allowing much safer single-expression initialization of variables, rather then requiring default initialization and mutation, which is much easier to get wrong.

I would advocate for match statements instead.


These complaints may be valid, though for me, the upsides of Go makes it worth it, depending on what you want to do of course.

Arrays/slices/maps/pointers: Go abstracts over the inherent safety-limitations in ways that do not make much sense. They may make sense from a blend of safety- and performance perspective.

Index usage: Go allows to loop over elements instead of indexes and also provides the correct range of indexes in for-loops. More functional expressions would mystify execution, while Go is more WYSIWYG of languages.

Shadowing: Yes bad, but also bad to have many layers of deep scopes for this to become problematic. Best practices of Error-variable has problems.

Initialization in if/switch: Go being a niche lower level ("system") language, it's closer to the actual physical layer. A good idea not to do too much in the same expression/line, making it easier to read and making correct assumptions.


> Index usage: Go allows to loop over elements instead of indexes and also provides the correct range of indexes in for-loops. More functional expressions would mystify execution, while Go is more WYSIWYG of languages.

Indexes are the default though, you have to explicitly ignore them if you want to use the values directly.

More importantly, there are several simple operations that simply require indexes: most error prone is trying to create a pointer to an element in a slice. The natural, high level way of doing that would be

    pointers := []*element{} 
    for _,value := rang elements {
        pointers = append(pointers, &value)
    }
Which looks very nice, but does the completely wrong thing. You absolutely must use the index version of you want to do this. Same would be true if you were to capture the value in a closure.

True, there are gotchas in the basic data structures and pointer usage.



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