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Go language group aims for a better newbie experience

Advocates of Google's Go have put together a working group to take the open source language forward in areas like installation and helping new users.

The DXWG (Developer Experience Working Group) will work on streamlining the experience for first-time Go users. Initial tasks include improving the Go installation experience, providing better guidelines to help new users, and offering guides on tooling and developer experiences, including editors and IDEs.

Also planned are user studies to analyze friction points, and improvements to Go Tour and Go Playground. The group's secondary goal is to better involve the Go community in charting the language's future.

Noting that Go's audience has shifted from early adopters to mainstream users, the working group said users are coming from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and expectations. "The needs of users are growing faster than the Go project can currently address them," said the group, which formed with an initial 11 members, including prominent Go proponents Chris Broadfoot and Dmitry Shuralyov. Additional members are sought to contribute code, write documentation and share feedback and experiences.

Go arrived on the scene in late 2009, followed by a 1.0 release a bit more than five years ago. Emphasizing capabilities like concurrency and a type system that accommodates modularity, the language has been scoring well lately in assessments such as Tiobe's language popularity index and the RedMonk Programming Language Rankings. A recent survey of mostly Go users conducted by the Go project itself found developers ready to champion the language even if fewer found it critical to their company's success.

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