More on Google’s sense of its manifest destiny…
But Go has some assets most languages don't.
First, the project is at Google, which has a powerful incentive to make something useful in order to get more out of its hundreds of thousands of servers and its countless in-house programmers. An experiment at Google could have more commercial relevance than many other company's actual products, and Go is already graduated from a 20 percent time project to one with formal support.
"We don't intend it to be experimental forever," Pike said. "We really want to build stuff for real with this."
Second, there's the Go team's pedigree. Among them:
• Thompson, the winner of the 1983 Turing Award and 1998 National Medal of Technology, who, along with Dennis Ritchie, was an original creator of Unix. Thompson also came up with the B programming language that led to the widely used C from Ritchie.
• Pike, a principal software engineer who was a member of Bell Labs' Unix team and a later operating-system project called Plan 9. He's worked with Thompson for years and with him created the widely used UTF-8 character-encoding scheme.