Remember how Larry Ellison went on national television and accused
Google of coping Oracle’s software?
Ellison thinks Android copies a programming language owned by Oracle called Java.
Google is working on the ultimate come-back: It has created a programming language called Golang, or Go, that some people say can replace Java altogether.
Java was developed 20 years ago at Sun Microsystems and has since become an extremely popular language. Enterprises particularly love it. But some developers have been less than happy since Oracle gained control over Java in 2010, when it bought Sun. They complain that Oracle takes takes too long to bring out new Java development tools.
Still, no one outside of Google was looking seriously at Go as an alternative until Internet startup Iron.io became the first company to use the new language in a big way.
Iron.io offers a “messaging” cloud service for app developers, meaning its service helps apps talk to each other. It was built using Go.
That was two years ago, and since then Iron.io has gained some powerful customers, like Career Builder and The Motley Fool.
The company’s cofounders say they have become living proof that Go is ready to be trusted as an alternative to other popular languages, like Ruby and, most especially, Java.
We asked Iron.io cofounder and CTO Travis Reeder a few questions about Go. Here’s an edited transcript:
Business Insider: Other than using it for your own site, what’s your involvement with Go?
TR: We run the GoSF meetup in San Francisco and one of our first Go hires (Evan Shaw) is a top contributor to the core language. We have no direct involvement although being one of the first to use it in production and the first to post a job posting for it.
BI: You say that Go could one day replace Java, why is that?
TR: For many of the reasons … performance, memory usage, deployment ease, code quality. Java is an amazing language but it predates the cloud. It is much easier to build and deploy high performance applications in virtual environments in Go.
Should also note that Derek Collison (CEO, Apcera and former architect/technical director at Tibco, Google, and VMware) is also a big proponent and believer that it will take over the core of the cloud computing infrastructure.
If Go could replace Java for cloud computing, what would that do to Oracle?
It would remove a lot of connection to Oracle from companies in the cloud space and would ignite a whole new set of innovation based around Go libraries, frameworks, platforms and services. The lock-in that Java has within the enterprise would also dissipate as companies moved core areas of development to Go.