Up until November 2009, Python used to be one of the top choices when it came to high-end general-purpose programming. The arrival of Go (also called Golang), a statically typed programing language developed at Google challenged Python’s fame in a big way. Data scientists and developers suddenly had a new, clean, easy and yet incredibly efficient tool at their hands. They couldn’t help falling in love with it.
According to Stack Overflow developer survey 2018, Python, with 38.8 percent votes was still the more liked of the 2 programming languages. But despite securing only 7.1 percent of the votes, Go has been gaining popularity and acceptance at a rapid rate. Many of the world’s top app developers are switching to Go for their new projects.
Uncertain which of the two languages to choose for developing your project? The following information will help clear things up for you.
Python is an interpreted programming language first conceived in the late 1980s and released in 1991. It was designed by Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum. Python has since been revised to Python 2.0 in the year 2000 and later to Python 3.0 in 2008. With Python, the written code does not get translated to a format that can be read by the computer at runtime. Being a general-purpose language, Python can be used for virtually every kind of software and applications.
Go is a highly expressive language that was designed with a strong focus on eliminating the extraneous garbage that’s associated with C++ and other modern programming languages. The lead developers Rob Pike, Robert Griesemer and Ken Thompson loosely followed the syntax of programming language C when creating Go. Pointer arithmetic, type inheritance, method as well as operator overloading, and a powerful library are some of the salient features of GO.
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Deciding the better of the two most popular programming languages of our time wouldn’t be possible without comparing them based on their features, usefulness and real-world applications. So, let’s get started.
One of the biggest demands of modern apps is their scalability – the capability of handling an increase in the number of users and clients. A newly launched app needs to be able to remain functionally efficient as the user base grows.
Python is more suited to parallelism – splitting up a task into multiple, smaller sub-tasks and then working on these sub-tasks in parallel. It’s not the ideal choice when it comes to concurrency or working multiple tasks at the same time.
Go, on the other hand, has in-built support for concurrency. It’s been designed to tackle large scale apps by working on multiple tasks the same time.
If scalability is a big factor for the app you’re working on, you’d best opt for Go as your primary programming language.
2. Code readability
Readability of the code becomes an important factor when your project involves more than a few developers. The choice of language used for a particular application should ideally offer ease of readability, with minimal confusion.
Python has one of the highest degrees of readability among the popular programming languages of our times. But it’s also highly versatile and that can sometimes become an issue, especially in case of big codes and larger developmental teams.
With Go, the versatility is somewhat limited. It has well-defined rule sets that prohibit the creation and import of unwanted variables and libraries. With strict procedures for every task, Go is great for large developer groups.
Overall, it’s safe to say that Go is to be preferred over Python for readability, especially when working with large developmental teams.
Libraries are exiting codes that can be used and reused for solving common problems. A programming language with a rich library is the obvious choice of programmers and developers alike.
Python’s libraries are vast, covering packages like Numpy (used for matrix functions and array handling), Pandas (for data analysis), OpenCV (for image processing) and Tensorflow (for deep learning).
But Go’s in-built libraries also cover all the essential usage fields, including encryption, database handling, concurrent programming, and web development.
In terms of the sheer scope of libraries, Python is the top choice. Go, however, is not too far behind.
When it comes to code execution, the basic design of the languages plays a big role. Python is a dynamically typed programing language where the interpreter’s role is crucial. Even minor errors in interpreting the code can result in residual bugs.
Go is a statically typed programming language which means that all the variables are prominently shared with the computer. This allows even minor bugs easy to spot and eradicate.
Since Go allows for negligible bugs and errors in interpretation, it’s preferable to Python, particularly in case of bigger programs.
5. Performance and memory management
While both Python and go are excellent when it comes to memory usage and fast problem solving, Go’s performance and memory management when it comes to running complex computation is better than Python’s.
Go is faster when it comes to operations like mathematical calculations and at reducing memory consumption during the operations which makes it a better choice for large apps that involve complex problem-solving.
Head to head, Go is definitely the superior choice to Python. While Python has created a loyal base for itself over the years and gained trust across the industry, Go, with all its merits seems set to grow into a bigger challenge for Python’s popularity in the near future.
Nikhil Bansal is the CEO and Founder of Apptunix, a leading web and mobile app development company helping businesses in streamlining their processes with powerful and intuitive mobile apps. With extensive experience in iOS app development, he has established himself as a highly-focused Solution Architect and UX expert, the one who is always ready to make efforts in the direction where technology blends with lives.