I'm intrigued by the way Go abandons class hierarchies and seems to completely abandon the notion of class in the typical object oriented sense. Also, I'm amazed at the way interfaces can be defined without the type which implements that interface needing to know.

Are there any terms which are/can be used to characterize this type of programming methodology and language paradigm (or perhaps specific aspects of it)? Is the Go language paradigm sufficiently new and distinct from the classical OOP paradigm and sufficiently important in the history of computer programming to warrant a unique name?

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    I'm going to suggest it be called "Go-go coding"! :P Jan 17, 2012 at 16:41
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    The "have a type implement an interface without the type itself knowing" concept isn't new; Haskell has had pretty much the same thing (only they call it typeclasses instead of interfaces) for quite a while now.
    – tdammers
    Jan 17, 2012 at 16:43
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    I think of the type-ignorantly-implementing-interface as a form of duck-typing, and Rob Pike explicitly says so in this presentation: golang.org/doc/ExpressivenessOfGo.pdf Jan 17, 2012 at 16:50

2 Answers 2


Message passing between lightweight execution contexts, coupled with ability to create and destroy these contexts dynamically, is basically the actor model.

Programming languages tend to approach the expression problem in one of two ways: OO-languages tend to focus on making it easier to implement the same operations using different data types (e.g. "object I can click on with a mouse" might be a scrollbar, a window, a menu, a text-box, etc. - same operation, different data representations), while functional languages tend to focus on easily implementing new operations against the same underlying data types. By abandoning class hierarchies, Go seems to end up more on the "functional" side of this divide.

As Adam Crossland indicated in his comment, "type-ignorantly-implementing-interface" can be considered a form of duck-typing, which is highly prevalent in dynamic languages. (It's more technically correct, though, to consider this as a structural type system within Go. C++ templates are probably the most popular implementation of a structural type system today.)

Go has plenty of antecedents - I don't think any one of its ideas are original to the language. But I think that's generally the wrong measure for a language intended to be practical. Go looks like it mixes useful ideas from several different domains together in an elegant way, that (I think) would result in more productive programming than C# or Java might yield. I hope it gains traction.

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    +1, especially for "Go looks like it mixes useful ideas from several different domains together in an elegant way"
    – RCE
    Jan 18, 2012 at 5:10

Concurrency primitives.

Communicating Sequential Processes or CSP is a paper by Charles Antony Richard Hoare, first published in 1985 by Prentice Hall International.

Erlang is a functional language and Go is structured, one might say that Erlang is the predicator to Go.

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