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Java vs. Google's Go: An epic battle for developer mind share

Go vs. Java isn’t a well-matched battle between equals. One is a monstrous heavyweight that has dominated the industry for years. The other is a scrappy, lightweight newcomer that shows plenty of youth and promise but has only a few punches.

Java and Go also tackle different niches. One is aimed squarely at server-side web apps, an area where the other was once a major player. The other has outgrown life in the racks and is now a popular choice for devices.

But not everyone has moved away from Java on the server side of web applications, territory Go is attacking, eating away at Java’s base. And the switch isn’t a terribly great leap, as the two are similar in many aspects. Both are loving homages to C, if not underneath, at least on the surface where many developers spend their lives grappling with syntax. They are both straightforward and imperative with enough structural similarities that it’s not hard to convert code between the two. (The TardisGo project, for instance, is one tool that will turn Go into Java, C#, or JavaScript.)

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