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Google submits Go apps container project to Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Did we say donate? We meant submit. Megacorp swiftly KOs former blog title

Google has offered its tool for pure Go Kubernetes containers to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) ... and may have thought it was a done deal.

The CNCF is the Linux Foundation project that acts as the guardian of Kubernetes since Google stepped away.

The KO project is a tool for building application containers that contain pure Go apps – in the project's description:

A single Go application without any/many dependencies on the OS base image (e.g., no cgo, no OS package dependencies).

A now-deleted post on Google's open source blog yesterday announced: "Google donates KO tool for simple fast and secure container image building to CNCF." However, this post was taken down and republished with a new, slightly more measured title: "KO applies to become a CNCF sandbox project".

A discussion on GitHub suggests that this might just be down to a misunderstanding over the submissions process to the CNCF sandbox. This could be the case, but Google has managed such things before, for instance with Knative, "which builds on Istio to provide eventing and scaling services," as we put it in 2020. Google denied it would hand this over in 2019, then handed it to the CNCF in 2021.

We are probably going much too far, but we can't help but wonder if wanting to hand over the tooling might suggest waning enthusiasm for Go within Google.

Google's Go programming language is still developing: version 1.19 came out a couple of months ago, and version 1.20 is in development. Even so, and despite interest, Go 2 seems no closer than it was in 2018 when senior Go engineer Ian Lance Taylor shared some ideas about it.

The verdict of the Fuchsia team on Go in 2020 was also negative. Although it scored five "pros" against four "cons", the result was:

Decision: Go is not approved

Whereas in the last year or so, Rust is getting more attention and community support. Notably, Google's new KataOS is "written almost entirely in Rust."

There's also been some notable informed criticism of Go in tech circles recently, including "Lies we tell ourselves to keep using Golang" from "Faster Than Lime", a follow-up to the author's earlier "I want off Mr Golang's Wild Ride". We do note, though, that a key objection in the earlier article, that Go lacks generics, was remedied in Go 1.18, released last March. ®

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