Most development teams conduct forums to decide the best language suitable for their project. There are numerous languages for every purpose you could think of. Amongst these coding languages, developers are often stuck between Golang and Python. This tutorial will help you compare the two languages based on various parameters.
Before you get around to comparing Golang vs. Python, go through a brief introduction to both these languages.
What Is Golang?
Golang is an open-source programming language launched by Google back in 2009. The Go programming language was born to carry away all the excess baggage found in languages such as C++. Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson designed a procedural, compiled, and statically typed language to reduce the complexity of managing the infrastructure and codebases within Google.
It resolved many issues, but it also comes short with a few things. For one, it does not have an extensive library nor support for inheritance. In addition, there is no GUI library or object-oriented programming support. But it has goroutines, strong security, and some standard libraries.
You can execute your code with no setup on the playground provided at golang.org.
What Is Python?
Python is a popular, in-demand, general-purpose programming language with straightforward syntax. Python was developed by Guido van Rossum in 1989 and was released in 1991. Python's name was taken from the popular BBC comedy show, "Monty Python's Flying Circus". Because of its various libraries and community support, Python has been used in a broad selection of projects and systems.
Python gives preference to indentation for blocks instead of curly braces. The standard indentation recommends standard Python code to use four spaces. Standard Python code supports both tabs and spaces.
Now, get down to comparing them.
Comparison Between Golang and Python
The parameters of comparison are:
Multiple tests show that Go runs up to 30 times faster than Python. Here, you will compare the performance of the languages by solving complex problems. You must consider memory usage and time spent solving the problem.
You solved three different problems using both languages: the Mandelbrot equation, n body problem, and binary tree. These are complex problems that take a lot of computation and operate as the best way to test the memory management and performance of the language.
This clearly shows you that Golang outshines Python when it comes to performance.
Let's do a comparison of the two from a scalability perspective.
The whole purpose of developing Golang was to help developers at Google scale up and deliver to the company's needs. That's why Golang was developed with inbuilt support for concurrent process channeling, i.e., concurrency. On the other hand, Python lacks concurrency but can execute parallelism through threads.
You will now understand the concept of concurrency and parallelism.
Concurrency and Parallelism
Concurrency means that an application runs more than one task simultaneously (concurrently), but only one up front and the rest in the background. If the computer possesses one CPU, the application may not progress on multiple tasks simultaneously, but more than one task is processed inside the application. It does not finish one task before it begins the next.
Parallelism means that an application runs its tasks into smaller tasks that can be processed in parallel on multiple CPUs simultaneously.
Take an example of a team of technicians building a monitor. Concurrency allows multiple technicians to build different parts of the monitor, but they share one common workbench for assembling the parts. Only one technician can assemble at the workbench at a time and other technicians operate on their parts in the background. With parallelism, you have multiple workbenches where technicians can be building parts simultaneously.
So, it's obvious that a language has support for concurrency. It is perfect for big and scalable programs.
Now, move ahead and compare these two languages based on their application now.
Golang is mostly used for systems programming. Because of its inherent support for concurrency, Golang has also found ample use and acceptance in cloud computing or cluster computing. Golang has also seen a lot of recognition and use in web development due to its powerful and easy-to-use libraries, which allow you to set up a web server in a matter of seconds.
On the other hand, Python is widely used in web development, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and deep learning. It can mostly accredit this to the insane libraries available in Python that make life in the said fields a lot easier.
Let's compare the two on the topic of execution.
Now, it’s time to understand how Go and Python are executed. Golang is a statically-typed language, while Python is a dynamically-typed language. Python and Golang use an interpreter and a compiler, respectively.
First, you will understand what is statically typed and dynamically typed language.
In a statically typed language, variable types are declared explicitly for the compiler so that even trivial bugs are caught easily.
In a dynamically typed language, the interpreter implements type inference; hence, some bugs may remain because the interpreter interprets something incorrectly.
This implies that Python, a dynamically typed language, limits the programmer when he intends to build a really big program. At the same time, Go can handle both types of programs.
Now, get on to libraries.
Google chose the most important libraries as a part of their built-in Go libraries. It has built-in libraries for web development, database handling, concurrent programming, and encryption. But, you would have to write your code to search through data tables and perform operations. Machine learning would be a big thing to develop in Go. But this doesn't mean Golang falls short in any terms. It has some very well-curated libraries.
- GORM: It helps in converting data between incompatible type systems.
- cli: It was developed for building command-line apps for Go.
- Go Kit: It is Github's popular library for Go-related microservices.
- Authboss: It is an easy way to implement authentication and authorization in your web systems.
On the other hand, Python is almost 16 years older than Go, resulting in much larger community support. Python has a huge amount of support, lessons, tutorials, and ultimately libraries with that community. The Python libraries, in particular, are vast. Exploring data tables can be easily done with Pandas, and machine learning is simple with TensorFlow and PyTorch. This type of support can get anyone writing code to do what they want on Day One.
Now it’s time to get to the next point of comparison: readability.
While developing software, you will generally work as a team with tens or even hundreds of other developers. At such times, code readability is the major factor to consider.
Golang has strict programming rules. It doesn't allow unnecessary variables to be defined or unnecessary libraries to be imported. This implies a definite way to perform a task, leading to a better understanding of code while working in a team. Golang's syntax is not friendly to beginners, but it's not as unforgiving as C or C++.
On the other hand, Python has fantastic readability. But there are various ways to write a single piece of code in Python, which mostly leads to time consumption and confusion in a team.
Disadvantages of GO
Few drawbacks of GO language:
- Lack of frameworks: There are no major frameworks for GoLang developers. Other languages such as Ruby have Ruby on Rails, Python has Django and PHP has Laravel.
- Not a generic language: Go does not have generic support. This is due to the repetition of codes for the same type of operations but with different data types. Moreover, some data structures cannot be implemented because of a lack of generic support.
- Still in the Development Stage: Still in the development stage, Golang developers are finding it hard to extract the best out of its libraries. In case of doubt, there isn’t much assistance through the Go community.
Disadvantages of Python
Few drawbacks of Python language:
- Used in fewer platforms due to low speed: Python is not used in projects with speed as an important aspect. Python is an interpreted and dynamically-typed language responsible for Python's slow speed. The line-by-line execution of code often leads to slow execution.
- Weak in mobile computing: Due to slow processing power and no memory management, Python is not used on the client-side or mobile applications.
It is generally used in server-side programming, hence not used in app development.
- More errors at run-time: Python is designed as a dynamically typed language that allows it to change a variable's data type at any time. This may lead to runtime errors. A Python variable that once held an integer value may hold a string value in the future.
- Database access layer: Python has limitations with database access. Python lags in interaction with databases when compared with popular technologies like JDBC and ODBC. Python's database layer is a bit underdeveloped and primitive.
- Memory Consumption: Due to the flexibility of the data types, Python uses a large amount of memory, making it unsuitable for memory-intensive tasks.
Hope this tutorial helped you decide which language is better for your project.
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Go and Python is both easy to use and to learn. Go is fast and Python has a ton of community support. Python and Golang are very clear when it comes to syntax and lessen the developer's task to a greater extent. In Go’s development, itis mostly used for server-side applications. Python is the data scientist’s go-to language and likely will be for a long time to come.
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