Get Ready to Go

This quick cheatsheet will get you ready to start working on a go project like the IoT project.

Get Ready To Go

The IoT Gateway was written in the Go programming language. I won’t get into the reasons why Go is an excellent choice of programming language for this project other than to point out two advantages this project will benefit from right away:

Go is Compiled and easy to distribute

First, Go is a compiled language making the resulting executable self contained with no external libraries or run time environment to rebuild, just copy a single binary, that is it.

Unlike Node/JS, Python and other interpreted languages the entire run time environment must be replicated or recreated everywhere the program is to be run. With Go a single binary can be transferred and run with out any additional installation steps, build process or external dependencies.

Go executable are small and fast

A second wonderful advantage Go produces very small and fast programs that works well on some of the micro-controllers we are going to be working on such as the Raspberry Pi.

As the project moves forward we will discuss a number of other interesting aspects of the language that we will be taking advantage of as the needs of the project arise.

Install The Go Compiler

Go is very easy to setup. Either follow directions on the Go Website or if your on Ubuntu you can just run the command:

snap install go --classic

Make sure you have go installed by running:

% go version
go version go1.17.8 linux/amd64

The Main Function

Let’s build a simple Hello, world! program to make sure our set up is ready and that we can actually write, compile and run a Go program. Go is built around packages, every executable must have a package main and main() function (similar to C), like so:

package main

import "fmt"

func main() {
    fmt.Println("Hello, world!")

Now run the little program to make sure everything is working as expected:

% go mod init
% go mod tidy
% go run .
Hello, World!

If all goes well (and why would it not?) we’ll see Hello, World! printed on our screen. Fantastic!