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IntroductionI am asked quite a bit about when and when not to use pointers in Go. The problem most people have, is that they try to make this decision based on what they think the performance tradeoff will be. Hence the problem, don’t make coding decisions based on unfounded thoughts you may have about performance. Make coding decisions based on the code being idiomatic, simple, readable and reasonable.
My use of pointers is based on discoveries I have made looking at code from the standard library. There are always exceptions to these rules, but what I will show you is common practice. It starts with classifying the type of value that needs to be shared. These type classifications are built-in, struct and reference types. Let’s look at each one individually.Built-In TypesGo’s built-in types represent primitive data values that are the building blocks for managing and working with data. I group these types collectively as the set of boolean, numeric and string types. When declaring functions and methods that accept values of these types, the standard library rarely shares them with a pointer.Let’s start by looking at the isShellSpecialVar function from the env package: Listing 1
We have taught Go to thousands of developers all around the world since 2014. There is no other company that has been doing it longer and our material has proven to help jump start developers 6 to 12 months ahead of their knowledge of Go. We know what knowledge developers need in order to be productive and efficient when writing software in Go.
Our classes are perfect for both experienced and beginning engineers. We start every class from the beginning and get very detailed about the internals, mechanics, specification, guidelines, best practices and design philosophies. We cover a lot about "if performance matters" with a focus on mechanical sympathy, data oriented design, decoupling and writing production software.
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