Chapter 3. Concurrency in Go

This chapter covers

  • Understanding Go’s concurrency model
  • Using goroutines for concurrent processing
  • Locking and waiting
  • Using channels for communication between goroutines
  • Strategically closing channels

This chapter presents Go’s concurrency model. Unlike many recent procedural and object-oriented languages, Go doesn’t provide a threading model for concurrency. Instead, it uses goroutines and channels. Concurrency is cheap (resource-wise) and much easier to manage than traditional thread pools. This chapter first focuses on goroutines, functions capable of running concurrently. Then it dives into channels, Go’s mechanism for communicating between goroutines.

3.1. Understanding Go’s concurrency model

Roughly speaking, concurrency is a program’s ability to do multiple things at the same time. In practice, when we talk about concurrent programs, we mean programs that have two or more tasks that run independently of each other, at about the same time, but remain part of the same program.

Popular programming languages such as Java and Python implement concurrency by using threads. Go takes a different route. Following a model proposed by the renowned computer scientist Tony Hoare, Go uses the concurrency model called Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP). This chapter covers the practical aspects of working with Go’s concurrency model, though we suggest reading a little about the theory behind CSP and Go at golang.org.

3.2. Working with goroutines

3.3. Working with channels

3.4. Summary

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