The interface construct in the Go language is one of its most immediately visible features. Interfaces in Go are ubiquitous, but I am afraid that the best way to use them has not yet fully been explored. Moreover, in practice, Go interfaces seem to be used in ways that were not intended, and are not necessarily entirely beneficial, such as an implementation shortcut to the classic Handle/Body idiom that hides interchangeable implementations behind a common, well, interface.
How short can a complete, competitive sort algorithm be? Less than half a dozen lines? Maybe just 3 or 4?
The Nelder-Mead-Algorithm (also known as the “Simplex Algorithm” or even as the “Amoeba Algorithm”) is an algorithm for the minimization of non-linear functions in several variables. In contrast to other non-linear minimization methods, it does not require gradient information. This makes it less efficient, but also less prone to divergence problems. In contrast to other methods, it is not necessary for the minimum to be bracketed by the initial guess: the algorithm performs a limited “global” search. (It may still converge to a local, rather than the global extremum, of course.) Finally, the algorithm is fairly simple to implement as a stand-alone routine, which makes it a natural choice for multi-dimensional minimization if function evaluations are not prohibitively expensive.
When writing programs that do computations, my overwhelming preference is to simply write results to standard output, and to use shell redirection to capture the output in a file. In this way, I am leveraging the shell’s full functionality, in particular filename completion, in the most convenient way possible. For the file format itself, I prefer simple, column-oriented, delimiter-separated flat files. They are completely portable, and can be read and understood by most tools. (They also play well with the usual Unix toolset.)
But this simple approach breaks down, once a program has to write more than one output stream: for example in the case of a simulation run, I may want to capture periodic snapshots of the simulation itself, but also track various calculated metrics as well. These two streams will not fit comfortable into a single flat file. One option is to use a structured file format, the other option is to write to multiple files simultaneously.
Among my favorite features of the Go language is the fact that Go has concurrency and network programming “natively” built in. It reflects Go as being designed for the 21st century, where the network is as much taken for granted as the filesystem was towards the end of the 20th.
As cut-n-paste examples, here are skeleton implementation of both an HTTP server and an HTTP client. These implementations are intentionally bare-bones, so as not to obscure the most relevant points. It should be easy enough to extend them as desired.