re: The Problem with Interfaces, and how Go Fixed it VIEW POST


The Go developers believe that, with interfaces, you mostly care about what something can do, not what something is. So, instead of having a rigid type system with inheritance and all that mess, they allow functions and methods to just declare "I need something that can do these things." If you're coming from a more complex type system, like Java (which is where I came from), it can take some getting used to, but it's really one of my favorite parts of Go. It lets me concentrate on what things need to be doing, not what crazy class tree they're part of.

I also come from Java world. I can see what you mean, but still what is the problem of just saying that this class implements this interface? This is completely unrelated to inheritance.

Because declaring what an object is requires that you know that something exists.
Take that salad example from earlier: even though salads can be eaten, because it doesn't know the Edible interface exists, it isn't "Edible"
In Go, because Salad has an "Eat()" method, it can do everything that an Edible can do, so it is considered Edible.

Well, I stopped to think about this a little more and I don't think I ever used 2 interfaces with the same method names in any of my code ever (although I have not been coding type-safe languages for a while now). I can see why go went this route, but it is hard to measure how many problems this might cause without making a large-scale project.

I still like the idea of specifying in the class what interfaces it implements, for example if a class implements Serializable I know ALL methods of Serializable are implemented there. Instead of having to check all the methods in a class, I can just check the class stub. This very useful when browsing the javadocs, I can just check the class implemented interfaces and see if it implements Serializable and just throw it at a JSON encoder or some other IO operation.

It doesn't cause problems from my experience. Also interfaces in Go still require a full method signature. But in Go, interfaces shouldn't be used to define what a type is, but rather what it does. To tell what a type is, you can use GoDoc.

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