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Go, the popular programming language is adding an internal language server protocol (LSP). This is expected to bring features like code autocompletion and diagnostics available in Golang.

LSP is used between a user and a server to integrate features such as autocomplete, go to definition, find all references and alike into the tool. It was created by Microsoft to define a common language for enabling programming language analyzers to communicate. It is growing in popularity with adoption from companies like Codenvy, Red Hat, and Sourcegraph. There is also a rapidly growing list of editor and language communities supporting LSP.

Golang already has a language server available on GitHub. This version has support for Hover jump to def, workspace symbols, and find references. But, it does not support code completion and diagnostics. Sourcegraph CEO Quinn Slack stated in a comment on Hacker News: “The idea is that with a Go language server becoming a core part of Go, it will have a lot more resources invested into it and it will surpass where the current implementation is now.

The Go language server made by Sourcegraph available currently on GitHub is not a core part of Golang. It uses tools and custom extensions not maintained by the Go team. The hope is that the core LSP implementation will be good enough and that SourceGraph can re-use this implementation in the future to bring down the number of implementations to just one.


Slack said in a comment that they are very happy with this implementation: “We are 10,000% supportive of this, as we’ve discussed openly in the golang-tools group and with the Go team. The Go team was commendably empathetic about the optics here, and we urged them very, very, very directly to do this.

This core implementation of LSP by the Golang team is also beneficial for Sourcegraph from a business perspective. Sourcegraph sells a product that lets you search and browse all your code, which involves using language servers for certain features like hovers, definitions and references. Since the core work will be done by the Golang team, Sourcegraph won’t have to invest more time into building their implementation of Go language server.

For more information, visit the Googlesource website.

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