Choosing an appropriate programming language for web scraping is a tough nut to crack. Each language has its pros and cons. The best, however, is the one that fits your needs and makes your scraping project a success.
We’ll explore the merits and demerits of the Golang web scraper and determine if its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
What Are Web Scrapers?
Gone are the days of manually copy-pasting content from a particular website. Web scraping is a thing now, and organizations today utilize it to their maximum advantage.
Web scrapers allow you to harvest data from a website automatically. It collects the information and exports it into a format that is easier to comprehend.
However, this entire process happens not out of nowhere. You need a programming language to perform this extensive task. But which programming language to pick for efficient web scraping?
Go has been the talk of the town in recent years, and several developers have switched to it. But does it offer what you need for web scraping? Keep reading.
What Is Golang?
Golang, nicknamed Go, was first created in 2007 by Ken Thompson, Robert Griesemer, and Rob Pike. This compiled programming language is statically typed and is open source.
It is a part of the C-family programming languages, and the most prominent search engine, Google, maintains it.
When designing Go, its developers focused on improving speed and readability – a luxury every programmer seeks and a pro, not every language offer.
To learn how to successfully build a web scraper in Golang, read this comprehensive article.
Here are some benefits of the Golang web scraper.
- Performance. The performance of a programming language matters a great deal, and you cannot know this unless you’ve dealt with sluggish language. Luckily, Go is pretty fast, and its speed certainly outweighs that of Python.
- Less time-consuming. You won’t come across a range of features that’ll surprise you about Go’s usability and functionality. It only has a few data structures, formatting, assignments, and pointers. Less advanced features reduce creativity but increase productivity and save time.
- Concurrency. The only place Golang gets creative is its channels and goroutines. The former is its approach to threading, and the latter offers communication between goroutines. Further, goroutines are cost-effective to create and only take some KBs of memory.
- Capable of building a team. Because Go is pretty simple to understand, it makes it easier for you to build a team of Go developers compared to other languages. In fact, any Java, Python, or C++ dev who hasn’t heard about Go can become efficient with Go within days.
- Easy learning curve. You can understand the Go basics within a few hours if you’re an enthusiastic learner. In fact, developers who use Go are confident that any beginner can create an app with Golang within a few hours.
- Active community. Feeling stuck? No worries! The helpful Go community has got your back. Although Go offers documentation on the official site to teach you fundamentals, the active Go community can answer any queries that might bug you. In fact, #golang is often used on Twitter.
Some drawbacks of Golang include the following.
- Error handling. Go lacks error handling, unlike Python. It manages errors by returning them and expects your calling code to handle them. While this works at times, it doesn’t inform what went wrong under the surface.
- Frameworks. Go lacks a framework and doesn’t include a single prominent framework like Django for Python, Rails for Ruby, etc. Nonetheless, this is a burning debate topic among the Go community as many developers believe you shouldn’t use a framework in the first place.
- Package management. Go package management lacks perfection, unlike Node, Ruby, and Python – which work just right. Nonetheless, with the right tools at hand, Golang package management works well, too.
Golang VS Other Programming Languages
However, which features you prefer in a programming language determines the language you’d prefer to use for web scraping.
Indeed, each language comes with a few downsides, and Golang is no exception; the same goes for other programming languages.
Conclusion: Does Golang Advantages Outweigh Its Disadvantages?
We discussed the features, pros, and cons of Golang in detail. It is pretty apparent that Golang’s merits surpass its demerits. Perhaps this explains why developers today do not hesitate to work with it despite it being a newer programming language.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a journalist, or a data analyst, perhaps you commence web scraping projects now and then. We highly recommend you try Golang web scraper to see how it works.
Yes, its features are limited, but it provides what you need for scraping sites and extracting data.