parker's stuff

Navigating unfamiliar Go code with Guru - Alan Donovan →

Alan Donovan, who mysteriously has no personal website of any kind and very sparse profiles on social media, gave a delightful talk at GopherCon 2016 in Denver, Colorado earlier this year. He discusses a tool called guru which provides an interface for querying code.

This tool is useful when navigating unfamiliar code as it can surface the answers to many common questions, such as:

  • Where is this method defined?
  • Where in the code is this function called?
  • What type is this variable and what can I do with it?
  • Where is this variable defined?
  • What is the call stack up to this line?

It provides many other features as well, including a nice clean editor-centric interface which makes creating editor plugins easy.

I enjoyed this talk tremendously, if only because Alan speaks with such clarity and “academic excitement” (when one is terribly excited about an idea or brain child of theirs with great pride). These are qualities I feel most discussion in the tech space lacks. His British accent also gives it an air of importance to my American ears.

At any rate, there is plenty of wonderful technical information about why and how one might want to introspect a program’s code.