Learn about go identifiers with our comprehensive guide. Covers basics and programming language specifications for effective use in programs.

Understanding the Basics of Identifiers in Go

Understanding the Basics of Identifiers in Go


Definition and Purpose of Identifiers

A Go identifier, within the context of the Go language, is a unique name given to program elements such as variables, types, functions, packages, etc. Identifiers are essential in programming because they help us reference these program elements in other parts of our code.

Examples of Identifiers in Go

Go identifiers may include names like “x”, “totalSum”, “CalculateSalary”, and “_temp”. All of these serve as unique labels for their corresponding program elements.

Detailed Rules for Defining Identifiers in Go

Starting with a Letter or an Underscore

Every go identifier must begin with a letter or an underscore. However, it is important to note that identifiers starting with an underscore are often used to ignore values in Go.

Case Sensitivity of Identifiers

In Go, identifiers are case sensitive. This means “myVar” and “MyVar” would be treated as two distinct identifiers.

Disallowed Keywords as Identifiers

Certain keywords in Go cannot be used as identifiers. These keywords have special meanings to the Go compiler and include words such as “func”, “var”, “const”, “type”, etc.

Advised Length for Identifiers

Although Go doesn’t restrict the length of identifiers, it’s advisable to keep them concise and descriptive. Lengthy identifiers can make your code harder to read and understand.

Examples of Valid and Invalid Identifiers in Go

Examples of Valid and Invalid Identifiers in Go


Sample Code Demonstrating Correct Identifiers

Here’s a small piece of code demonstrating valid identifiers:

package main import “fmt”func main() {var _temp = “Hello, World”fmt.Println(_temp)}In this code, “_temp” is a valid go identifier.

Sample Code Demonstrating Incorrect Identifiers

Conversely, the following code snippet shows an incorrect identifier:

package main import “fmt”func main() {var 9temp = “Hello, World”fmt.Println(9temp)}

Here, “9temp” is not a valid go identifier because identifiers cannot start with a number.

Predeclared Identifiers in Go Language

List of Predeclared Constants

Go predeclares a number of constants, including true, false, and iota.

List of Predeclared Types

Go also predeclares several types such as int, float64, complex128, string, bool, and error.

List of Predeclared Functions

There are also a number of predeclared functions available in Go. These include make(), new(), panic(), and recover().

Special Types of Identifiers in Go

Understanding the Blank Identifier (_)

The blank identifier, represented as “_”, is special in Go. It is used when syntax requires an identifier but the program logic does not. Any value assigned to the blank identifier is effectively discarded.

Explanation of Exported Identifiers

Exported identifiers are those that start with a capital letter. They are accessible from other packages. This is akin to public scope in many other languages.

Significance of Unique Identifiers

Unique identifiers are crucial in Go, as they prevent naming conflicts and improve code readability. Each identifier within a block of code must be unique.

Keywords in Go Language

Keywords in Go Language


Overview of Keywords in Go

In Go, keywords are predefined words that have special meanings to the Go compiler. They help define the structure and syntax of Go programs. A go identifier can’t be a Go keyword as they are reserved for special use.

Categories of Keywords

Go keywords fall into several categories, including declaration keywords (const, type, var, func), statement keywords (if, else, for, return), and more.

Description of Keyword Functions

Each keyword in Go has a distinct purpose. For example, the func keyword is used to declare functions, while var is used to declare variables. Knowing each keyword’s function is crucial for writing effective Go code.

Importance of Unicode in Go Identifiers

Unicode in Go Identifiers

Definition of Unicode Letters and Digits in Go

Go identifiers can include Unicode letters and digits. A Unicode letter includes not only the ASCII A-Z and a-z but also letters from other languages. Unicode digits include the ASCII 0-9.

Examples of Legal Exported and Non-Exported Identifiers

In Go, identifiers that start with a capital letter are exported and can be accessed from other packages. For example, PersonName is an exported identifier. Conversely, identifiers that start with a lowercase letter are not exported, like personName.

Examples of Illegal Identifiers

Illegal identifiers in Go are those that start with a digit or include special characters other than the underscore. An example of an illegal identifier is 123variable.

The Blank Identifier in Go: A Closer Look

Use Cases for the Blank Identifier

The blank identifier, represented as “_”, is used when an identifier is required by syntax, but the program logic does not need the value. It is often used in function returns where some returned values are not needed.

Muting Package Imports

By using the blank identifier before a package import, we signal the Go compiler that we want to import the package for its side effects only. For example, import _ “image/png” imports the “image/png” package without any further referenced usage.

Muting Unwanted Function Results

The blank identifier can be used to mute unwanted function results. For example, in _, err := io.Copy(dst, src), the blank identifier discards the first return value and only keeps the error.

Built-In Identifiers in Go

Overview of Built-in Identifiers

Go comes with several built-in identifiers that are predeclared and ready to use. They can be constants, types, or functions.

Identifiers for Numeric, String, Boolean, and Error Types

Go has predeclared identifiers for various types. Numeric types include int, float64, complex128, etc. There’s also a string for strings, a bool for boolean values, and an error for errors.

Preassigned Value Identifiers

Go also has preassigned value identifiers like true, false, and nil. These represent boolean true and false and the zero value for pointers, functions, interfaces, maps, slices, and channels, respectively.

Built-in Function Identifiers

Finally, Go predeclares several function identifiers. These include functions like make(), new(), len(), cap(), and others. They provide essential functionality for working with Go’s data types.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Go Identifier

Advantages of Go Identifier

Clarity and Simplicity

One of the top advantages of using go identifiers is the clarity and simplicity they provide. The requirement that identifiers start with a letter or underscore makes the code easy to read and understand.

Strong Typing

Go is a statically typed language which means the type of variables is known at compile time. This results in better performance because the system knows the exact data types that are in use. It also aids in catching errors and bugs at compile time.

Unicode Support

The support for Unicode in identifiers allows developers to use a wide range of characters, including non-Latin alphabets. This makes Go a language that can be used by developers from different linguistic backgrounds.

Disadvantages of Go Identifier

Case Sensitivity

Go identifiers are case-sensitive. This can lead to confusion and errors if not handled correctly. For example, myVariable and MyVariable are two different identifiers in Go.

No Support for Special Characters

Go identifiers cannot contain special characters, except for the underscore. This limits the number of available symbols that can be used in identifiers.

Length of Identifiers

While Go doesn’t limit the length of identifiers, long identifiers can make the code more difficult to read and understand. As such, it is recommended to keep identifiers concise.

Comparison Table for Go Identifier

Advantages Disadvantages
1 Clarity and Simplicity Case Sensitivity
2 Strong Typing No Support for Special Characters
3 Unicode Support Length of Identifiers


  1. Golang Tutorial: What is Go Programming Language : This tutorial provides basic and advanced concepts of Go programming. It is designed for beginners and professionals alike.
  2. Golang Tutorial Guide: This tutorial is a comprehensive 7-hour dive into Go. It is best tackled in chunks and is an excellent resource for beginners. The course content also makes it useful for intermediate Go programmers who want to recap different topics.
  3. Get Started – The Go Programming Language: This tutorial introduces a few fundamental features of the Go language. In this tutorial, you’ll create two modules. The first is a library that is intended to be imported by other libraries or applications. The second is a caller application which will use the first.
  4. Identifiers in Go Language: The blog post covers topics such as naming conventions for identifiers, reserved keywords, and how to declare and use identifiers in Go.
  5. A Comprehensive Guide in Go Language: This guide provides a full overview of residential proxies, including what they are, how they work, and how they can be used. It also covers the different types of proxy networks that are available and how to choose the right one for your needs.

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