Golang : What fmt.Println() can do and println() cannot do

A lot of rookies got confused on why their program is not working as intended when using println() function. New Golang developers need to know what is difference between fmt.Println(), fmt.Print() functions versus println() and print() functions. What are they for and why a developer should not use them anymore.

For this tutorial, we will explore what fmt.Println() can do and println() can't do

Below is a simple program that demonstrates why Golang developers should not use println() and print() functions in their code. As you can see in the output, println() function prints out a memory address instead of the slice data. Most rookies will be confused by this and couldn't comprehend why their code is not working as intended.

 package main

 import (

 var game = [11]int{0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10}

 var bestgame = [11]int{10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0}

 var bestgames [][]int

 func main() {

  //for k, v := range game {
  // fmt.Println(k, v)

  //for i, j := range bestgame {
  // fmt.Println(i, j)

  if game[10] > bestgame[10] {
 bestgame = game

 bestgames = append(bestgames, bestgame[:])
 fmt.Println("bestgame", "G", bestgame[0], bestgame[1])

  for m, q := range bestgames {
 fmt.Println(m, q)

  fmt.Println("the result of println(bestgames = ", bestgames) //<---- use this
  println("the result of println(bestgames = ", bestgames) // instead of this. Memory address instead of slice data


 bestgame G 0 1
 0 [0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10]
 the result of println(bestgames =  [[0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10]]
 the result of println(bestgames =  [1/1]0x40a0f0 (this line will be shown as red in play.golang.org)

Ok, now we know it is bad to use println() and print() functions in production code. But why these functions are there? What for?

From the official Golang's documentation, these functions are meant for bootstrapping usage and they do not return result.

 Current implementations provide several built-in functions useful during bootstrapping. These functions are documented for completeness but are not guaranteed to stay in the language. They do not return a result.

 Function Behavior

 print prints all arguments; formatting of arguments is implementation-specific
 println like print but prints spaces between arguments and a newline at the end

 Implementation restriction: print and println need not accept arbitrary argument types, but printing of boolean, numeric, and string types must be supported.

Hope this helps and happy coding!

Reference :


  See also : Golang : Sort and reverse sort a slice of integers

By Adam Ng(黃武俊)

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