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cmd/go: assume GOPATH=$HOME/go if not set #17262

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davecheney opened this issue Sep 28, 2016 · 137 comments
Closed

cmd/go: assume GOPATH=$HOME/go if not set #17262

davecheney opened this issue Sep 28, 2016 · 137 comments

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@davecheney
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@davecheney davecheney commented Sep 28, 2016

This proposal is a simplification of #12488.

In short, if the user has not set $GOPATH in their environment the go tool will default to a value of GOPATH=$HOME/gocode.


Rationale
At the moment all the documentation we have says "you have to set a GOPATH", then people get distracted and upset because they don't understand why they have to do this.

By choosing a default GOPATH, we can make our documentation easier because we can say things like

$ go get github.com/foo/bar

will check out the github.com/foo/bar repo into $HOME/gocode/src/github.com/foo/bar.

We don't need to distract newcomers with having to set an env var, all we need to do is put a little parenthetical note at the bottom of the page

$HOME/gocode is the default path to your go workspace. If you want to change this path, set the GOPATH variable to something of your choosing.

Compatibility
This proposal only changes the experience for newcomers who have not chosen to set a $GOPATH variable. For anyone using Go 1.1-1.7 today, your experience will be unchanged as you are currently required to set $GOPATH.

@davecheney davecheney changed the title proposal: go tool assumes GOPATH=$HOME/gocode if not set proposal: assume GOPATH=$HOME/gocode if not set Sep 28, 2016
@davecheney davecheney added the Proposal label Sep 28, 2016
@bradfitz
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@bradfitz bradfitz commented Sep 28, 2016

@campoy
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@campoy campoy commented Sep 28, 2016

I like it, but do we have any specific preference for "gocode" and not something like "gopath"?

@rsc
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@rsc rsc commented Sep 28, 2016

How many people already use GOPATH=$HOME/gocode? It seems to me not many. That suggests it is the wrong default.

@cespare
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@cespare cespare commented Sep 28, 2016

"gocode" will have search engine and other confusion with the popular tool github.com/nsf/gocode.

@ianlancetaylor
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@ianlancetaylor ianlancetaylor commented Sep 28, 2016

Do we have any information about what most people do?

I use GOPATH=$HOME/gopath myself.

@bradfitz
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@bradfitz bradfitz commented Sep 28, 2016

Thumbs up here if you currently use GOPATH=$HOME

@bradfitz
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@bradfitz bradfitz commented Sep 28, 2016

Thumbs up here if you currently use GOPATH=$HOME/gopath

@bradfitz
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@bradfitz bradfitz commented Sep 28, 2016

Thumbs up here if you currently use GOPATH=$HOME/gocode

@campoy
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@campoy campoy commented Sep 28, 2016

Should I do a twitter poll on @golang?

@bradfitz
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@bradfitz bradfitz commented Sep 28, 2016

@campoy, sounds good. Probably better than inviting everybody to this bug.

@freeformz
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@freeformz freeformz commented Sep 28, 2016

How about $HOME/go (which is what I use).

@freeformz
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@freeformz freeformz commented Sep 28, 2016

See also : http://go-talks.appspot.com/github.com/freeformz/talks/20160712_gophercon/talk.slide#7

$HOME: 8.9%
$HOME/go: 50.6%
Other : 40.5%

I really wish I had split out more options for this one.

@campoy
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@campoy campoy commented Sep 28, 2016

Voting started: https://twitter.com/golang/status/781189567437164544

On Wed, Sep 28, 2016, 10:51 AM Edward Muller notifications@github.com
wrote:

How about $HOME/go (which is what I use).


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@rakyll
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@rakyll rakyll commented Sep 28, 2016

@freeformz,

$HOME/go is conflicting with the path go source code (go.googlesource.com/go) is often checked out. It is bad that the community blessed this location as a default for GOPATH :( I worry if someone forgets to set their GOPATH and runs the go tool, it will mess their current development directory.

@freeformz
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@freeformz freeformz commented Sep 28, 2016

@rakyll to each their own, just wanted to indicate what I and many others use. go.googlesource.com/go is checked out in /usr/local/go.git on my system.

@davecheney
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@davecheney davecheney commented Sep 28, 2016

How many people already use GOPATH=$HOME/gocode? It seems to me not many. That suggests it is the wrong default.

For the record I use GOPATH=$HOME, but I felt that this would be too contentious and detract from the goal of this proposal which is to improve the experience for the new user.

@rakyll
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@rakyll rakyll commented Sep 28, 2016

@freeformz, I guess we don't have to care about the existing canonical paths that are outside of $HOME. The default for GOPATH is going to be in $HOME somewhere and the minimal requirement should be that it doesn't conflict with any critical existing path.

$HOME/gocode sounds alien to me but it could be a very good choice.

@davecheney
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@davecheney davecheney commented Sep 28, 2016

The point being, it matters less what the default is, just that there is one.

@rsc
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@rsc rsc commented Sep 28, 2016

It does matter what the default is, because setting this default will essentially make it how everyone new to Go is working a few years from now.

The go command goes out of its way not to get confused when GOPATH=$GOROOT explicitly; I'm sure the same logic can be made to apply to am implicit setting as well. So I'm not too worried about smashing $HOME/go accidentally.

I still wonder if instead of a fixed default we should be auto-sniffing the current directory's parents to figure out where GOPATH is. This is what many source tools do these days (for example, every version control system), so it's a concept people would understand. And it doesn't force them to use one directory name or to have only one GOPATH workspace. But we might as well have that discussion on the original issue.

@davecheney
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@davecheney davecheney commented Sep 28, 2016

@rsc I'd love that default to be GOPATH=$HOME because that means $GOPATH/bin will be in their path (on most linux distributions at least, not sure about darwin).

$GOPATH=$HOME/go is also a good choice and those who have the source of the compiler checked out there will have already set GOPATH=something else so there is no chance of conflict.

To be clear, I wasn't trying to be flippant when I said

The point being, it matters less what the default is, just that there is one.

Rather trying to emphasise the goal of this proposal is to have the go tool use a default value for $GOPATH when one is not provided as this is a continual source of confusion and frustration for so many newcomers to the language.

I'm 👎 on auto sniffing because it fails a major use case, which is:

  1. I've installed Go, I didn't actually read the Go installation docs, just followed what it said on the repo's README that said brew install go
  2. I've run go get github.com/thething/theproject
  3. Now I get an error about not setting $GOPATH. What is that? I just wanted to run this program that someone tweeted about!
@adg
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@adg adg commented Sep 28, 2016

A default value ofGOPATH=$HOME/go SGTM, assuming we decide on a default and not an auto-sniffing approach.

@rakyll
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@rakyll rakyll commented Sep 28, 2016

The go command goes out of its way not to get confused when GOPATH=$GOROOT explicitly; I'm sure the same logic can be made to apply to am implicit setting as well.

Sounds great.

not sure about darwin

Not on darwin.

@mvdan
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@mvdan mvdan commented Sep 28, 2016

If this is for newcomers, I would advise against GOPATH=$HOME as that would create three directories in their home directory versus just one. I'm not keen on software that pollutes my home dir beyond necessary.

@davecheney
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@davecheney davecheney commented Sep 28, 2016

@mvdan I understand and your reaction was why I did not propose GOPATH=$HOME.

If I personally want to set my GOPATH to $HOME, then that option would remain available to me, and I would have to make no changes should this proposal be accepted for Go 1.8.

@alexbrainman
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@alexbrainman alexbrainman commented Sep 29, 2016

@davecheney

default to a value of GOPATH=$HOME/gocode

There is no default HOME variable on Windows. What do you propose to do on Windows?

I'd love that default to be GOPATH=$HOME because that means $GOPATH/bin will be in their path

I am always worried about having $GOPATH/bin in my PATH. go get installs other people's programs there. Do we really want new Go user installing random programs from the Internet somewhere in their PATH?

Alex

@davecheney
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@davecheney davecheney commented Sep 29, 2016

I'm not an experienced windows user, but I assume there is some notion of a base path where documents and settings are stored. For the purpose of this discussion assume that I'm talking about that path in the context of windows users.

If no such path exists, assume C:/gocode.

Wrt to my comment on GOPATH=$HOME, while this is and will continue to be my personal preference, I recognise that this is a contentious option for a default value and as such did not suggest it as the proposed value.

@campoy
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@campoy campoy commented Nov 2, 2016

@jinmatt
This change only modifies the behavior for unset GOPATH, that's the scope of the change.
The community already reached an agreement on $HOME/go.

If you don't like $HOME/go, just set GOPATH to whatever value you prefer (e.g. $HOME in my case).

@rsc
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@rsc rsc commented Nov 2, 2016

Thank you for the design sketch.

  1. Since we've now established that GOPATH is only going to be created during 'go get', let's only print messages if the -v flag is given, consistent with the rest of 'go get -v' behavior.

  2. If the directory is created, the message should be at most

    created GOPATH=/users/campoy/go; see 'go help gopath'

It's not a warning: warnings are bad. On the other hand if the create fails then you might well want to print

go: creating GOPATH=/users/campoy/go: %v

Both of those messages can be printed regardless of whether GOPATH is inferred or set explicitly.

  1. The heuristics about empty directory and having a src subdirectory are too complex. Worse, they are addressing hypothetical problems, and hypotheticals are very difficult to design for. Better to have simpler, more predictable behavior. To start, I think it makes sense not to have any rules, until there are concrete examples of actual problems. There will be time for people to report problems during the betas and release candidates. Let's just set GOPATH=$HOME/go (provided $HOME is set).

Edit: pretend that Github markdown didn't completely screw this up.

@nathany
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@nathany nathany commented Nov 2, 2016

@campoy Regarding the src/ directory, what is the current behaviour of go get when a GOPATH is set but no src directory exists? Is there a good reason to not also create it?

It just seems simpler to explain if $HOME/go/src gets created on the first go get (or $GOPATH/src if that environment variable is set)

@rsc
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@rsc rsc commented Nov 3, 2016

Today, when GOPATH is set, the necessary directories are created, unconditionally, as needed.

gopherbot pushed a commit that referenced this issue Nov 11, 2016
Whenever GOPATH is not defined in the environment, use $HOME/go
as its default value. For Windows systems use %USERPROFILE%/go
and $home/go for plan9.

The choice of these environment variables is based on what Docker
currently does. The os/user package is not used to avoid having
a cgo dependency.

Updates #17262. Documentation changes forthcoming.

Change-Id: I6368fbfbc5afda99d6e64c35c1980076fcf45344
Reviewed-on: https://go-review.googlesource.com/32019
TryBot-Result: Gobot Gobot <gobot@golang.org>
Reviewed-by: Russ Cox <rsc@golang.org>
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@gopherbot gopherbot commented Nov 17, 2016

CL https://golang.org/cl/33356 mentions this issue.

@rsc rsc removed the Proposal label Nov 21, 2016
@quentinmit quentinmit added the NeedsFix label Nov 22, 2016
@gopherbot
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@gopherbot gopherbot commented Nov 30, 2016

CL https://golang.org/cl/33730 mentions this issue.

@gopherbot gopherbot closed this in 74628a8 Nov 30, 2016
sschuberth added a commit to sschuberth/LicenseFinder that referenced this issue Sep 21, 2017
This avoids the need to have GOPATH set and is in line with how Go itself
behaves, see golang/go#17262.
sschuberth added a commit to sschuberth/LicenseFinder that referenced this issue Sep 21, 2017
This avoids the need to have GOPATH set and is in line with how Go itself
behaves, see golang/go#17262.

While at it, make the workspace directory check a bit stricter by really
checking for a directory.
kdykeman pushed a commit to pivotal/LicenseFinder that referenced this issue Sep 21, 2017
This avoids the need to have GOPATH set and is in line with how Go itself
behaves, see golang/go#17262.

While at it, make the workspace directory check a bit stricter by really
checking for a directory.
tanzeeb added a commit to tanzeeb/bash-it that referenced this issue Oct 14, 2017
As of Go v1.8, $HOME/go is the default $GOPATH. See golang/go#17262 for the discussion.
@golang golang locked and limited conversation to collaborators Nov 30, 2017
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