Google Open Sources Set Of Closure Tools It Uses To Build Its Own Apps

Google has just announced that it is open-sourcing a set of tools its own developers use to build some of the company’s most well known products, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Maps.

The first tool is called the Closure Compiler, which helps developers optimize their JavaScript code by removing extra portions of comments and code. The Compiler also has a sister program called Inspector — a plugin for Firebug that allows developers to view their optimized code in the browser, with all of their original variable names and other data restored (typically optimized code strips variable names and formatting that makes it very difficult to read). Google is also releasing the Compiler as a web app and a RESTful API.

Google’s second release is a Library that includes many common functions used for building JavaScript apps. Here’s how Google’s blog post describes it:

The Closure Library is a JavaScript library that provides many features that are useful for building web applications across browers. It helps to abstract browser differences and provides clean class and function interfaces for common tasks. Besides DOM interaction and UI tools, the library includes tools for arrays, objects, string manipulation and much more. The library also implements a namespacing and import standard, which helps keep scripts small and load fast when used with the Closure Compiler.

Finally, Google is releasing a new set of templates for Java and JavaScript:

Closure Templates simplify the task of dynamically creating HTML and have an easy-to-read syntax. They allow you to write templates for reusable HTML and UI elements that can be used within JavaScript or on the server side in Java. They also have excellent run-time performance because they are never parsed on the client side.