Now open source: Several of Google's JavaScript tools

Closure compiler and related JavaScript libraries could help developers improve Web apps' performance

Google has decided to release as open source several of its key application development tools, hoping that they will prove useful for external programmers to build faster Web applications.

Google has used the tools in some of its most popular Web applications, including Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Maps, said Amit Agarwal, a Google product manager.

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"By enabling and allowing developers to use the very same tools that Google uses, we hope that they can not only build rich applications but also make the Web really, really fast. That's our primary motive in getting these tools outside to the global community," he said.

The tools include Closure Compiler, which streamlines, optimizes and consolidates JavaScript code to make it run faster and more efficiently, increasing the chances that the application will perform well even for users with slow connections, the company announced Thursday.

Google is also releasing Closure Library, a JavaScript library that contains a set of standard application services and components that run across different browsers.

"It has served as the standard JavaScript library for pretty much any large, public Web application that Google is serving today," Agarwal said. "It's very broad and comprehensive, well-tested, and very modular."

Google is also making available Closure Templates, designed to automate the dynamic creation of HTML. These templates can be used within JavaScript in client machines or in Java on servers.

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