Google Closure Tools

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Google Closure Tools
Original author(s)Google
Initial releaseNovember 5, 2009[1]
Stable release
v20190618 / June 22, 2019; 3 years ago (2019-06-22)[2]
Written inJava
Available inJavaScript
TypeAjax framework
LicenseApache License 2.0

Google Closure Tools[3] is a set of tools to help developers build rich web applications with JavaScript. It was developed by Google for use in their web applications such as Gmail, Google Docs and Google Maps.[4]

Closure Compiler[edit]

The Closure Compiler is a tool for making JavaScript downloads run faster, at the expense of human readability. It does not compile from JavaScript to machine code, but rather compiles from JavaScript to more efficient JavaScript.

It parses JavaScript, analyzes it, removes dead code and rewrites and minifies what is left. It also checks syntax, variable references, and types and warns about common JavaScript pitfalls. It supports transpiling modern ECMAScript code to ECMAScript 5, so that programmers can write JavaScript that uses those features, and run it in browsers or other environments that do not yet support them. (the Traceur Compiler is another Google project that supports transpiling ES6 to ES3.)

CLI based tools[edit]

Tool set provide a command line tools used to optimize and compile .js files:

  • Java-based application run from shell which compiles a list of specified JavaScript files
  • npm package google-closure-compiler which provides as optional dependencies three compilers: native (binary executable), JAVA and JavaScript-based one; which are installed at once.


  • Interactively in the browser:
    • The Closure Compiler service website provides a form for a user to input a URL pointing to a JavaScript source or enter JavaScript source code in a text box. The website will display with the optimized JavaScript on right side for the user to copy.[5]
    • The Closure Compiler server accepts HTTP POST requests. Parameters include the string of JavaScript to be optimized (or a URL pointing to it), the optimization level, whether to include errors and warnings, and the output format (JSON, XML, or text).[6]

The Closure compiler also supports type checking via type annotations that must be written in JSDoc comments.[7]


Programming languages that transpile to JavaScript benefit from Closure Tools. For example, Closure Compiler helps to make ClojureScript practical by making the compiled JavaScript code more efficient.[8]

Closure Library[edit]

The Closure Library is a JavaScript library, written specifically to take advantage of the Closure Compiler, based on a modular architecture. It provides cross-browser functions for DOM manipulations and events, Ajax and JSON, as well as more high-level objects such as User Interface widgets and Controls.

Closure Templates[edit]

Closure Templates are a templating system for dynamically generating HTML in both Java[9] and JavaScript.[10]

Because the language was apparently referred to as "Soy" internal to Google, and "Soy" remains in some of the documentation and classes,[11] sometimes Closure Templates are referred to as "Soy Templates".

Closure Stylesheets[edit]

This is a compiler which provides an extended version of CSS, which is compiled down to ordinary CSS. Internally in Google, this extended version of CSS is referred to as GSS.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Introducing Closure Tools - The official Google Code blog". 5 November 2009.
  2. ^ "GitHub - google/closure-compiler: A JavaScript checker and optimizer". 3 April 2019 – via GitHub.
  3. ^ Bolin, Michael, "Closure: The Definitive Guide", O'Reilly Media Inc., Sebastopol, CA, 2010
  4. ^ "FAQ - Closure Tools". Google Developers.
  5. ^ "Online closure compiler".
  6. ^ "Closure compiler API".
  7. ^ "Annotating JavaScript for the Closure Compiler". GitHub.
  8. ^ "Motivations for using Google's Closure Tools". GitHub.
  9. ^ "Hello World Using Java". Google Developers.
  10. ^ JavaScript
  11. ^ "Google Code Archive - Long-term storage for Google Code Project Hosting".

External links[edit]