Closure Moves To JavaScript
Written by Alex Denham   
Tuesday, 06 September 2016

Google's Closure compiler is now available in pure JavaScript, and no longer needs Java to run. The new experimental release runs under NodeJS with support for some popular build tools.

The Closure Compiler compiles JavaScript into compact, high-performance code. It removes dead code and rewrites and minimizes what's left so that it downloads and runs quickly. It also checks syntax, variable references, and types, and warns about common JavaScript pitfalls. Nearly every web front end at Google uses it. 

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The new version supports new features in ES2015, such as let, const, arrow functions. The compiler also checks syntax, correct use of types, and provides warnings of potential problems.

Writing about the new release on the Google Developer blog, Google's Sam Thorogood said that this isn't a rewrite of Closure in JavaScript, adding:

"Instead, we compile the Java source to JS to run under Node, or even inside a plain old browser."

The JavaScript version is currently experimental, and may not perform in the same way as the native Java version. The Closure team will be working to improve and support it over time.

In order to use the new version, you'll need to add it as a dependency in a project via NPM. Alternatively, you can use it with the Gulp streaming build system. This would involve using gulp.src() or equivalents to load your JavaScript before it can be compiled, according to Thorogood, who said that as the compiler runs in pure JavaScript, it can't load or save files from your file system directly.

 

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More Information

Closure Tools

Closure Blog

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 06 September 2016 )