Closure Tools: Open for Business

Friday, June 4, 2010 | 8:51 AM

When we open sourced the Closure Tools, we were ecstatic to be getting such great and useful code out to the world. And since then, we’ve seen people do great stuff with Closure Tools. And then we got a little nervous. You see, the more cool stuff you do with Closure Tools, the more work we figured we should put into their open sourcing. Today, we’d like to describe our latest work making the Closure Tools even more open.

I’m a member of the Open Source Programs Office at Google, which means I help teams that are open sourcing Google code do it better and more easily. I’ve built a toolkit to help these teams called “Make Open Easy” (shameless plug: I’ll be presenting my work in more detail at OSCON this year). It automates the processes of maintaining an open source codebase of Google code: publishing updates, merging patches made in subversion back into our internal source control, and keeping track of who’s done what. We’ve now “MOEified” Closure Compiler and Library. What does this mean for you?

First, we’re going to push updates more often, regularly, and with descriptions of the changes. Updating the public version with the changes made at Google now takes minutes. For now, we’re not setting a schedule, but we expect that we shouldn’t go more than two weeks without updating the codebase in public Subversion. We hope you’ll appreciate getting code that’s fresh off the press.

Second, we now want your patches! Since MOE has made merging patches written against the public codebase so easy, we want public contrubtions to the compiler and library. If there are bugs you’d like to fix or features you’d like to implement, feel free to send us a patch. We’re still going to hold patches to a high level of quality, design, and style, so consider talking to us first on our “discuss” lists (closure-library-discuss and closure-compiler-discuss). And, as before, if you have ideas but not code, we still welcome your thoughts. We’d like to work with you to shape Closure Tools.)

The Closure Tools team is committed to being more transparent and collaborative but sometimes there still might be issues with releasing or accepting code. Please be patient as we work out kinks in the process.

So, what’s the next feature for Closure Tools? Now’s your chance to show us!