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I am curious about the Google Closure Compiler. Why did they name it that? Does it have anything to do with lexical closures?

EDIT: I tried researching it in the FAQ and documentation, as well as doing Google searches such as "closure compiler name". I couldn't find anything definite, hence the reason I am asking. I don't think I will get a profoundly helpful answer but I was hoping that I could at least satisfy my curiosity.

I am not trying to solve a specific problem. I am just curious.

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There are several similar comments on the blog post that introduced the Closure Tools, and all are unanswered. So, that's that, as definitive answers go. Voted to close, because I don't see any potential for a helpful answer - helpful to the community that is. And -1, for not taking the time to research this properly, it's one thing to be curious and another to be lazy. Please do your own research before asking. –  Yannis Rizos Jan 5 '12 at 18:23
    
I tried researching it in the FAQ and documentation, as well as doing Google searches such as "closure compiler name". I couldn't find anything definite, hence the reason I am asking. I don't think I will get a profoundly helpful answer but I was hoping that I could at least satisfy my curiosity. –  Elias Zamaria Jan 5 '12 at 18:41
    
Ok then, if you tried make sure to tell us about it in the question. Obviously we don't have any other way of actually knowing that. Feel free to include the blog post and the fact that there are no definitive answers - and always add clarifications to the question itself, not as comments. –  Yannis Rizos Jan 5 '12 at 18:46
    
What specifically is confusing you? What problem are you trying to solve here? –  user8 Jan 5 '12 at 18:54
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@MarkTrapp It appears to me that Mike noticed a technical term in the name of a tool he was using/evaluating, and wondering if that word was indicating some fact or insight he was missing. As such it seems appropiate to ask what is going on. The specific problem to be solved is potential confusion about the tool. –  JGWeissman Jan 5 '12 at 19:26
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The Closure Compiler is part of the Closure Tools, Google's collection of tools to facilitate working with javascript. The word "Closure" simply refers to a language feature popularly associated with javascript, though it is not the only or first language to use it. Use of "Closure" seems to be more marketing fun than a deep statement about the working or functionality of any tool in the collection.

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Thank you. I was wondering if it was just a marketing name or if it was some tricky theoretical concept I didn't understand. –  Elias Zamaria Jan 5 '12 at 19:38
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Right. I think it's similar in concept to Chrome (the browser) is named after "chrome" (that part of an application's UI that's not the actual content). Just a fun name, doesn't really mean anything. –  Dean Harding Jan 5 '12 at 21:11
    
Well, it does throw all your code into a closure, where other minifiers do not. –  GGG Jan 6 '12 at 5:37
    
It can if you tell it to but it does not add a function wrapper by default. –  John Jan 6 '12 at 18:51
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Michael Bolin, author of the book "Closure - The Definitive Guide" and former Google Employee talked about the origins of the name "Google Closure" in the preface of his book:

When I worked at Google from 2005 to 2009, I used Closure to help build Google Calendar and Google Tasks. When the initial work on Calendar was done in 2005, only the Compiler was available, and it was (and is) known internally as the JavaScript Compiler.
...
Meanwhile, the JavaScript codebase for Gmail had grown so large and complex that developers complained that it was too hard for them to add new features. This triggered a rewrite of the Gmail client, which precipitated the development of the two other major tools in the Closure suite: The Library and the Templates. The Library was simply named "Closure", as it was a play on the programming construct used so frequently in JavaScript, as well as the idea that it would bring "closure" to the nightmare that was JavaScript development at Google.

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