With a project called Closure Tools, Google plans on Thursday to start helping developers who aspire to match the company's proficiency in creating Web sites and Web applications.
Google also plans to make the compiler available as a Web application hosted on its Google App Engine service.
In an earlier era, programming tools were expensive packages bought by a select few, but open-source software, new marketing strategies, and new business methods have made that approach the exception rather than the rule these days. Now programming tools are often a means to another end--encouraging programmers to produce the software that will make Windows or the Palm Pre useful and therefore popular, for example.
In Google's case, the objective is often to make the Web more popular because it sees more activity on the Web as corresponding directly with more activity on its revenue-generating search site. Among the high-profile projects to this end are Chrome, Chrome OS, and Android, all subsidized by Google's powerful search-advertising business.
So one last question: why the name?