Google releases new Web development aids

The new tools are for tracking JavaScript memory leaks and for accessing Google APIs

Google released two new internally authored technologies this week that could help ease the burdens of Web developers. One is a tool for spotting memory leaks in JavaScript code, and the other is a library written in Dart for accessing popular Google APIs (application programming interfaces).

The first tool, Leak Finder, helps developers with a common problem with JavaScript, namely finding memory leaks in their programs. JavaScript has built-in automatic garbage collection, which removes objects from working memory when they are no longer referenced by the other objects in the program. Unfortunately, this process is not foolproof, and in many cases, JavaScript will retain objects no longer being referenced.

Leak Finder can identify unreferenced objects that have not been disposed and provide the information to a developer or, in machine-readable output, to automated application testing software.

The second offering is a library that builds on a Web programming language Google developed, called Dart. Google has positioned Dart as a better alternative to JavaScript for authoring complex Web applications.

Google Software Engineer Sam McCall wrote the library in the 20 percent of the time Google allots employees for outside projects. This library provides Dart-based connectors for accessing 35 Google API-based services, such as Google+, Google Calendar and the company's Web address shortener. Google also provides a number of sample applications.

With the release of these technologies, Google continues to back the use of the open Web technologies. This week, the company, along with analysis firm Vizzuality and design company Hyperakt, released visualizations showing how rich the Web standards ecosystem has grown over the past 21 years.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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