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Michael Bolin is a former Google engineer who spent his four years there working on Google Calendar, Google Tasks, and the Closure Compiler. As a frontend developer, he used the Closure Tools suite on a daily basis and made a number of contributions to it. His last project at Google was to open-source the Closure Compiler. He is a blogger, often writing about web development, and graduated with both Computer Science and Mathematics degrees from MIT.
I read Closure: The Definitive Guide as part of O'Reilly's rough cuts program, and I can honestly say that the book is one of the best technical books I've read in quite some time. It's clear that the author sought to leave no stone unturned in writing this book; he succeeded brilliantly. His writing style is concise but not at all confusing, leading to a great book that lends itself just as well to sit-down reading as it does a reference guide.
Overall, this is a really great book that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to any front-end developer who is tasked with building a web application that they want to be fast, browser-agnostic, and bug free.
This book is a good reference and description of what the closure library is about. I think it fails as a guide to putting it all together into an application though. I was dissapointed that the chapter on user interface components really only partially covered buttons and a combobox in 16 pages while there's a whole 49 page chapter on the editor which I don't really care about. It is a good book though and explains a lot about how the compiler works and how to avoid pitfalls. The plovr tool the author created is awesome and makes using Closure much, much easier, especially on Windows. I would have given this book 5 stars if it either included a longer chapter on ui components or had an example that showed how to bring it all together.
Of course, Closure is more than just the compiler, so you'll learn how to use Soy / Closure Templates, as well as many other supporting tools. At this time, the only large omission is Closure Stylesheets - likely released after the publication. If you're curious about Closure, or joining a project, which is using it currently, then this is your shortest path from zero to mastery.
I really admire Michael Bolin, and his intelligence and experience. But this book doesn't have much you can copy into an editor and use. And it seems there's a lot in the book explaining what happens behind the scenes. I don't care about that, except that it's confusing to me to know whether he's explaining something I need to code, or whether Google already coded it like that and he's just explaining what it does. The book is the only one I've seen on this subject, so there are really no other choices. I just wish Google would get off their duff and write better external documentation. It should not be as hard as it is. It really shouldn't. In other words, this book, and using Google Closure is not for mediocre minds like mine.