|Original author(s)||Kevin Bourrillion and Jared Levy (Google Collections Library) |
|Stable release||19.0 / December 9, 2015|
|Type||Utility and Collection Libraries|
|License||Apache License 2.0|
Google Guava can be roughly divided into three components: basic utilities to reduce menial labors to implement common methods and behaviors, an extension to the Java collections framework (JCF) formerly called the Google Collections Library, and other utilities which provide convenient and productive features such as functional programming, caching, range objects, and hashing.
The creation and architecture of the collection component were partly motivated by generics introduced in JDK 1.5. Although generics improve the productivity of programmers, the standard JCF does not provide sufficient functionality, and its complement Apache Commons Collections has not adopted generics in order to maintain backward compatibility. This fact led two engineers Kevin Bourrillion and Jared Levy to develop an extension to JCF, which provides additional generic classes such as multisets, multimaps, bimaps, and immutable collections.
The library's design and code were advised and reviewed by Joshua Bloch, the original lead designer of the Java Collections framework, and Doug Lea, one of the lead designers of concurrency utilities in JDK.
As of April 2012, Guava ranked the 12th most popular Java library, next to the Apache Commons projects and a few others. Research performed in 2013 on 10,000 GitHub projects found that Google-made libraries, such as Google Web Toolkit and Guava, constituted 7 of the top 100 most popular libraries in Java, and that Guava was the 8th most popular Java library.
While Google Guava is an open source project, the maintainers of Guava do not encourage external contributions. Kevin Bourrillion wrote a Google+ post explaining that while Guava is open source it is also a collection of APIs referenced throughout the internal Google codebase. Bourrillion writes, "I don't think many of you understand: the work you've done to produce that patch is actually minuscule compared to the total amount of work we have to do to put it in Guava." This post and the reaction to this post sparked a debate over the public/private nature of projects like Google Guava and extensive discussion over what constitutes an open source project.
- Apache Commons, another set of common libraries for Java
- Google Guice, a Java framework for dependency injection, developed by Google
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