Microsoft Open Sources Edge Web Browser's JavaScript Engine, Plans Port to Linux

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | ZDNet | January 13, 2016

Who says Microsoft doesn't get open source these days? On January 13, 2016, Microsoft made good its December 2015 promise to open source ChakraCore, the Microsoft Edge JavaScript engine. And, believe it or not, Microsoft will also port it to Linux. Edge is Microsoft's Windows 10 specific web brower. Unlike Internet Explorer (IE), which traces back its family tree to 1995 and Spyglass Mosaic, Edge is largely a new browser. It still traces some of its code to IE. For example, EdgeHTML, which powers Edge's HTML rendering engine, is a fork of IE's Trident Web-rendering engine.

Gaurav Seth on stage at JSConf US Last Call announcing ChakraCore.That said, Edge is a revolutionary shift in Microsoft's web design philosophy. Besides being only available on Windows 10, Edge dumped backwards IE compatibility by getting rid of venerable, but insecure code and IE's legacy add-on architecture. Oh, and, yes, Microsoft is embracing open source for its core JavaScript engine.

According to Gaurav Seth, Chakra's principal project manager: "We've just made the sources for ChakraCore available under the MIT License at the ChakraCore GitHub repository. Going forward, we'll be developing the key components of Chakra in the open." Chakra itself started as a new JavaScript engine in IE 9 in 2010. It was designed to "start fast, run fast, and deliver a great user experience."...