Microsoft Has Requested Edge's JavaScript Engine Be Incorporated Into Node.js

Microsoft recently open sourced Chakra, the JavaScript engine of its Edge browser. That was significant news in itself, but the company has taken it a step further by issuing a massive pull request for Node.js to allow the popular runtime to built against Chakra.

Right now, Node.js uses Google’s V8 engine, the same one found in Chrome. Microsoft’s recent pull request however gives developers the option to use ChakraCore instead. The comments stemming from the request are heated — as you’d expect for such a change.

Incorporating Charka is no simple task, with the request altering a staggering 4786 files.

Chakra’s principal PM manager, Gaurav Seth, goes into some detail about the decision on Microsoft’s developer blog:

We believe allowing more Node.js developers to target more platforms is key to its future growth. To do our part in growing the Node.js pie, last year we introduced support for Node.js with Chakra to extend the reach of Node.js and allow developers to target a brand new platform called Windows 10 IoT Core.

This pull request enables Node.js to optionally use the ChakraCore JavaScript engine. Chakra Shim, which is a layer on top of the ChakraCore JS Engine, enables building and running Node.js with ChakraCore. This shim implements the most essential V8 APIs so that the underlying JavaScript engine change is transparent to Node.js and other native addon modules written for V8.

Whether the pull request will be accepted is — literally — open to debate, but going by the current comments over on Github, it will be integrated once it’s been reviewed. Though, given the scope of the changes, it won’t be soon.

Submitting a Pull Request to Node.js with ChakraCore [Microsoft]

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