Microsoft To Make Microsoft Edge’s JavaScript Engine Open Source

Microsoft is open sourcing Chakra, the JavaScript engine powering its Edge web browser. The open source version of the engine is called ChakraCore. It’ll be landing on the company’s GitHub page next month and here’s what you need to know about it.

Chakra was first developed by Microsoft in 2008 with the objective of building a JavaScript engine that could “start fast, run fast, and deliver a great user experience, while utilising the full potential of the underlying hardware”, according to the vendor. Since then, Chakra has evolved, which has resulted in ChakraCore, a self-contained JavaScript virtual machine that can be embedded into products and applications that require scriptability such as NoSQL database, productivity software and game engines. It can be used to parse, interpret, compile and execute JavaScript code without any dependencies on Microsoft Edge internals.

ChakraCore isn’t exactly the same as Chakra for Microsoft Edge that ships with Windows 10. Microsoft highlighted two key differences in its blog post:

“First, it does not expose Chakra’s private bindings to the browser or the Universal Windows Platform, both of which constrain it to a very specific use case. Second, instead of exposing the COM based diagnostic APIs that are currently available in Chakra, ChakraCore will support a new set of modern diagnostic APIs, which will be platform agnostic and could be standardized or made interoperable across different implementations in the long run. As we make progress on these new diagnostics APIs, we plan to make them available in Chakra as well.”

Microsoft is calling on the developer community to contribute to improving ChakraCore. Watch out for the code on Microsoft’s GitHub page in January.

[Via Microsoft Edge Dev Blog]

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