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Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript Engine Comes To Linux, macOS

ChakraCore On Linux and macOS

Microsoft released the open source Windows version of its Chakra JavaScript engine, called ChakraCore, in January 2016. The company uses the engine in the Edge browser and the company’s Universal Windows Platform. As Microsoft promised earlier, the company is also supporting the Linux and macOS platforms as well with its Chakra engine.

As the name implies, “ChakraCore” is the core component of Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript engine, which supports Just-in-time (JIT) compilation (only with Windows for now), garbage collection and many of the latest JavaScript features.

JIT compilations, as well as concurrent and partial garbage collection features, are still a work in progress for Linux and macOS. Microsoft discovered several issues with Windows dependencies for various APIs when trying to port ChakraCore to Linux and macOS, but the company refactored the APIs. At the same time, it maintained backwards compatibility for apps that use the old APIs.

Microsoft wants ChakraCore to have the same JavaScript performance on Linux and macOS that it currently has on Windows, which should happen as the Linux/macOS versions achieve feature parity, such as JIT compilation and the currently lacking GC features. These changes should also improve Node.js performance and other applications hosting ChakraCore.

Node-ChakraCore, which is a version of Node.js that replaces Google’s V8 JavaScript engine with ChakraCore, also works on Linux now. However, it exists only as a preview for now, so it’s not yet ready for production.

As Microsoft shifts focus to cloud services, it seems not to care as much whether its products use proprietary technology anymore. That means open sourcing some of its software can become a viable strategy for the company, much as it did for Google over the years. An open source approach can also lead to more developers using its tools, regardless of whether they are using them on Windows, Linux, or macOS.

Finally, the strategy can foster goodwill within the developer community, even as the company continues to create various controversies with its Windows 10 decisions - the latest one being its decision to disallow users from disabling the contextual tips and store suggestions in Windows 10 Pro.

  • Trying to stay relevant by embracing other platforms since clearly Windows user base don't care about it, especially not Edge.
    Reply
  • ohim
    18353874 said:
    Trying to stay relevant by embracing other platforms since clearly Windows user base don't care about it, especially not Edge.

    bad if they do, bad if they don`t, you can never please people it seems :)
    Reply
  • jackt
    I'd check for spyware and backdoors... Because of the microsoft decline there is a chance, if you ask me, that windows will become opensource and will fuse with linux. I think... I hope... Im sure that billy is at least thinking about it...
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Node-ChakraCore ... is a version of Node.js that replaces Google’s V8 JavaScript engine with ChakraCore,
    This is it, IMO. MS wants to support Linux (on the cloud, at least), but doesn't want their Linux stack to have any Google pieces in it.

    Maybe they're trying to pull an "embrace and extend" play, here. But I'm not sure that would fly, with something as mature and ubiquitous as JS. I'd probably take it at face value and regard it as a viable option.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    18353874 said:
    Trying to stay relevant by embracing other platforms since clearly Windows user base don't care about it, especially not Edge.

    The funny thing is Edge is a fast browser. It just needs add-on support. Oh yea, that comes with the update this month.

    18354021 said:
    18353874 said:
    Trying to stay relevant by embracing other platforms since clearly Windows user base don't care about it, especially not Edge.

    bad if they do, bad if they don`t, you can never please people it seems :)

    It is always a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" with Microsoft. A lot of their software is heavily tested by insiders and more recently they have even had non insiders testing it and giving feedback. Pretty much anyone could have used Windows 10 and given feedback well before release.

    Instead they just complain and complain and complain.

    18354351 said:
    I'd check for spyware and backdoors... Because of the microsoft decline there is a chance, if you ask me, that windows will become opensource and will fuse with linux. I think... I hope... Im sure that billy is at least thinking about it...

    Spyware? In a basic JS engine for a browser? I would expect that in Chrome since, well Google makes most of their money of ad revenue, but not for a JS engine that has been around since IE9.

    And what does Bill have to do with it? He no longer controls where MS goes but has input. He focuses more on his charity.
    Reply
  • Roryiscool
    I'd check for spyware and backdoors... Because of the microsoft decline there is a chance, if you ask me, that windows will become opensource and will fuse with linux. I think... I hope... Im sure that billy is at least thinking about it...

    @JACKT lmao haha
    Reply
  • wifiburger
    microsoft is on a never ending decline, people choose linux to get away from <mod edit> closed ecosystems,
    no amount of technology / money will get people to come back

    <Watch your language in these forums>
    Reply
  • Kimonajane
    And if it is not open source so anyone can see their code bet money it has back doors in it for their overlords the fascist FED.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    Wow, so much cynicism in this thread. It's just a Javascript engine, people. And it's open source, meaning anyone can read and modify the source code.

    It would be a really dumb place for MS to try to hide backdoors, spyware, etc. If it had anything like that, it would be discovered pretty quickly and removed either from the trunk or someone would make a clean branch. And the bad PR would lose MS a lot of goodwill that they seem to be trying to earn, among developers.

    I'm not here to defend MS Just try to be more informed. That's all.
    Reply
  • randomizer
    This is barely even news until it has JIT compilation working. We haven't needed to suffer the abysmal performance of interpreted JS since TraceMonkey rescued us in 2009.
    Reply