Microsoft Releases Its JavaScript Engine As Open Source 'ChakraCore'

Microsoft announced that it released an open source version of its Chakra JavaScript engine. This is yet another step in Microsoft recent push to open source more of its tools to increase adoption for them and build more developer trust.

Chakra was first launched for Internet Explorer 9, at a time when Microsoft was trying to keep up with Google Chrome’s significant increases in JavaScript performance, as it launched a few years earlier. ChakraCore is essentially the same engine, but with platform-agnostic bindings, rather than Windows-specific ones.

The open source engine is called ChakraCore and is already published on Github, where developers can take a look and contribute fixes or improvements. Once all of those changes have been vetted, they can move into the Chakra engine that powers the Edge browser on Windows 10.

Microsoft said that ChakraCore can be built on Windows 7 SP1 and above, and that in the future it will work on supporting Linux and other platforms, as well. Therefore, developers won’t have to use Windows to work on ChakraCore. The company said that it wants developers to tell it which other platforms it should support, or they could start doing the porting themselves to their preferred platform.

Microsoft also submitted a request to the Node.js project (which is currently based on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine) to also support ChakraCore so it can benefit from better support for the latest ECMAScript 2015 (the latest scripting language specification, for which JavaScript is an implementation).

Now, we have one more major open source JavaScript engine that can compete against Google’s V8, Mozilla’s SpiderMonkey, and Apple’s JavaScriptCore (Nitro), which should ultimately lead to even better performance for web apps and web sites.

Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware. You can follow him at @lucian_armasu. 

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Lucian Armasu
Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.
  • kenjitamura
    Microsoft seems to be making good on its promises to embrace open source software.

    Hard to believe this was the same company that just until a few years ago abducted little girls, raped them, murdered them, cannibalized their remains, and then proceeded to harass the parents with packages of their body parts and creepy phone calls. ... Oh wait, that was Tsutomu Miyazaki? It's so hard to tell them apart sometimes.
  • cst1992

    LOL, although I agree that open source is the way to go. I am waiting for the day when they release Windows as open source, although that may be a pipe dream. Or the switch of gaming to Linux(hey, if Crysis can run on Ubuntu, others can, too!)
  • f-14
    and it especially includes a zero privacy policy and 100% exploitable
  • cst1992
    The beauty of open source is that anyone can just cut all that crap right out.
    That's the debugger's word of truth:
    "The code never lies".
  • dE_logics
    Their 'plans' to make it cross platform will remain plans forever as with .NET.