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Open Source Internet Explorer Microsoft Software

Microsoft To Open Source Chakra, the JavaScript Engine In Its Edge Browser (windows.com) 114

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft announced today that it will soon open source the "Chakra" JavaScript engine used inside its Edge browser and Internet Explorer. The company plans to publish the code on its GitHub page in January. "Microsoft is calling the version it's open sourcing ChakraCore. This is the complete JavaScript engine—the parser, the interpreter, the just-in-time compiler, and the garbage collector along with the API used to embed the engine into applications (as used in Edge). This will have the same performance and capabilities, including asm.js and SIMD support, as well as cutting-edge support for new ECMAScript 2015 language features like the version found in Microsoft's Windows 10 browser." While it'll be Windows-only code to start, they plan on taking it cross-platform just as they did with .NET. "Microsoft intends to run ChakraCore's development as a proper community project. The company says that Intel and AMD have already expressed interest in contributing, and others are sure to join them."
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Microsoft To Open Source Chakra, the JavaScript Engine In Its Edge Browser

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  • Curious (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Does this sort of thing really get non-MS employees to contribute to the project? Or is it just a matter of opening the source so people can poke through it for the sake of their own enlightenment? If I were looking for a open source project to contribute my time and effort, I can't imagine that what amounts to a wholly Microsoft project would pull me in.

    • same as google or anyone else. when you don't want to spend the cash to develop your language or platform, open source it and let some other sucker do the work for you
    • Re:Curious (Score:4, Insightful)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday December 05, 2015 @01:43PM (#51063129) Journal

      Does this sort of thing really get non-MS employees to contribute to the project?

      Getting people to contribute is kind of like starting and running a community. It's a different skill set than writing code.

      In their post, Microsoft claims that they want people to contribute, but how they run the community is what will determine if people actually do.

    • Re:Curious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Saturday December 05, 2015 @06:25PM (#51064147)

      Does this sort of thing really get non-MS employees to contribute to the project? Or is it just a matter of opening the source so people can poke through it for the sake of their own enlightenment? If I were looking for a open source project to contribute my time and effort, I can't imagine that what amounts to a wholly Microsoft project would pull me in.

      C# is OSS on GitHub has lots of non-MS contributors. If you add together the non-MS contributors to the compiler, the standard libraries, and the runtime, they add up to about twice that of node.js. See here, particularly the graph on slide 11:
      http://www.slideshare.net/Kase... [slideshare.net]

      The author of that deck gave me a more recent version of that slide for a talk I gave recently at QCon (I'm on the C# team), on slide 21: https://qconsf.com/system/file... [qconsf.com]

      I think the general story is (1) Microsoft came late to the OSS game so we're working extra hard at being extra open to make up for lost time, e.g. the C# standard library team hold their weekly API design review meetings live online and anyone can join in (and the recordings are kept so that GitHub issues can link to the exact moment in the meeting when the issue is discussed). (2) There seriously are a heck of a lot of C# developers out there in the world, lots of them passionate about the language they use day-in and day-out, so contributing comes naturally. (3) C# has a lot of credibility, e.g. amongst folks who think of it as "java done right", e.g. for its introduction of LINQ and more recently async/await, so you do earn serious geek cred by contributing to C#. (4) Lots of people in Microsoft shops have been itching to get into OSS, and previously had a hard time convincing their bosses to let them, but now they can show that Microsoft does it so it must be okay. A weird thought process I know coming from a Linux background, but it's nevertheless how a lot of bosses in a lot of Microsoft shops think.

      I believe that TypeScript, another OSS Microsoft project, has a huge number of non-MS contributors too. Will Chakra get the same? No idea! But I wouldn't be surprised.

    • by Zardus ( 464755 )

      Their support of open source has been pretty impressive lately. One thing we use extensively, for example, is Z3 (https://github.com/Z3Prover/z3), a Microsoft-created SMT solver that they recently put under an MIT license, and for which they gladly take contributions. Hard to recognize the "Linux is a cancer" company from back in the day :-)

    • You're likely not the type of contributor they're looking to attract. An independent guy in search of an OSS project. Rather, they want contributions from corporate entities. From the article, Intel and AMD. Maybe ARM & nVidia, since browsers are increasingly being used as benchmark platforms.
  • by CrashNBrn ( 1143981 ) on Saturday December 05, 2015 @02:26PM (#51063259)
    Well that's kinda awesome. Too bad Opera ASA left their Opera legacy and mail client to rot into obscurity instead of letting the code free.
  • ... as in "this is not your grandpa's MS anymore".

    • by Teckla ( 630646 )

      ... as in "this is not your grandpa's MS anymore".

      I'd like to think that, but then Windows 10 popped up a notification telling me to upgrade to Office 365. Seems like the same old abuse-of-monopoly Microsoft to me.

  • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Saturday December 05, 2015 @03:56PM (#51063545)

    I know that there's a Linux distro by that name. But how did this become the name of the JavaScript Engine in Edge? The word means 'wheel' in Indian languages. Is this a Nadella import?

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Saturday December 05, 2015 @07:23PM (#51064441)

    microsoft is doing this because they think they can get in on the open source action where you have unpaid people fixing bugs. the problem with this plan is that this is people don't work on something because it's open source, they work on it because they like it and want it to succeed. you can't modify anything but the javascript engine of Edge, so why would you bother helping them? i hope they have a lucrative bug bounty program to go with this because this will make exploits a bit easier to find.

    • Because some people are passionate about all the major browsers being able to use new stuff? Every web dev knows the pain of not being able to use feature X because either it wasn't implemented in browser y or is buggy in browser y. Being able to actually help bring up all 3 browsers so that they can begin using feature X is exactly why the bulk of OSS patches get made.

      • Being able to actually help bring up all 3 browsers so that they can begin using feature X is exactly why the bulk of OSS patches get made.

        if that's the case, you still wont be able to help the Edge browser.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "microsoft is doing this because they think they can get in on the open source action where you have unpaid people fixing bugs"

      And all the others are doing it ... because they're kind?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does anybody give a fuck what a sellout anti-trust spyware company "open sources"?

    • by Quarters ( 18322 )

      Well, I did. But now that I've read your thought provoking, well researched, and immaculately composed post I do believe you have changed my mind. Your insightful and intelligent argument will sway many, I believe.

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