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ChakraCore Gets Microsoft's Open Source Treatment

Now that the JavaScript engine is open to the development community at large, it paves the way to making it available on Linux and other non-Windows platforms.

ChakraCore, Microsoft's JavaScript engine, is now under open source development on GitHub. The company had said back in December at the JSConf US that it would release the ChakraCore JavaScript engine to the open source community, and it had done that officially last week.

ChakraCore is Microsoft's JavaScript engine built specifically to spur performance of the Internet Explorer 9 browser on the Windows platform, and is being developed further to support the new Microsoft Edge browser. With ChakraCore going open source, features and changes developed in the open will be added to the ChakraCore version in Edge and Windows 10's Universal Windows Platform. Open sourcing it also opens up the engine to support non-Windows platforms, such as Linux, and others that the community wants.

"With today's release, you can build ChakraCore on Windows 7 SP1 or above with Visual Studio 2013 or 2015 with C++ support installed," writes Gaurav Seth, Chakra's Principal Program Manager, in a blog post from last week. "In the future, we are committed to bringing it to other platforms, starting with Linux, and will keep the roadmap updated with details and status updates as we make progress."

The roadmap that Seth refers to is the feature list that the group has committed to working on well into mid-2016, such as Node.js and ECMAscript support and development of a pared down ChakraCore version with just the interpreter and runtime (that is, sans JIT compiler) to allow it to port more readily to Linux. Seth's group is looking for community contributions as well as suggestions for platforms other than Linux and Windows.

The six-month development road map can be viewed and contributed to here.

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You Tell 'Em, Readers: If you've read this far, know that Michael Domingo, Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief, is here to serve you, dear readers, and wants to get you the information you so richly deserve. What news, content, topics, issues do you want to see covered in Visual Studio Magazine? He's listening at mdomingo@1105media.com.

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