Microsoft drops dogma, open-sources Chakra JavaScript engine

The core can ‘compile, execute code without any dependencies’

Microsoft's wheel of change has seen it further abandon closed-source dogma to open its Chakra, thereby improving its karma.

The Chakra in question is the Chakra JavaScript engine it's been working on since 2008 and which the company will now largely open-source.

The release will cover the “self-contained” parts of the code, and will hit the Web as ChakraCore, with support from Intel, AMD and NodeSource.

As a self-contained project, the core will include everything needed to “parse, interpret, compile and execute JavaScript code without any dependencies on Microsoft Edge internals”, Microsoft says.

Redmond's announcement, made by Gaurav Seth and Adalberto Foresti over the weekend, says a GitHub repository will be posted next month.

Seth and Foresti write that the Chakra architecture's “multi-tiered pipeline that supports an interpreter, a multi-tiered background JIT compiler, and a traditional mark and sweep garbage collector that can do concurrent and partial collections” deliver performance and scalability from “cloud services to the Internet of Things”.

The ChakraCore VM can work with NoSQL databases, productivity software and game engines, they write, and supports Node.js to extend its reach.

To prep the open source version, Microsoft got rid of Chakra's private bindings to the browser and to the Universal Windows Platform. It also rewrote the old COM-based diagnostic APIs, providing diagnostics which are “platform agnostic and could be standardised or made interoperable across different implementations”.

Chakra componentisation

ChakraCore cordoned off from Windows for open source release. Image: Microsoft blog post

While the initial open source ChakraCore will be a Windows-only beast, Seth and Foresti “invite developers to help us in this pursuit by letting us know which other platforms they’d like to see ChakraCore supported on to help us prioritize future investments, or even by helping port it to the platform of their choice.” ®

Other stories you might like

  • AI tool finds hundreds of genes related to human motor neuron disease

    Breakthrough could lead to development of drugs to target illness

    A machine-learning algorithm has helped scientists find 690 human genes associated with a higher risk of developing motor neuron disease, according to research published in Cell this week.

    Neuronal cells in the central nervous system and brain break down and die in people with motor neuron disease, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the baseball player who developed it. They lose control over their bodies, and as the disease progresses patients become completely paralyzed. There is no currently no verified cure for ALS.

    Motor neuron disease typically affects people in old age and its causes are unknown. Johnathan Cooper-Knock, a clinical lecturer at the University of Sheffield in England and leader of Project MinE, an ambitious effort to perform whole genome sequencing of ALS, believes that understanding how genes affect cellular function could help scientists develop new drugs to treat the disease.

    Continue reading
  • Need to prioritize security bug patches? Don't forget to scan Twitter as well as use CVSS scores

    Exploit, vulnerability discussion online can offer useful signals

    Organizations looking to minimize exposure to exploitable software should scan Twitter for mentions of security bugs as well as use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System or CVSS, Kenna Security argues.

    Better still is prioritizing the repair of vulnerabilities for which exploit code is available, if that information is known.

    CVSS is a framework for rating the severity of software vulnerabilities (identified using CVE, or Common Vulnerability Enumeration, numbers), on a scale from 1 (least severe) to 10 (most severe). It's overseen by, a US-based, non-profit computer security organization.

    Continue reading
  • Sniff those Ukrainian emails a little more carefully, advises Uncle Sam in wake of Belarusian digital vandalism

    NotPetya started over there, don't forget

    US companies should be on the lookout for security nasties from Ukrainian partners following the digital graffiti and malware attack launched against Ukraine by Belarus, the CISA has warned.

    In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it "strongly urges leaders and network defenders to be on alert for malicious cyber activity," having issued a checklist [PDF] of recommended actions to take.

    "If working with Ukrainian organizations, take extra care to monitor, inspect, and isolate traffic from those organizations; closely review access controls for that traffic," added CISA, which also advised reviewing backups and disaster recovery drills.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022