Block diagram of Chakra's design. (credit: Microsoft)

At JSConf in Florida today, Microsoft announced that it is open sourcing Chakra, the JavaScript engine used in its Edge and Internet Explorer browsers. The code will be published to the company's GitHub page next month.

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.

There are some small differences, however, between ChakraCore and Chakra as ships in Windows 10. The full Chakra includes the glue between the JavaScript engine and the browser's HTML engine, and similarly, glue between the JavaScript engine and the Universal Windows Platform. Neither of these are part of ChakraCore. Chakra also has diagnostic APIs that use COM and hence are Windows-specific. These won't be in ChakraCore either. Instead, a new set of diagnostic APIs will be developed and eventually integrated into the full Chakra.

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