In just the past few months the company has open sourced its code editor, Visual Studio’s code building tool, a video standard and more.
While Chakra is at the core of only the Edge browser, it s used across Windows 10 to power Universal Applications on Xbox, Windows Phone and tablets.
It only contains the ‘core packages’ for the engine, so does not expose Chakra’s private bindings to Edge or Universal Applications or make available a COM API for diagnosis.
Beginning in January 2016 Microsoft will allow external developers to contribute to the project via pull requests on GitHub and more details on how to collaborate will be shared at that time.
It’s an interesting — and impressive move — for Microsoft, a company that has historically kept its code under wraps and rarely open sourced projects.
Google open sourced its rendering engine, V8, many years ago and has seen great success with community collaboration on the project, as well as its adoption in other browsers and application stacks.
As Microsoft turns over a new leaf under its new CEO, Satya Nadella, the company continues to show that it’s committed to open sourcing projects — and that it’s willing to listen to developer feedback.
Microsoft hopes ChakraCore will be used in a wide range of applications in the future, from cloud services to the Internet of Things, but it’ll be interesting to see if there are enough reasons to shift from Google’s offering.
ChakraCore will be available on GitHub in January for download and integration into your own apps.