Microsoft achieves major milestone by enabling Node.js to work with ChakraCore

About a week ago, Microsoft open-sourced key components of its Chakra JavaScript engine which gave rise to what is now known as ChakraCore. In the accompanying announcement, the company drew attention to its six month roadmap outlining what it aims to achieve by the end of June 2016.

The company has made good progress by ticking off three of its thirteen cross-platform line items. Today, Microsoft achieved a major milestone by submitting a pull request to Node.js enabling it to optionally use ChakraCore. This has been made possible through the development of a shim which sits between Node.js and ChakraCore.

In his latest blog, Guarev Seth, Chakra Principal PM Manager, mentioned that:

This shim implements the most essential V8 APIs so that the underlying JavaScript engine change is transparent to Node.js and other native addon modules written for V8. All that is needed is to rebuild Node.js executable and native addon modules with ChakraCore.

Already, the pull request on GitHub has already garnered nearly 100 comments with some of them conveying excitement while others have remarked upon the enormity of the task ahead of the code reviewers.

The company also shared benchmarks highlighting improved TypeScript compile times ranging between 10 - 30%. It was also announced that Microsoft Research will be lending a hand "to advance the state of the art of Node.js debugging" by developing a feature called Time Travel debugging. This capability would enable developers to "reverse execute" code in the debugger from any given breakpoint.

Microsoft is showing little sign of backing away from its open source efforts and has openly welcomed feedback via numerous channels including its Node.js pull request, @ChakraCore on Twitter and the ChakraCore repository on GitHub. It will be interesting to see how the Node.js development team ultimately responds to Microsoft's proposed development.

Source and Image: Windows blog

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