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Open Source Web Engine Servo to be Hosted at Linux Foundation

·7 min read

Open Source Web Engine Servo to be Hosted at Linux Foundation

Open Source Web Engine Servo to be Hosted at Linux Foundation

PR Newswire

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17, 2020

The popular and lightning-fast web engine built using the Rust programming language will grow the community and expand its platform footprint

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- KubeCon -- The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the Servo web engine. Servo is an open source, high-performance browser engine designed for both application and embedded use and is written in the Rust programming language, bringing lightning-fast performance and memory safety to browser internals. Industry support for this move is coming from Futurewei, Let's Encrypt, Mozilla, Samsung, and Three.js, among others.

"The Linux Foundation's track record for hosting and supporting the world's most ubiquitous open source technologies makes it the natural home for growing the Servo community and increasing its platform support," said Alan Jeffrey, Technical Chair of the Servo project. "There's a lot of development work and opportunities for our Servo Technical Steering Committee to consider, and we know this cross-industry open source collaboration model will enable us to accelerate the highest priorities for web developers."

Servo is an open source project that delivers components that can load, run, and display web pages, applications, and immersive WebXR experiences. Developers can integrate the Servo web engine -- including a parallelized CSS engine that speeds page load times and improves stability and a rendering engine called WebRender -- into their own user interfaces, 3D experiences, and other products. Servo currently runs on Linux, macOS, and Windows, and has been ported to devices such as Android phones, Oculus, Magic Leap, and Microsoft's HoloLens. Servo was instrumental in building Mozilla's Gecko browser engine that powered the launch of the Firefox Quantum web browser in 2017, and is still core to Firefox's DNA today.

In 2012, Mozilla started the Servo project, a community effort to create a new, open source browser engine that can take advantage of multicore hardware to improve speed, stability, and responsiveness. Today, Servo is more efficient than most web engines because it takes advantage of low-power multi-core CPUs. This is enabled by the open source Rust programming language that focuses on speed, memory safety, and parallelism. Rust and Servo co-evolved, and during their early days, Servo was the only large-scale Rust program other than the Rust compiler itself. Rust's memory safety guarantees mean that Servo presents a smaller attack surface for security vulnerabilities such as buffer overflow attacks. Rust and Servo were both incubated by Mozilla, and the next step for Servo is through the Linux Foundation.

"Mozilla is a champion of the open source movement, working to unite passionate communities to build software that keeps the internet open and accessible to all," said Adam Seligman, Chief Operating Officer at Mozilla. "We're pleased to see Servo graduate from Mozilla and move on to the Linux Foundation where we know this technology will continue to thrive and power web-based innovation in the future."

"Servo is the most promising, modern, and open web engine for building applications and immersive experiences using web technologies, and that has a lot to do with the Rust programming language," said Mike Dolan, senior vice president, and general manager of projects at the Linux Foundation. "We're excited to support and sustain this important work for decades to come."

For more information about the Servo project and to contribute, please visit servo.org.

About the Linux Foundation
Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,500 members and is the world's leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. Linux Foundation's projects are critical to the world's infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more. The Linux Foundation's methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see its trademark usage page: www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Media Contact
Jennifer Cloer

Comments from Developer Community

"For me, Servo has been the most exciting project on the web for many years now. I eagerly await any announcement from the development of this web browser. As a new browser engine, it has the potential for a huge impact on the browser ecosystem, the likes of which have not been seen for years. Having multiple, successful, and actively developed browser engine implementations are incredibly important to the health of the Web. It ensures that the web platform acts as a robust foundation for all the websites and software built on web technologies. By having many different browsers participating in the web standards efforts it ensures that the web platform is one that is designed for everyone.

The web is evolving rapidly at the moment with new APIs like WebXR, and I am really happy that Servo has been involved in these APIs which are bringing the web into the future to ensure that the web is a valuable medium on new hardware platforms for years to come. I am extremely excited about the future of Servo to see the speed and stability of a new browser built-in Rust and how it will impact the browser ecosystem.

Ada Rose Cannon, Developer Advocate for the web browser Samsung Internet and co-chair of the W3C Immersive Web Working Group

Servo, a browser engine built using Rust, is a keystone project for bringing the performance and security necessary for web technologies to go beyond interlinked pages of text and media to serve a new generation of use cases where immersive reality is the platform for computing and real-time collaboration between people, places and things can improve the lives of billions. It is exciting that this important project will be taken forward by the Linux Foundation's international open source community.

Tish Shute, Dir. AR/VR, Futurewei Technologies, Inc., Co-Founder of Augmented World Expo and Augmented Reality.org

The security of the internet increasingly relies on moving away from error-prone languages like C and C++ and towards languages like Rust which provide safety and security without sacrificing performance. The Servo web engine has co-evolved with Rust and brings its benefits to the web.

It's exciting to see what's possible if we re-imagine how we build critical software with modern tools that address safety issues without sacrificing performance. Servo gives us a sneak peek at a safer and more secure future for critical and complex software systems.

The Servo project helps us to understand the extent of what's possible in a world where we have tools like Rust available to us. The complexity of Web rendering engines pushes software engineering systems to their limits, which is why it's so important that we invest in understanding how we can make generational improvements to such critical systems.

Josh Aas, Executive Director, Internet Security Research Group and Let's Encrypt

Servo has been a crucial part of the development of the immersive web. With it, Mozilla was able to help stabilize the WebVR and WebXR APIs by quickly bringing a browser alternative to emerging platforms such as Microsoft HoloLens, Oculus Quest, and Magic Leap. It's important for the well-being of the internet that independent implementations of web APIs exist and I am excited to see Servo grow and continue to be on the leading edge of the web.

Ricardo Cabello (@mrdoob), Three.js Project Lead


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SOURCE The Linux Foundation