TMCnet Feature
April 03, 2013

Mozilla & Samsung Unite to Create Servo, the Next Generation of Web Browsing

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

There's no denying that Mozilla (News - Alert) knows what it's comes to Web browsers. Anyone who's used Firefox lately already knows that the company has an excellent handle on putting out a Web browser that's easy to use and reacts well to most environments. But today's exciting Web browser is tomorrow's relic, unless it's kept up to date. So to that end, Mozilla Research is already hard at work on Servo, the next generation of Web browser engines, and it's got some big name backup from Samsung (News - Alert).

Servo is said to be Mozilla's attempt to rebuild the Web browser to run on the current lineup of hardware options, taking advantage of environments with more and faster RAM (News - Alert), multicore processors and the like. Servo is actually written in Rust, Mozilla's new systems language created with the help of a steadily-growing coterie of browser enthusiasts. With Servo in place, Mozilla users will be better able to "fully utilize the performance of tomorrow's massively parallel hardware to enable new and richer experiences on the Web."

What's more, Servo--along with Rust--will also be making appearances on both Android (News - Alert) and ARM systems, which will allow for a better experience for Servo on the mobile circuit when it makes an appearance there. Samsung has reportedly already brought in an ARM (News - Alert) backend for Rust, as well as a build environment to allow cross-compiling for Android devices. The code to actually try something like this is now available at Github, and Mozilla promises that this is just a beginning.

Indeed, Mozilla, and by extension Samsung, have a lot of plans in mind for Rust and Servo. Plans to expand the libraries and clean up and document the libraries already in place are on the table, and improved sets of tools to make a better overall experience are also slated for arrival in the near future. Rust, after all, only recently reached version 0.6, so there's certainly plenty of room for improvement to come, though the software has already come a long way since its inception. Mozilla's main purpose is to get the language ready for prime time, and to that end, it's even calling for help from the community to "participate in the development process on the Rust and Servo mailing lists."

Just what Rust and Servo will ultimately be able to do clearly remains to be seen, but with Mozilla, Samsung and the weight of a whole community of independent developers taking a closer look at the whole operation and working to make it better, it's a safe bet that, before too much longer, Servo will be rolling out, powered by Rust and bringing some very impressive operations along with it.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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