Rust-based servo web engine moves from Mozilla to Linux Foundation


Open source Rust The programming language has gained ground in recent years as a faster way to create secure, high-performance application code.

Rust is originally a project from browser vendor Mozilla, which also used Rust to create an experimental browser engine called Servo.

On November 17, the Servo Project announced that it was moving to the Linux Foundation, creating a new home for what has become the second largest Rust project, after the Rust language itself. Chris Aniszczyk, vice president of strategic and development programs at the Linux Foundation, said ITPro today that the Servo Web engine is hosted as a collaborative project and not as an umbrella foundation such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) or the OpenJS Foundation, each of which has several projects as part of the organization.

The timing of the move has a lot to do with what has happened at Mozilla in recent months. On August 11, Mozilla announced a major restructuring, laying off staff through multiple efforts, including many who worked on the Servo Web Engine. Alan Jeffrey, Technical President of the Servo Project, said ITPro today that the process of moving Servo to the Linux Foundation was a collaboration between Mozilla, LF, and the Servo development team.

“The impetus for moving was to restructure Mozilla and refocus Mozilla on providing products and services,” Jeffrey said. “Servo was incubated at Mozilla, but has since proven that Rust can be used to provide a safe and efficient web engine.”

Servo gets a new governance model

As part of the move to the Linux Foundation, the Servo project will benefit from a new governance structure including both technical and financial aspects.

Technical governance will be provided by a technical steering committee, made up of regular Servo contributors, some still at Mozilla, some formerly at Mozilla and some external, according to Jeffrey. Financial governance will be provided by a board of directors made up of corporate donors, Mozilla, and representatives of the developer community.

“It’s different from before, where the governance of the project came from Mozilla,” he said.

The way forward for servo in 2021

At Mozilla, Servo was set to become a new engine for its web browser technology. Like his own project at the Linux Foundation, the sources of future adoption of Servo may well be much greater.

Jeffrey said there are likely at least two sources for the future adoption of Servo. The first comes from application developers who want to integrate a web engine into their products.

“Servo is designed to be embeddable, unlike many other web engines, which are closely tied to the browser they are a part of,” he said. “The second path to adoption is in VR [virtual reality] and AR [augmented reality] headsets, using Servo to stream WebXR content. “

“WebXRis the term used to define virtual and augmented reality content that can be delivered via the web. Servo is already the engine behind Firefox Reality on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset, and the Servo Project hopes to see more widespread adoption in this domain, Jeffrey said.

“Servo is the most promising, modern, and open web engine for building immersive applications and experiences using web technologies, and it 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. “WeI am delighted to support and maintain this important work for decades to come. “

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