1. 100
  1.  

  2. 17

    Super happy to hear this. I wonder where the funding is coming from (it’s been a while since the linux foundation inherited the project - why is it being re-activated now?) and what Mozilla’s position will be with regards to Servo’s source code (would they be interested in merging some of it in Firefox like they did with Stylo or are they completely indifferent?).

    1. 11

      Looks like Igalia people to me.

      1. 10
        1. 5

          That’s great, but how do they keep the lights on? There is no money to be made in servo, so who is paying?

          1. 6

            There’s a good thread discussing that — It seems that generally they get paid by companies to spearhead work on open source projects.

            1. 2

              wow, I had no idea that a company like bloomberg would sponsor such developments. That’s awesome!

              1. 2

                I’m told Bloomberg has some very interesting tech in their stack. The Bloomberg terminals themselves are quite interesting - basically had hypertext in the 80s.

                1. 3

                  I am still surprised that bloomberg has a culture that would not only find budget to implement CSS features in Chrome (a google product and google being one of the riches companies in the world), but also that you would give it to an external supplier. That sounds like a very healthy engineering culture!

    2. 10

      What a great news, Web browsers are critically important and are now becoming like mini-OSes, having modular components that can be composed and specialised will ensure that we have viable alternative to the current integration around WebKit/Blink.

      1. 2

        Web browsers are critically important and are now becoming like mini-OSes

        IMO the entire point of web browsers has always been that they were mini-OSes, competing with apt. They dominated Windows, because 1) the vast majority of use-cases didn’t actually need special permissions from the OS, and 2) the alternative was “go to this [website/FTP server/etc] and download a .exe, run the .exe, wait a minute or two, launch the app” instead of just “go to this website”.

        1. 1

          This is kind of a funny take to me, because I have viewed it the opposite way. Web browsers becoming the application platform of choice for many users is what has made the use of alternative OSes (not Windows) more viable in the modern age. Of course, the move to pocket computers (phones) is really what has made the most impact.

          1. 2

            The reason web browsers made alternative OSes more viable is because they’re an open standard VM that’s easily portable to the alternative OS.

            Pocket computers displacing Windows demonstrates that trivial installation procedures really are what make or break an OS - the procedure for installing an app is to 1) open up the app store (or click a link), then 2) hit “install”. Just like the web browser, it’s trivial. IMO this is why mobile destroyed desktops for most use-cases.

      2. 6

        There’s too much of a webkit/blink monoculture, so I welcome this sort of thing.

        I hope they get somewhere useful.

        1. 4

          After reading their home page description, I have no idea what this is actually for:

          Servo’s mission is to provide an independent, modular, embeddable web engine, which allows developers to deliver content and applications using web standards.

          1. 23

            It’s Mozilla’s effort to write a browser rendering engine in Rust. Started out as a research project, produced some decent components that made it into Firefox, and then got shelved a year or two ago when Mozilla came under new management and decided to cut costs.

            1. 1

              doesn’t it also perform certain threading improvements which you normally don’t have in render engines ? (apart from the CSS layout system already being threaded itself)

              1. 5

                Yes it does. Servo is far more parallelized than traditional rendering engines (both Gecko and KHTML-descended - i.e. WebKit and Blink) because of both Rust’s safe parallelism fu and the absence of decades of legacy code architecture. This is why Stylus and WebRender (Servo components that were ported into Gecko), for example, are so much faster than their predecessors in Gecko.

            2. 10

              This is an engine to render web content. Firefox has gecko, and all the chrome clones use blink. It converts html + css into pixels for your screens.

              1. 4

                I know Tauri has theorized using this as the embeddable web engine (instead of WebKit) with the goal of improving cross-OS consistency. Not sure if this funding news is an any way related to that, though.

                1. 2

                  Bundle Size

                  By using the OS’s native web renderer, the size of a Tauri app can be less than 600KB.

                  I dunno about this. One of the reason Tauri outputs can be so small is the leveraging of the “web view” on the existing platform (as opposed to shipping the entire Chromium engine like Electron). It could help with the consistency, but I would assume this would fall under a flag where some will prefer the lighter footprint over that consistency.

                  1. 1

                    Agreed — I don’t anticipate it becoming a default. I don’t know what the binary size of Servo is, but hopefully it can be a compelling option against Electron/Chromium since it isn’t a fully fledged browser.

                    1. 3

                      Anything to compete against Electron/Chromium/Blink/V8 would be awesome. I wonder if Ladybird is doing well.

                      1. 1

                        At some point, the size of functionally-equivalent C++ and Rust binaries should more or less converge, at least assuming similar compiler backends + codegen (I.e., LLVM/Clang).

                        Choice of coding style, size of external dependencies, asset storage, etc. are all independent of implementation language, but have a sizable impact on binary size.

                        I’m personally more interested in Servo for a) choice and competition against the “New IE”, and b) an engine and community more open to experimentation and extension than Chromium/V8.

                        1. 2

                          At some point, the size of functionally-equivalent C++ and Rust binaries should more or less converge

                          For sure — though is Servo closer to being functionally-equivalent to Chromium, or Blink? I guess my hope is that Tauri + Servo is smaller than Electron + Chromium. From a quick skim it appears Chromium is substantially bigger than Blink itself, so Tauri only requiring the web engine aspect might be a size gain alone.

                          I’m also on board with the added competition, as long as it’s maintained going forward. If a new engine gains usage but then ceases development it would serve to slow adoption of new standards.

                2. 4

                  I wonder if this news is related to Tauri developments at all — I recall in a podcast with a Tauri maintainer the revival of Servo was mentioned as a path forward for rendering consistent cross-platform webviews, rather than using the system webkit/other