Foundations for the Future

Introduction

This week the Servo project took a significant next step in bringing community-led transformative innovations to the web by announcing it will be hosted by the Linux Foundation.  Mozilla is pleased to see Servo, which began as a research effort in 2012, open new doors that can lead it to ever broader benefits for users and the web. Working together, the Servo project and Linux Foundation are a natural fit for nurturing continued growth of the Servo community, encouraging investment in development, and expanding availability and adoption.

Historical Retrospective

From the outset the Servo project was about pioneering new approaches to web browsing fundamentals leveraging the extraordinary advantages of the Rust programming language, itself a companion Mozilla research effort. Rethinking the architecture and implementation of core browser operations allowed Servo to demonstrate extraordinary benefits from parallelism and direct leverage of our increasingly sophisticated computer and mobile phone hardware.

Those successes inspired the thinking behind Project Quantum, which in 2017 delivered compelling improvements in user responsiveness and performance for Firefox in large part by incorporating Servo’s parallelized styling engine (“Stylo”) along with other Rust-based components. More recently, Servo’s WebRender GPU-based rendering subsystem delivered new performance enhancements for Firefox, and Servo branched out to become an equally important component of Mozilla’s Firefox Reality virtual reality browser.

What’s Next?

All along the way, the Servo project has been an exemplary showcase for the benefits of open source based community contribution and leadership. Many other individuals and organizations contributed much of the implementation work that has found its way into Servo, Firefox, Firefox Reality, and indirectly the Rust programming language itself.

Mozilla is excited at what the future holds for Servo. Organizing and managing an effort at the scale and reach of Servo is no small thing, and the Linux Foundation is an ideal home with all the operational expertise and practical capabilities to help the project fully realize its potential. The term “graduate” somehow feels appropriate for this transition, and Mozilla could not be prouder or more enthusiastic.

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

 

About David Bryant

Fellow, New Products and Operations

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