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This article was published on March 15, 2016

Mozilla’s super speedy new browser will be available for testing in June

Mozilla’s super speedy new browser will be available for testing in June
Owen Williams
Story by

Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

A new browser built by Mozilla Research called Servo is close to becoming reality, with a post from one of the team’s developers on the organization’s forum confirming a first release should land in June.

Servo is a browser engine that was built from the ground up in the Rust language to specialize in performance, security, modularity and parallelism.

What parallelism means in a browser is that the browser’s independent components such as rendering, HTML parsing, layout and other jobs are handled by isolated tasks, which helps with both performance and stability.

It’s actively being developed for Linux, Android, OS X and Firefox OS, but Mozilla hasn’t publicly discussed its plans for the eventual official release of the browser.

The team hopes to have a functional alpha out in June so people can start testing it to provide feedback – but it won’t be for everyday use for months.

An early test version of Servo with a UI built in pure HTML
Credit: Servo
An early test version of Servo with a UI built in pure HTML

To many the Servo project is more interesting than Mozilla’s primary project – Firefox – because it’s a brave new attempt at creating an entirely different type of browser.

Eventually bits from Servo will trickle into Firefox, but it’s not clear if the company intends on eventually merging the two projects, given the gains that could be realized.

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