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Mozilla and Samsung team up for new browser engine, Servo

Samsung and Mozilla are teaming up on the future of web browsing.

The Firefox maker is collaborating with Samsung on a new browser engine known as Servo, which Mozilla said "is an attempt to rebuild the Web browser from the ground up on modern hardware, rethinking old assumptions along the way."

Servo is written in Rust, a new language developed by Mozilla and its community, the company said in a blog post.

The move is basically Mozilla's way of thinking ahead. "We need to be prepared to take advantage of tomorrow's faster, multi-core, heterogeneous computing architectures," wrote Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla.

With Servo, Mozilla wants to design a platform that can tap into the "massively parallel hardware" of tomorrow to provide a richer experience on the Web - all while addressing the causes of security vulnerabilities.

To accomplish this, Mozilla will bring together the Rust programming language and the experimental Servo Web browser engine on Android and ARM, which will allow for "deeper research" on mobile. Mozilla is currently developing its own smartphone operating system, known as Firefox OS. For more, check out hands on with the Firefox OS-based Alcatel One Touch Fire from MWC.

"Samsung has already contributed an ARM backend to Rust and the build infrastructure necessary to cross-compile to Android, along with many other improvements," Eich wrote.

The code is currently available on Github, though Eich warned it is "just the beginning."

Mozilla has been working on Rust for several years, Eich said. The team is now on version 0.6, and it's "rapidly approaching stability." Mozilla hopes to release the first major revision of Rust this year.

"It is intended to fill many of the same niches that C++ has over the past decades, with efficient high-level, multi-paradigm abstractions, and offers precise control over hardware resources," he wrote. "But beyond that, it is *safe by default*, preventing entire classes of memory management errors that lead to crashes and security vulnerabilities."

Mozilla is asking enthusiasts to help with the development of Rust and Servo; source code for both are available on Github. Mailing lists are also available for Rust and Servo.

The announcement comes the day after Mozilla released Firefox 20, which added simultaneous standard and private browsing, along with a more accessible download manager and support for WebRTC getUserMedia.