Browsers: Rendering Engines & JS Engines

Rendering Engines & JS Engines for each major browser

As a prelude — all of the following JavaScript engines use JIT (Just-in-Time) compilation rather than traditional runtime interpretation.

This implies better performance. 🏎

Google Chrome

  • Blink
    - Fork of WebKit
    - Developed in-house by Google as part of The Chromium Project, a project “to open-source the code for the Google Chrome browser
  • V8
    - Developed in-house by Google as part of The Chromium Project
    - Used in Node.js!

Mozilla Firefox

  • Gecko
    - Developed in-house by Mozilla
    - Written in Rust!
  • SpiderMonkey
    - The first JavaScript engine in history. Developed by Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript, while he was at Netscape.


  • WebKit
    - Created by Apple as a fork of the KHTML and KJS engines from Konqueror, a web browser developed by KDE.
  • Nitro (formerly SquirrelFish)


  • EdgeHTML
    - A fork of Internet Explorer’s Trident that was made not-shitty.
  • Chakra
    - Open-sourced as ChakraCore.
    - In 2016, Microsoft created a PR in the Node.js GitHub repo to use ChakraCore instead of V8. This PR was expanded out into its own project and now lives here as a project of the node organization.


  • Blink
  • V8
  • If something works on Google Chrome, you can expect it to work on Opera due to the identical rendering engine + JavaScript engine used.

Internet Explorer

  • Trident
  • Chakra

Opinions expressed in these articles do not reflect those of my employer.