Browsers: Rendering Engines & JS Engines

Rendering Engines & JS Engines for each major browser

Anton Paras
Jul 8, 2017 · 1 min read

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.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store