Rhino fork: HtmlUnit-core-js

HtmlUnit has now started a fork of the Mozilla Rhino JavaScript engine.

HtmlUnit uses Rhino as its core JavaScript engine (roughly speaking what is covered by the ECMA specification: the objects Object, String, Date, Number, … but not the DOM objects like Document, Window, … that are defined by HtmlUnit). Most of the work to simulate browser’s JavaScript processing resides in the browser specific objects and Rhino does a really good job as core JavaScript engine.

Nevertheless we are blocked by some issues in Rhino that don’t get fixed – or not quickly enough – even when we propose patches (for instance bug 412928). As discussed in Rhino mailing list [1] this seems to come from a lack of resources on Rhino’s side as well as from a slightly different focus: for us the most important is to simulate browser’s behaviour whereas speed and respect of ECMA standard are very important for Rhino.

Releases of htmlunit-core-js will be made available at the same time than future HtmlUnit releases.

My biggest hope for this project is… to be able to declare it dead and useless as soon as possible, once Rhino fills all our need. For this purpose, we will continue to open issues and provide patches to the Rhino project to help improving it.

[1] Rhino mailing list thread “Rhino project (half) asleep?

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