NodeJS Alternatives - Deno and Bun

NodeJS is very popular and prevalent in web development space.

I’ve never wanted to install NodeJS. And I never liked that the broader web and general development space moved towards server side JavaScript.

I’ve tried Deno in the past to be able to use TypeScript for website JavaScript development with typing, but ultimately found the additional compilation step more burdensome than helpful.

My current approach is to use and implement JavaScript, and use JSDoc annotations with type information. IDEs (can) still support typing analysis then, but there’s no tooling overhead and burdens involved.

NodeJS Alternatives

Both Deno and Bun both target NodeJS compatibility, both with their own goals of improvements and enhancements.

Software Note/Goals Source Scope Runtime Languages ES Modules/CommonJS JS Engine License
NodeJS JS/C++ runtime, separate pkg man. JavaScript ES Modules, CommonJS V8 MIT
Deno multi-runtime, secure defaults Rust runtime + package management JavaScript, TypeScript, WebAssembly ES Modules, (compat layer) CommonJS V8 MIT
Bun Drop-In NodeJS replacement Zig runtime + package management JavaScript, TypeScript, .jsx, .tsx ES Modules, CommonJS JavaScriptCore MIT

Bun is designed as a faster, leaner, more modern replacement for Node.js.

Bun startup is supposedly 2x faster than Deno, and 4x faster than NodeJS. A gain of the JS engine that may have other trade-offs.