Deno tees up easy NPM imports, speed boosts

Upcoming HTTP server is the fastest JavaScript web server ever built, the project’s developers claim.

speed fast race car shutterstock 1168856884
Jamesboy Nuchaikong / Shutterstock

Changes are in the offing for the Deno TypeScript/JavaScript runtime, with plans afoot to make it easier to import NPM packages and to enable most of them to work in Deno. The project’s developers also aim to make Deno the fastest JavaScript runtime.

In a blog post on August 15, Deno’s developers expressed their ambitions for the project. Goals include better interoperability with JavaScript written for Node.js and the ability to import and run NPM packages.

“We want Deno to be accessible and solve problems, and so we’ve been working on some updates that will allow Deno to easily import NPM packages and make 80-90% of NPM packages work in Deno within the next three months,” the developers wrote. This will be done via special NPM URLs.

To improve speed, plans call for releasing a new HTTP server, described as “the fastest JavaScript web server ever built,” with the next release of Deno. Deno has been on a monthly release cycle, which means Deno 1.25 could be released any day now. Deno 1.24 was released July 21.

Other plans in speed department include the optimization of Deno’s ops system, interfacing directly with the V8 Fast API for fast calls from JavaScript into native code. Also, the Deno Foreign Function Interface (FFI) is being updated. “We aren’t optimizing for a handful of edge cases, but for overall real-world performance,” the developers wrote. “You’ll be experiencing these improvements for yourself before the summer is over.”

Also planned for the Deno ecosystem are full-text symbol search across third-party Deno code and automatic generation of documentation for TypeScript and JavaScript projects. Deno, which was designed by Node founder Ryan Dahl, recently passed more than 4.1 million downloads on GitHub, with more than 250,000 active users.

In response to extensive use of Deno, stewards of the platform will be launching office hours for those leveraging Deno in a commercial setting. Persons with issues about Deno can submit questions via an online form.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.