Discovering Deno: The Next Generation JavaScript Runtime published 9/4/2023 | 3 min read

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Introduction to Deno

Deno is a secure runtime for JavaScript and TypeScript, built on V8, the same JavaScript engine used in Google Chrome, and crafted in Rust. Deno was created by Ryan Dahl (creator of Node.js) with the intent of addressing the design flaws of Node.js.

Deno vs. Node.js

Deno and Node.js have different philosophies, especially when it comes to handling packages, applications' security, and more.

Deno’s strengths:

  1. Enhanced security: Deno executes your script in a secure sandbox by default. Access to disk, network, and environment variables are locked down unless explicitly enabled.

  2. Built-in TypeScript: Deno has first-class support for TypeScript. No configuration needed - just write and run TypeScript.

  3. Batteries included: Deno bundles tools testers need most, such as a debugger, linter, test runner, script bundler.

  4. Browser compatible: Deno uses standard JavaScript APIs where applicable, making it easier to write isomorphic code.

  5. Simpler dependency management: Deno uses URLs for modules, eliminating complexity associated with node_modules and package.json.

Node.js strengths:

  1. Massive ecosystem: Node.js has a vast package ecosystem in npm, with over a million packages.

  2. Standard in industry: Node.js has been adopted by many large companies and has powered many mission-critical applications.

  3. Wide range of tooling: Due to Node.js's longevity, there is a tool for almost everything.

Exploring Deno: Features, Performance and More!

Let's get hands-on with Deno from a developer's viewpoint.

Deno Installation and Setup

Deno ships as a single executable with no dependencies for all major platforms. Simply download it and add it to your PATH. Below is a shell command to download and install Deno for Unix/Linux system:

curl -fsSL | sh

Note: For other platforms like Windows and macOS, please refer to the official Deno manual.

Creating Your First Deno Application

Create a Deno application with a TypeScript file named hello.ts containing the following code:

console.log("Hello from Deno!");

You can run this app using the command deno run hello.ts. It will print "Hello from Deno!" to the console.

Deno's Future in Web Development

Deno is gaining rapid popularity among developers who are enthusiastic about the TypeScript-focused environment and the security features it offers. However, the maturity and stability of Node.js mean that it will remain the go-to solution for most JavaScript projects in the short term.

As the Deno ecosystem grows, however, it's likely that more and more developers will give it a try - potentially turning Deno into a significant player in the JavaScript runtime landscape.


While Deno is still new compared to the established Node.js, its modern attributes, bolstering performance, and clean tooling make it look promising. It is too soon to tell whether Deno will ever surpass Node.js, but as JavaScript developers, we can certainly be excited for what is in store.

Could Deno become the de-facto runtime for the next generation JavaScript applications? Only time will tell.

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