To be, or not to be, to choose Deno or Node.js, that is the question. Calm down, we are not going to test your knowledge of Shakespeare's masterpieces. By contrast, we will compare two technologies that are so similar in their origins but so different in their specificities. Today the eternal controversy Deno vs. Node.js will be finally resolved, at least we hope so. Intrigued? Then, join us on this research path, and let's find out the answer together.
In a nutshell, a simple executable file sends a specific set of instructions directly to the computer. The only thing you need is to double-click a file that ends with '.exe,' and voilà — you can run your runtime. Fortunately, Deno provides the 'deno.exe.' file, while Node.js does not have such an option. Therefore, in Node.js, your app should run with all required packages under the 'node-modules' folder.
While security is of paramount importance in the developers' world, Deno has undeniably succeeded from the perspective of the permissions system. By default, all code runs in a safe sandbox environment. This helps protect access to the file system, network, and environment variables unless access is granted explicitly through a command-line argument. On the contrary, the Node.js runtime is very liberal, providing the code with full access to the computer's network and file system. Thus, third-party code may harm your system.
While Node has an official 'npm' package manager, Deno does not have one. In fact, Deno uses a URL to get and import packages, so such a method provides both advantages and disadvantages. In this regard, one of the main benefits of Deno is the great flexibility that comes without the necessity to publish packages to a repository like 'npm.'
One of the most significant differences between Deno and Node.js is that Deno uses the official ECMAScript module instead of the CommonJS. By contrast, Node.js 13.2.0 incorporated modules only at the end of 2019. Nevertheless, even then, module support remained immature because it was included by the controversial '.mjs' extension. In the light of this comparison, it is logical to conclude that Deno is a future-oriented runtime environment as it uses modern web standards for its modular system.
Unlike Node.js, which provides a relatively small standard library, Deno has a full suite of standard modules gathered in the official library: 'Deno's standard library's modules do not have external dependencies. They are always reviewed by the Deno core team.' Thereupon, this standard set of superb modules can be freely utilized and incorporated into all Deno projects.
Since Node's first release, over a million third-party packages have been enlisted in the 'npm' registry. There is no doubt that their quality can differ significantly, and many of them are no longer supported, but this is still a great advantage for programmers utilizing this runtime environment. Notably, Deno keeps pace with Node.js by proposing an extensive range of compatible third-party modules. Although it does not offer millions of modules like Node.js, there are still more than seven hundred modules on this list.
As claimed in the official Node.js manual, 'promises are one way to deal with asynchronous code, without getting stuck in callback hell.' Well, we cannot be any more clear about this, but do promises in Node.js and Deno differ? Yes, yes, and yes again. That is because Node.js was created way before promises and async/await. In particular, after using Deno and learning the capabilities its promises provide, Node.js will look like something truly outdated.
As we have already sorted out, both runtime environments possess particular advantages and disadvantages. Still, when it comes to Deno vs Node.js performance, the last one is the actual winner, and here is why. Unlike Deno, Node.js has a better median response time, an extremely important performance metric for front-facing asynchronous runtimes.
Do you still have any doubts or do not know which technology to choose for your next market-leading project? With SolidBrain, it is not a problem anymore. Just drop us a line, request a free consultation, and make the first step toward the world-changing technologies of the future day.
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