What might the Node.js server-side JavaScript runtime look like today if founder Ryan Dahl could build it all over again? With his Deno project, a secure TypeScript runtime built on the same Google V8 JavaScript engine as Node.js, we get an idea.

Open source Deno, which is not explicitly compatible with Node.js, is a minimal take on server-side JavaScript. One key difference between Deno and Node is Deno eliminates the need for a package manager. (Node.js uses the popular NPM package manager.) “There are no packages even,” Dahl said. “You only link to JavaScript files—like you do in the web.” Deno also cannot run Node scripts. It does use TypeScript, which Dahl views as being well-done and approachable. Dahl recently described Deno as being in an “extreme prototype” stage of development and cautioned against all but the most-diehard technical people from trying it.

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