The Era of New Web Development Tools: An Introduction to Bun 1.0

The Era of New Web Development Tools: An Introduction to Bun 1.0


4 min read

It's September 2023, and it's time for another in-depth look at the rapidly advancing world of web development. Yesterday was an extraordinary day for developers primarily focused on working with soy frameworks.

Meet Bun - The New Age JavaScript Runtime

Tired of persistently reinventing frameworks, JavaScript developers are increasingly focusing on building entirely new JavaScript runtimes. Initiated with Node JS, mildly rearranged to produce Dino, we now witness the freshly baked Bun that proudly reached Version 10 recently.

But what makes Bun noteworthy?

Bun acts like a dream come true for any developer, serving a multipurpose role. Not only does it run JavaScript code at an unprecedented speed, but also doubles as a bundler akin to Webpack or Vite, a test runner similar to Jest or Karma, and a package manager mimicking Yarn or NPM.

Even more enticingly, Bun plays well with existing Node JS APIs while presenting its set of highly optimized APIs. So, building high-performance server-side applications with JavaScript has never been more enjoyable!

Bun general API code here

This function will return the optimized output, making your application run faster and smoother.

Bun in Action!

Let’s get down to writing some actual code using Bun. You would start by installing a new terminal window. Then you'd define a Bun server in a index TS file to listen to the 8000 port. This server will capture incoming requests and respond to the client. Look how easy it is to set up a web server!

Of course, there is more to Bun than this. The Bun world flaunts a constellation of libraries and tools tailored for the runtime. One of the fastest web frameworks in the space, Alicia, promises end-to-end safety type and an outstanding developer experience.

Bun, understanding the critical role TypeScript plays in modern web development, offers first-class support for it, with native support for JSX. It also supports CommonJS modules— a hallmark of Node JS—although it recommends DS modules.

Apart from the Runtime, Bun offers a powerful debugger and test utilities for you to leverage, featuring the same performance boosts and speed you should expect.

Runtimes Beyond Bun

As we wrap up our discussion about runtimes, I should give an honorable mention to Dino, another well-known JS runtime induced by Ryan Dahl, the creator of Node JS. Notably, Dino serves as an entire platform, delivering a full-stack framework, native key-value storage, and even deployment services.

With this, we conclude our discourse on Bun for now. I hope it was an intriguing journey for you through the intricate workings of Bun, a new kid on the Java Script runtime block.

How Does Bun Achieve These Breakneck Speeds?

"There's something more amazing than the look and smell of a freshly baked Bun. And that's its performance."

Distinguishing itself from Node and Dino, Bun capitalizes on the JavaScript Core from Safari rather than the conventional V8 Engine from Chrome.

Additionally, Bun is designed in the groundbreaking Zig programming language renowned for its profiling performance, which enables it to spotlight performance bottlenecks and introduce APIs in native code at faster startup times.

These out-of-the-box features have yielded a TypeScript welcome that's five times faster than Es build. Notwithstanding, it's crucial to realize that benchmarks can be selective and may not perfectly encapsulate real-world performance.

Speed is a prime focus in the Bun world, with some impressive numbers underscoring their achievements.

A Developer's Delight: The Experience With Bun

Achieving great speed is rewarding, but as a developer, one also seeks a seamless experience. So, does Bun serve our needs here too? It turns out, yes!

Firstly, it provides impressive out-of-the-box support for TypeScript. This means no additional configuration, no headaches, and immediate commencement of writing TypeScript code.

Moreover, it extends support to JSX and allows hot reloading, thereby eliminating the need for extraneous dependencies like Nodemon and concurrently recompiling your code when changes are made.

Moreover, Bun smoothly manages the transition from CommonJS to es modules and supports a combined use of import and require in the same file, which implies that all your programming efforts just magically work!

The Bun ecosystem is also well enriched with native APIs such as the global bun runtime which allows you to read and write effectively to the file system. Other features like setting up an HTTP server simply by calling the serve method and the easy establishment of WebSockets make Bun a favorite.

Adding the icing on the cake, Bun caps off with a SQLite database built directly into its runtime, and a package manager that is 25 times faster than NPM!

So, is the future here with Bun? As always, only time can tell. But for now, both Mojo and Bun deserve a huge round of applause for setting new benchmarks in the world of web development!