V8 VS Duktape

Compare V8 vs Duktape and see what are their differences.


Duktape - embeddable Javascript engine with a focus on portability and compact footprint (by svaarala)
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V8 Duktape
55 10
22,750 5,838
1.0% -
9.9 6.4
2 days ago 2 months ago
C++ JavaScript
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later MIT License
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of V8. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2024-01-21.
  • Boehm Garbage Collector
    9 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 21 Jan 2024

    Due to the nature of web engine workloads migrating objects to being GC'd isn't performance negative (as most people would expect). With care it can often end up performance positive.

    There are a few tricks that Oilpan can apply. Concurrent tracing helps a lot (e.g. instead of incrementing/decrementing refs, you can trace on a different thread), in addition when destructing objects, the destructors typically become trivial meaning the object can just be dropped from memory. Both these free up main thread time. (The tradeoff with concurrent tracing is that you need atomic barriers when assigning pointers which needs care).

    This is on top of the safey improvements you gain from being GC'd vs. smart pointers, etc.

    One major tradeoff that UAF bugs become more difficult to fix, as you are just accessing objects which "should" be dead.

  • The Everything NPM Package
    2 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 6 Jan 2024
    > If that standard library would be written in JS, a new browser (or rather a new JS engine being a part of the browser) could just use some existing implementation

    That sounds great, but I'm doubtful of the simplicity behind this approach.

    If my understanding is correct, v8 has transitioned to C++[0] and Torque[1] code to implement the standard library, as opposed to running hard-coded JavaScript on setting up a new context.

    I suspect this decision was made as a performance optimization, as there would obviously be a non-zero cost to parsing arbitrary JavaScript. Therefore, I doubt a JavaScript-based standard library would be an acceptable solution here.

    [0]: https://github.com/v8/v8/tree/main/src/runtime

  • C++23: Removing garbage collection support
    3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 1 Nov 2023
    C++ lets you write anything you can imagine, and the language features and standard library often facilitate that. The committee espouses the view that they want to provide many "zero [runtime] cost," abstractions. Anybody can contribute to the language, although the committee process is often slow and can be political, each release the surface area and capability of the language gets larger.

    I believe Hazard Pointers are slated for C++26, and these will add a form "free later, but not quite garbage collection" to the language. There was a talk this year about using hazard pointers to implement a much faster std::shared_ptr.

    It's a language with incredible depth because so many different paradigms have been implemented in it, but also has many pitfalls for new and old users because there are many different ways of solving the same problem.

    I feel that in C++, more than any other language, you need to know the actual implementation under the hood to use it effectively. This means knowing not just what the language specifies, but can occaissionally require knowing what GCC or Clang generate on your particular hardware.

    Many garbage collected languages are written in or have parts of their implementations in C++. See JS (https://github.com/v8/v8)and Java GC (https://github.com/openjdk/jdk/tree/36de19d4622e38b6c00644b0...)

    I am not an expert on Java (or C++), so if someone knows better or can add more please correct me.

  • Abstract Syntax Trees and Practical Applications in JavaScript
    13 projects | dev.to | 21 Oct 2023
    Remember that we earlier established that every source gets parsed into an AST at some point before it gets compiled or interpreted. For example, platforms like Nodejs and chromium-based browsers use Gooogle's V8 engine behind the scenes to run JavaScript and of course, some AST parsing is always involved before the interpreter kicks in. I looked V8's source and I discovered it uses its own internal parser to achieve this.
  • Notes: Advanced Node.js Concepts by Stephen Grider
    5 projects | dev.to | 19 Aug 2023
    In the source code of the Node.js opensource project, lib folder contains JavaScript code, mostly wrappers over C++ and function definitions. On the contrary, src folder contains C++ implementations of the functions, which pulls dependencies from the V8 project, the libuv project, the zlib project, the llhttp project, and many more - which are all placed at the deps folder.
  • What does the code look like for built-in functions?
    2 projects | /r/learnjavascript | 13 Jun 2023
    Here is the implementation of of Array. prototype.map in V8. It's written in a language called Torque which appears to be a special language just for the v8 engine.
  • What's happening with JavaScript Array References under the hood?
    1 project | /r/learnprogramming | 24 Mar 2023
    1 project | /r/brdev | 13 Mar 2023
  • [AskJS] Do you have to be a natural talent to reach deep knowledge?
    1 project | /r/javascript | 13 Jan 2023
  • is there any resource for JavaScript that explain what kind of logic statement behind each function and why it's give this output and only accept this input etc... ?
    2 projects | /r/learnprogramming | 12 Oct 2022
    It sounds like you want to know how JavaScript is implemented in the browser. The thing is, there is no universal implementation for JavaScript. JavaScript defines a specification that must be adhered to, and then each browser vendor can implement it in whatever way they see fit, as long as it does the specified things. For example (and I'm not saying this is the case) it's entirely possible for Chrome to implement Array.sort() using merge sort, while Firefox implements it as quick sort. You can try to find the source code for the implementation in a certain browser, but that will not be universal. I imagine you can find out how it works in Chrome somewhere in https://chromium.googlesource.com/v8/v8.git, though I'm not sure exactly where.


Posts with mentions or reviews of Duktape. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-05-04.
  • Roll your own JavaScript runtime, pt. 3
    3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 4 May 2023
  • How to Create a Modern C Project with CMake and Conan
    2 projects | /r/C_Programming | 26 Apr 2023
    Im my projects I search for single file libs.(like https://github.com/svaarala/duktape etc...)
  • Is there anyway to bypass the limit of rand()?
    1 project | /r/C_Programming | 20 Nov 2022
    Use lrand48(), or better, implement a high-quality RNG like PCG or splitmix64.
  • Libgrapheme: A simple freestanding C99 library for Unicode
    6 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 15 Nov 2022
    You can also refer to the Unicode routines of other small JS engines[1,2], those don’t use ICU either, although the implementations are mercilessly size-optimized (to put it politely) and restricted to what the target JS version requires (e.g. casemapping but no normalization).

    [1] https://github.com/bellard/quickjs/blob/master/libunicode.c

    [2] https://github.com/svaarala/duktape/blob/master/src-input/du...

  • Duktape
    1 project | news.ycombinator.com | 8 Oct 2022
  • Nan Boxing
    3 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 16 Sep 2022
    > memcpy from bytes to a NaN should work fine

    Signaling NaNs are explicitly undefined in C11 F.2.1.: "This specification does not define the behavior of signaling NaNs." - and in practice may be "quieted" by conversion to Quiet NaNs, changing their bit patterns. Fast math optimization flags will also break the hell out of your code by assuming NaNs are impossible. I want to say there are more circumstances where optimizers and compiler generated code can butcher your NaN payloads, but I'd be working off recollected hearsay and I can't find a source, so don't quote me on that.

    NaN boxing is common enough that, if you take the right precautions, a modern compiler should probably support it, maybe. NaN boxing is uncommon enough that, if your codebase needs to be sufficiently portable, you need an opt out for when it breaks. Let's review duktape's scars:




    Note that "the right precautions" involve unions and proper integer types to avoid optimizer-invoked rewrites of the value and debugging when things go wrong, not simply YOLOing bytes into a double via memcpy. Note that debugging when it all goes terribly wrong can be quite painful. I've personally had the misfortune of being forced to debug duktape being built with fast math optimizatoins enabled on one "rare" platform + build configuration that wasn't caught by duktape's #if defined(__FAST_MATH__) checks linked above (wasn't Clang nor GCC, so go figure it didn't make the same #define)

  • YouTube-dl has a JavaScript interpreter written in 870 lines of Python
    19 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 10 Sep 2022
    I was expecting this to be about Duktape <https://github.com/svaarala/duktape>, but heh, for sure no. I'd bet $1 there's no way youtube-dl would switch, but I wonder if yt-dlp would?
  • Optimizations Enabled by -ffast-Math
    1 project | news.ycombinator.com | 20 Oct 2021
    Fast math optimizations can break code like this by breaking isNaN.

    I was porting a C++ project to a certain platform - and that platform enabled a -ffast-math equivalent by default in Release (but not Debug) builds! This broke duktape, a JS engine said project embedded, in some nasty and subtle ways. Instead of storing a number/pointer/??? (8 bytes) + type tag (4? bytes) for each dynamically typed JS value, duktape can bit-pack values into a single 8 byte "double" value by storing object/string handles as NaN values - this isn't an uncommon trick for dynamically typed scripting stuff:


    Naturally, the -ffast-math equivalent broke isNaN checks, which caused random object/string handles to be mistakenly reinterpreted as "numbers" - but only in Release builds, for this one particular platform, in one rarely taken branch, so neither QA nor CI caught it, leading to hours of manufacturing a repro case, stepping through an absurd amount of code, and then finally looking at the default build rules and facepalming.

    Cursing the platform vendor under my breath, I overrode the defaults to align with the defaults of every other config x platform combination we already had: no fast math. If you want those optimizations, use SSE-friendly NaN-avoiding intrinsics - or, if you must use the compiler flags, ensure you do so consistently across build configs and platforms, perhaps limited to a few TUs or modules if possible. This allows you to have a chance at using your Debug builds to debug the resulting "optimizations".

  • Can C++ and JS be used together?
    1 project | /r/learnprogramming | 27 Apr 2021
    Sure. For example, DukTape is an implementation of Javascript designed to be embedded in other projects. Google's V8 Javascript engine (used in Chrome), can also be embedded, see Node.Js for example.
  • [AskJS] Do you use JavaScript on Microcontrollers? Which engine / interpreter?
    5 projects | /r/javascript | 30 Mar 2021
    - Duktape (4.8k stars)

What are some alternatives?

When comparing V8 and Duktape you can also consider the following projects:

ChakraCore - ChakraCore is an open source Javascript engine with a C API. [Moved to: https://github.com/chakra-core/ChakraCore]

quickjs - Public repository of the QuickJS Javascript Engine.

Lua - Lua is a powerful, efficient, lightweight, embeddable scripting language. It supports procedural programming, object-oriented programming, functional programming, data-driven programming, and data description.

V7 - Embedded JavaScript engine for C/C++

jerryscript - Ultra-lightweight JavaScript engine for the Internet of Things.

ChaiScript - Embedded Scripting Language Designed for C++

Cython - The most widely used Python to C compiler

SWIG - SWIG is a software development tool that connects programs written in C and C++ with a variety of high-level programming languages.