Bun is on a roll

Today: why developers are taking a close look at a new runtime (!) called Bun, MGM Resorts is still struggling to recover from this week's cyberattack, and this week's enterprise moves.

Bun is on a roll
Photo by Jem Sahagun / Unsplash

Welcome to Runtime! Today: why developers are taking a close look at a new runtime (!) called Bun, MGM Resorts is still struggling to recover from this week's cyberattack, and this week's enterprise moves.

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Beyond the node

Almost 14 years after it was first introduced, Node.js is still one of the most widely used runtimes for developers that want to use JavaScript to write server applications. The developers behind a new open-source project called Bun think they have come up with a "drop-in replacement" for Node.js that will make it faster and easier to write server applications in JavaScript.

The 1.0 version of Bun was released last week and has built up a fair amount of buzz throughout this week. "Bun's goal is simple: eliminate slowness and complexity without throwing away everything that's great about JavaScript," the team behind the project said in last week's announcement.

  • Bun integrates a Node.js-like runtime needed to execute server-side applications along with several different tools needed to test and debug applications.
  • Jarred Sumner, Ashcon Partovi, Colin McDonnell are the people behind Bun, which is being developed by a company called Oven that has raised $7 million in seed funding from Kleiner Perkins and others earlier this year.
  • With the arrival of the "stable and production-ready" version of the project last week, developers are getting a chance to really kick the tires.

Node.js and Javascript are the most popular technologies in their respective categories, according to Stack Overflow's annual survey of developers.

  • JavaScript is ubiquitous as a front-end web technology present in every mainstream browser, and Node.js allows developers to write server-side applications in JavaScript as well.
  • That makes those apps execute much faster because the front end and the back end speak the same language, and Node.js usage took off in the early part of the last decade as a result.
  • However, "...like any system that grows and evolves without centralized planning, JavaScript tooling has become slow and complex," the team behind Bun wrote in their announcement.
  • The myriad tools that JavaScript developers need to use to test and debug their applications take time to execute, and Bun believes it has hit upon an even faster solution by integrating most of those tools directly with the runtime.

Bun will likely compete against Deno, a similar project and company led by Node.js creator Ryan Dahl.

  • Deno, which released its 1.0 version in 2020, has raised $26 million and is backed by Sequoia.
  • Dahl explained his goals for Deno in a 2018 keynote address in which he basically laid out everything that was wrong with Node.js and promised to fix it.
  • Deno is not as fast as Bun, according to some early testing, but has the head-start advantage and Dahl's decade-plus experience working on these problems.
  • Both projects were released under the permissive MIT license, and both Deno and Oven plan to commercialize their open-source software by providing a hosted SaaS version.

Interest in Bun and Deno could be an indicator of how quickly enterprises are adopting edge computing.

  • Promised as the evolution of centralized cloud computing for years, signs are really starting to pick up that more companies are building lightweight applications designed to run as close to the end user as possible.
  • Node.js won't work for those types of apps; it's too slow and too cumbersome.
  • It's early, but technologies like Bun could be a stepping stone to make real-time applications actually perform in real time.

Keyboard bandits

One way to think about the massive hack earlier this week still forcing MGM Resorts' IT teams to scramble is that it could have been worse.

The Financial Times reported Thursday that the group behind the hack really wanted to take over the software that controls MGM's slot machines and rig them to pay out winnings to "gamblers" working on its behalf, which is more or less the plot of Ocean's 13. They were unable to achieve that goal, but were able to wreak enough havoc to disrupt MGM's digital operations all week.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that rival casino operator Caesars Entertainment paid a ransom to the same group a few weeks ago after a similar cyberattack, but it does not appear that MGM has followed suit as of Thursday. The company did inform the SEC Wednesday that it expects the hack to have a "material" effect on its business for the quarter.

Enterprise moves

Runtime has learned that Faisal Masud, the former CEO of Fabric, has joined HP to lead a new group building a diagnostic services business around HP's consumer and enterprise hardware using AI.

Tariq Shaukat is the new co-CEO of Sonar, after serving as president of Bumble and Google Cloud.

Michelle Yetman is the new chief people officer at Cloudflare, joining the company following similar roles at Salesforce, Tableau, and AWS.

Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman joined the board of directors at ASAPP, a startup developing AI technology for contact centers.

The Runtime roundup

Microsoft and Oracle announced an expansion of their existing partnership that will allow mutual customers to run Oracle's databases inside Microsoft Azure data centers.

Meanwhile, Microsoft will soon face a formal investigation by the European Commission over its strategy of bundling MIcrosoft Teams with Office, according to Bloomberg, despite its attempt to placate regulators by offering European customers a Teams-free version of Office.

Databricks landed a massive $500 million funding round that values the company at $43 billion, setting quite a target for its long-awaited IPO whenever that arrives.

CISA proposed a national alert system for cybersecurity incidents that hopefully won't mimic those ridiculous terrorism alert levels.

JetBrains released an integrated development environment designed specifically for Rust developers and joined the Rust Foundation.

Thanks for reading — see you Saturday!

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