Only 20 JavaScript runtimes left

Claim yours now before we run out!

13 Mar 2024

tl;dr: a new report from our department of experimental linguistics suggests: there are only 20 JavaScript runtimes left.


The rule is: if you are building a new JavaScript runtime, its name must be a permutation of the letters in “Node”. (See: Node, Deno, Endo.)

This blog post provides a scientific study of the possible runtimes, a ranking of them by brand name potential, and an estimate for when they will all be claimed.

Already-claimed names

Name Description
node The original: an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment.
deno Deno is the most productive, secure, and performant JavaScript runtime for the modern programmer.
endo A JavaScript platform … for secure communication among objects … distributed between mutually suspicious machines.
deon Not a JS runtime, but there is already a JSON-like notation format of this name, so we can’t use this name

Available names

That leaves us with 20 available permutations. Many of them would make quite poor names, so I’ve ranked them here in order by how strong I think the brand opportunity is.

Plausible names

Name Brand possibilities  
oden Strong mythology/comics reference possibilities here for logo branding.  
nedo Pronounce it “Neato!”  
edno Pronounce it “Edna” and make this a Simpsons reference to Edna Krabappel and you’ve got a string brand and a cease-and-desist opportunity  
doen Pronounce it “Doin’”  
edon As in “Garden of”: a fresh perspective where no evil exists (get rid of casts)  
oned 1d, as in, one-dimensional. A JavaScript-to-wasm runtime where 1d is a joke on linear memory  
neod A daemon runner for elite hackers who are trying to find out the truth about the matrix  

Hard-to-use names

dneo dnoe edon enod eodn ndeo ndoe noed odne oedn oend onde

An important point

I hope the developer community will show some restaint and claim all of those 19 available permutations first.

Then, the final JavaScript runtime can claim the name done.

Exhaustion estimate

We can do a quick curve-fitting exercise on the available data:

Year Runtimes Event
2009 1 Node first public release
2018 2 Deno first public release
2019 3 Endo first demo

To see that we can expect all 24 permutations to be claimed by 2029:

Graph showing trend line of JS implementations over time. 2009: 1, 2018: 2, 2019: 3. Suggests all 24 runtimes will exist by 2029.

If you got this far

You might like some of my more serious writing for JavaScript people:


  • Thanks to A. Gupta for correcting several mistakes with regard to names that I had claimed were not usable but which did in fact have good branding potential.

So help me, do not send me emails about this post. I do not want to know your thoughts. If you have corrections, please file them directly to the HN comments section.