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ts-node vs. esrun vs. esno vs. bun

August 28, 2023
0 comments Node, JavaScript

UPDATE (Jan 31, 2024)

Since this was published, I've added tsx to the benchmark. The updated results, if you skip the two slowest are:

  bun src/index.ts ran
    4.69 ± 0.20 times faster than esrun src/index.ts
    7.07 ± 0.30 times faster than tsx src/index.ts
    7.24 ± 0.33 times faster than esno src/index.ts
    7.40 ± 0.68 times faster than ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts


From the totally unscientific bunker research lab of executing TypeScript files on the command line...

I have a very simple TypeScript app that you can run from the command line:

// This is src/index.ts

import { Command } from "commander";
const program = new Command();
  .option("-d, --debug", "output extra debugging")
  .option("-s, --small", "small pizza size")
  .option("-p, --pizza-type <type>", "flavour of pizza");


const options = program.opts();

console.log("options", options);


In the original days, there was just tsc which, when given your *.ts would create an equivalent *.js file. Remember this?:

> tsc src/index.ts
> node src/index.js
> rm src/index.js

(note, most likely you'd put "outDir": "./build", in your tsconfig.json so it creates build/index.js instead)

Works. And it checks potential faults in your TypeScript code itself. For example:

❯ tsc src/index.ts
src/index.ts:8:21 - error TS2339: Property 'length' does not exist on type 'Command'.

8 console.log(program.length);

I don't know about you, but I rarely encounter these kinds of errors. If you view a .ts[x] file you're working on in Zed or VS Code it's already red and has squiggly lines.

VS Code with active TypeScript error

Sure, you'll make sure, one last time in your CI scripts that there are no TypeScript errors like this:


ts-node, from that I gather is the "original gangster" of abstractions on top of TypeScript. It works quite similarly to tsc except you don't bother dumping the .js file to disk to then run it with node.

tsc src/index.ts && node src/index.js is the same as ts-node src/index.ts

It also has error checking, by default, when you run it. It can look like this:

❯ ts-node src/index.ts
    return new TSError(diagnosticText, diagnosticCodes, diagnostics);
TSError: ⨯ Unable to compile TypeScript:
src/index.ts:8:21 - error TS2339: Property 'length' does not exist on type 'Command'.

8 console.log(program.length);

    at createTSError (/Users/peterbe/dev/JAVASCRIPT/esrun-tsnode-esno/node_modules/ts-node/src/index.ts:859:12)
    at reportTSError (/Users/peterbe/dev/JAVASCRIPT/esrun-tsnode-esno/node_modules/ts-node/src/index.ts:863:19)
    at getOutput (/Users/peterbe/dev/JAVASCRIPT/esrun-tsnode-esno/node_modules/ts-node/src/index.ts:1077:36)
    at Object.compile (/Users/peterbe/dev/JAVASCRIPT/esrun-tsnode-esno/node_modules/ts-node/src/index.ts:1433:41)
    at Module.m._compile (/Users/peterbe/dev/JAVASCRIPT/esrun-tsnode-esno/node_modules/ts-node/src/index.ts:1617:30)
    at Module._extensions..js (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1310:10)
    at Object.require.extensions.<computed> [as .ts] (/Users/peterbe/dev/JAVASCRIPT/esrun-tsnode-esno/node_modules/ts-node/src/index.ts:1621:12)
    at Module.load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:1119:32)
    at Function.Module._load (node:internal/modules/cjs/loader:960:12)
    at Function.executeUserEntryPoint [as runMain] (node:internal/modules/run_main:81:12) {
  diagnosticCodes: [ 2339 ]

But, suppose you don't really want those TypeScript errors right now. Suppose you are confident it doesn't error, then you want it to run as fast as possible. That's where ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts comes in. It's significantly faster. If you compare ts-node src/index.ts with ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts:

❯ hyperfine "ts-node src/index.ts" "ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts"
Benchmark 1: ts-node src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     990.7 ms ±  68.5 ms    [User: 1955.5 ms, System: 124.7 ms]
  Range (min … max):   916.5 ms … 1124.7 ms    10 runs

Benchmark 2: ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     301.5 ms ±  10.6 ms    [User: 286.7 ms, System: 44.4 ms]
  Range (min … max):   283.0 ms … 313.9 ms    10 runs

  ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts ran
    3.29 ± 0.25 times faster than ts-node src/index.ts

In other words, ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts is 3 times faster than ts-node src/index.ts

esno and @digitak/esrun

@digitak/esrun and esno are improvements to ts-node, as far as I can understand, are improvements on ts-node that can only run. I.e. you still have to use tsc --noEmit in your CI scripts. But they're supposedly both faster than ts-node --transpileOnly:

❯ hyperfine "ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts" "esrun src/index.ts" "esno src/index.ts"
Benchmark 1: ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     291.8 ms ±  10.5 ms    [User: 276.9 ms, System: 43.9 ms]
  Range (min … max):   280.3 ms … 309.1 ms    10 runs

Benchmark 2: esrun src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     226.4 ms ±   6.0 ms    [User: 187.9 ms, System: 42.8 ms]
  Range (min … max):   216.8 ms … 237.5 ms    13 runs

Benchmark 3: esno src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     237.2 ms ±   3.9 ms    [User: 222.8 ms, System: 45.2 ms]
  Range (min … max):   229.6 ms … 244.6 ms    12 runs

  esrun src/index.ts ran
    1.05 ± 0.03 times faster than esno src/index.ts
    1.29 ± 0.06 times faster than ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts

In other words, esrun is 1.05e times faster than esno and 1.29 times faster than ts-node --transpileOnly.

But given that I quite like running npm run dev to use ts-node without the --transpileOnly error for realtime TypeScript errors in the console that runs a dev server, I don't know if it's worth it.

(BONUS) bun

If you haven't heard of bun in the Node ecosystem, you've been living under a rock. It's kinda like deno but trying to appeal to regular Node projects from the ground up and it does things like bun install so much faster than npm install that you wonder if it even ran. It too can run in transpile-only mode and just execute the TypeScript code as if it was JavaScript directly. And it's fast!

Because ts-node --transpileOnly is a bit of a "standard", let's compare the two:

❯ hyperfine "ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts" "bun src/index.ts"
Benchmark 1: ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     286.9 ms ±   6.9 ms    [User: 274.4 ms, System: 41.6 ms]
  Range (min … max):   272.0 ms … 295.8 ms    10 runs

Benchmark 2: bun src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):      40.3 ms ±   2.0 ms    [User: 29.5 ms, System: 9.9 ms]
  Range (min … max):    36.5 ms …  47.1 ms    60 runs

  bun src/index.ts ran
    7.12 ± 0.40 times faster than ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts

Wow! Given its hype, I'm not surprised bun is 7 times faster than ts-node --transpileOnly.

But admittedly, not all programs work seamlessly in bun like my sample app did this in example.

Here's the complete result comparing all of them:

❯ hyperfine "tsc src/index.ts && node src/index.js" "ts-node src/index.ts" "ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts" "esrun src/index.ts" "esno src/index.ts" "bun src/index.ts"
Benchmark 1: tsc src/index.ts && node src/index.js
  Time (mean ± σ):      2.158 s ±  0.097 s    [User: 5.145 s, System: 0.201 s]
  Range (min … max):    2.032 s …  2.276 s    10 runs

Benchmark 2: ts-node src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     942.0 ms ±  40.6 ms    [User: 1877.2 ms, System: 115.6 ms]
  Range (min … max):   907.4 ms … 1012.4 ms    10 runs

Benchmark 3: ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     307.1 ms ±  14.4 ms    [User: 291.0 ms, System: 45.3 ms]
  Range (min … max):   283.1 ms … 329.0 ms    10 runs

Benchmark 4: esrun src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     276.4 ms ± 121.0 ms    [User: 198.9 ms, System: 45.7 ms]
  Range (min … max):   212.2 ms … 619.2 ms    10 runs

  Warning: The first benchmarking run for this command was significantly slower than the rest (619.2 ms). This could be caused by (filesystem) caches that were not filled until after the first run. You should consider using the '--warmup' option to fill those caches before the actual benchmark. Alternatively, use the '--prepare' option to clear the caches before each timing run.

Benchmark 5: esno src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):     257.7 ms ±  14.3 ms    [User: 238.3 ms, System: 48.0 ms]
  Range (min … max):   238.8 ms … 282.0 ms    10 runs

Benchmark 6: bun src/index.ts
  Time (mean ± σ):      40.5 ms ±   1.6 ms    [User: 29.9 ms, System: 9.8 ms]
  Range (min … max):    36.4 ms …  44.8 ms    62 runs

  bun src/index.ts ran
    6.36 ± 0.44 times faster than esno src/index.ts
    6.82 ± 3.00 times faster than esrun src/index.ts
    7.58 ± 0.47 times faster than ts-node --transpileOnly src/index.ts
   23.26 ± 1.38 times faster than ts-node src/index.ts
   53.29 ± 3.23 times faster than tsc src/index.ts && node src/index.js

Bar chart comparing bun to esno, esrun, ts-node and tsc


Perhaps you can ignore bun. It might best fastest, but it's also "weirdest". It usually works great in small and simple apps and especially smaller ones that just you have to maintain (if "maintain" is even a concern at all).

I don't know how to compare them in size. ts-node is built on top of acorn which is written in JavaScript. @digitak/esrun is a wrapper for esbuild (and esno is wrapper for tsx which is also on top of esbuild) which is a fast bundler written in Golang. So it's packaged as a binary in your node_modules which hopefully works between your laptop, your CI, and your Dockerfile but it's nevertheless a binary.

Given that esrun and esno isn't that much faster than ts-node and ts-node can check your TypeScript that's a bonus for ts-node.
But esbuild is an actively maintained project that seems to become stable and accepted.

As always, this was just a quick snapshot of an unrealistic app that is less than 10 lines of TypeScript code. I'd love to hear more about what kind of results people are getting comparing the above tool when you apply it on much larger projects that have more complex tsconfig.json for things like JSX.

Switching from Next.js to Vite + wouter

July 28, 2023
0 comments React, Node, JavaScript

Next.js is a full front-end web framework. Vite is a build tool so they don't easily compare. But if you're building a single-page app ("SPA"), the difference isn't that big, especially if you bolt on a routing library which is something that Next.js has built in.

My SPA is a relatively straight forward one. It's a React app that uses wonderful Mantine UI framework. The app is CRM for real-estate agents that I've been hacking on with my wife. SEO is not a concern because you can't do anything until you've signed in. So server-side rendering is not a requirement. In that sense, it's like loading Gmail. Yes, users might want a speedy first load when they open it in a fresh new browser tab, but the static assets are most likely going to be heavily (browser) cached by the few users it has.

With that out of the way, let's skim through some of the differences.

Build times

Immediately, this is a tricky one to compare because Next.js has the ability to cache. You get that .next/cache/ directory which is black magic to me, but it clearly speeds things up. And it's incremental so the caching can help partially when only some of the code has changed.

Running, npm run build && npm run export a couple of times yields:


Without no .next/cache/ directory

Total time to run npm run build && npm run export: 52 seconds

With the .next/cache/ left before each build

Total time to run npm run build && npm run export: 30 seconds


Total time to run npm run build: 12 seconds

A curious thing about Vite here is that its output contains a measurement of the time it took. But I ignored that and used /usr/bin/time -h ... instead. This gives me the total time.
I.e. the output of npm run build will say:

✓ built in 7.67s

...but it actually took 12.2 seconds with /usr/bin/time.

Build artifacts

Perhaps not very important because Next.js automatically code splits in its wonderfully clever way.


❯ du -sh out
1.8M    out
❯ tree out | rg '\.js|\.css' | wc -l


❯ du -sh dist
960K    dist


❯ tree dist/assets
├── index-1636ae43.css
└── index-d568dfbf.js

Again, it's probably unfair to compare at this point. Most of the weight of these static assets (particularly the .js files) is due to Mantine components being so heavy.


This isn't really a judgment in any way. More of a record how it differs in functionality.


In my app, that I'm switching from Next.js to Vite + wouter, I use the old way of using Next.js which is to use a src/pages/* directory. For example, to make a route to the /account/settings page I first create:

// src/pages/account/settings.tsx

import { Settings } from "../../components/account/settings"

const Page = () => {
  return <Settings />
export default Page

I'm glad I built it this way in the first place. When I now port to Vite + wouter, I don't really have to touch that src/components/account/settings.tsx code because that component kinda assumes it's been invoked by some routing.

Vite + wouter

First I installed the router in the src/App.tsx. Abbreviated code:

// src/App.tsx

import { Routes } from "./routes"

export default function App() {
  const { myTheme, colorScheme, toggleColorScheme } = useMyTheme()
  return (
      <MantineProvider withGlobalStyles withNormalizeCSS theme={myTheme}>
        <Routes />

By the way, the code for Next.js looks very similar in its src/pages/_app.tsx with all those contexts that Mantine make you wrap things in.

And here's the magic routing:

// src/routes.tsx

import { Router, Switch, Route } from "outer"

import { Home } from "./components/home"
import { Authenticate } from "./components/authenticate"
import { Settings } from "./components/account/settings"
import { Custom404 } from "./components/404"

export function Routes() {
  return (
        <Route path="/signin" component={Authenticate} />
        <Route path="/account/settings" component={Settings} />
        {/* many more lines like this ... */}

        <Route path="/" component={Home} />

          <Custom404 />

Redirecting with router

This is a made-up example, but it demonstrates the pattern with wouter compared to Next.js


const { push } = useRouter()

useEffect(() => {
  if (user) {
}, [user])


const [, setLocation] = useLocation()

useEffect(() => {
  if (user) {
}, [user])



import Link from 'next/link'

// ...

<Link href="/settings" passHref>


import { Link } from "wouter"

// ...

<Link href="/settings">

Getting a query string value


import { useRouter } from "next/router"

// ...

const { query } = useRouter()

if ( {
  const name = Array.isArray( ?[0] :
  // ...


import { useSearch } from "wouter/use-location"

// ...

const search = useSearch()
const searchParams = new URLSearchParams(search)

if (searchParams.get('name')) {
  const name = searchParams.get('name')
  // ...


The best thing about Next.js is its momentum. It gets lots of eyes on it. Lots of support opportunities and great chance of its libraries being maintained well into the future. Vite also has great momentum and adaptation. But wouter is less "common".

Comparing apples and oranges is often counter-productive if you don't take all constraints and angles into account and those are usually quite specific. In my case, I just want to build a single-page app. I don't want a Node server. In fact, my particular app is a Python backend that does all the API responses from a fetch in the JavaScript app. That Python app also serves the built static files, including the dist/index.html file. That's how my app can serve the app straight away if the current URL is something like /account/settings. A piece of Python code (more or less the only code that doesn't serve /api/* URLs) collapses all initial serving URLs to serve the dist/index.html file. It's a classic pattern and honestly feels a bit dated in 2023. But it works. And what's so great about all of this is that I have a multi-stage Dockerfile that first does the npm run build (and some COPY --from=frontend /home/node/app/dist ./server/out) and now I can "lump" together the API backend and the front-end code in just 1 server (which I host on Digital Ocean).

If you had to write a SPA in 2023 what would you use? In particular, if it has to be React. Remix is all about server-side rendering. Create-react-app is completely unsupported. Building it from scratch yourself rolling your own TypeScript + Eslint + Rollup/esbuild/Parcel/Webpack does not feel productive unless you have enough time and energy to really get it all right.

In terms of comparing the performance between Next.js and Vite + wouter, the time it takes to build the whole app is actually not that big a deal. It's a rare thing to do. It's something I do after a long coding/debugging session. What's more pressing is how npm run dev works.
With Vite, I type npm run dev and hit Enter. Faster than I can almost notice, after hitting Enter I see...

VITE v4.4.6  ready in 240 ms

  ➜  Local:   http://localhost:3000/
  ➜  Network: use --host to expose
  ➜  press h to show help

and I'm ready to open http://localhost:3000/ to play. With Next.js, after having typed npm run dev and Enter, there's this slight but annoying delay before it's ready.

Be careful with Date.toLocaleDateString() in JavaScript

May 8, 2023
4 comments Node, MacOSX, JavaScript

tl;dr; Always pass timeZone:"UTC" when calling Date.toLocaleDateString

The surprise

In my browser's web console:

>>> new Date('2014-11-27T02:50:49Z').toLocaleDateString("en-us", {day: "numeric"})

On my server located in the same time zone:

Welcome to Node.js v16.13.0.
Type ".help" for more information.
> process.env.TZ
> new Date('2014-11-27T02:50:49Z').toLocaleDateString("en-us", {day: "numeric"})

Here on my laptop:

Welcome to Node.js v16.20.0.
Type ".help" for more information.
> process.env.TZ
> new Date('2014-11-27T02:50:49Z').toLocaleDateString("en-us", {day: "numeric"})

What! Despite $TZ not being set, it formats according to something else.

02:50 Zulu means, to me, in the US Eastern time zone, the day before.

Why this matters

Web console server React errors
I kept getting this production error from React that the SSR-rendered HTML differed from the client-side rendered HTML. Strangely, I could never reproduce this locally and the error doesn't say what's different. All the Stack Overflow suggestions and Google results speak of the most basic easy things to check. It's not unusual that this happens when dealing with dates because even though the database (PostgreSQL) stores the dates in full UTC, sometimes when data travels via app servers through JSON pipelines, date formatting can drop important bits.
But here, '2014-11-27T02:50:49Z' is specific.

What made this so incredibly hard to debug was that it worked on one page but not on the other even though the two had the same exact component code. I broke it apart thinking there was something nasty in the content of the Markdown-rendered HTML. No. The reason it only happened on some pages was that I had a function that looked like this:

export function formatDateBasic(date: string) {
  return new Date(date).toLocaleDateString("en-us", {
    year: "numeric",
    month: "long",
    day: "numeric",

And, different pages listed, almost non-deterministic, with different dates for related content which was referred to along with their dates. So on one page, there might be a single date that formats differently in EDT (Eastern daylight-saving time) compared to UTC. For example, Apr 1 at 18:00 Zulu, is still Apr 1 in EDT.

The explanation

I'm sorry that I don't understand this better, but Node's implementation of Date.toLocaleDateString does more than depend on process.env.TZ. I think $TZ is just a way to gain control.

For example, start the node REPL like this:

On my Ubuntu 20.04 server:

$ TZ=utc node
Welcome to Node.js v16.20.0.
Type ".help" for more information.
> new Date('2014-11-27T02:50:49Z').toLocaleDateString("en-us", {day: "numeric"})

On my MacBook:

❯ TZ=utc node
Welcome to Node.js v16.13.0.
Type ".help" for more information.
> new Date('2014-11-27T02:50:49Z').toLocaleDateString("en-us", {day: "numeric"})

To find out what timezone your computer has:

On Ubuntu:

$ timedatectl
               Local time: Mon 2023-05-08 12:42:03 UTC
           Universal time: Mon 2023-05-08 12:42:03 UTC
                 RTC time: Mon 2023-05-08 12:42:04
                Time zone: Etc/UTC (UTC, +0000)
System clock synchronized: yes
              NTP service: active
          RTC in local TZ: no

On macOS:

❯ sudo systemsetup -gettimezone
Time Zone: America/New_York

The solution

Setting TZ is probably a good thing. That can get a bit tricky though. Your code needs to run consistently on your laptop, in GitHub Actions, on a VPS server, in an Edge cloud function, etc.

A better way is to force Date.toLocaleString to be fed a timezone. Now it's controlled at the highest level:

export function formatDateBasic(date: string) {
  return new Date(date).toLocaleDateString("en-us", {
    year: "numeric",
    month: "long",
    day: "numeric",
+   timeZone: "UTC"

Now, it no longer depends on the OS it runs on.

On my Ubuntu server:

Welcome to Node.js v16.20.0.
Type ".help" for more information.
> new Date('2014-11-27T02:50:49Z').toLocaleDateString("en-us", {day: "numeric", timeZone: "UTC"})

On my macOS:

Welcome to Node.js v16.13.0.
Type ".help" for more information.
> new Date('2014-11-27T02:50:49Z').toLocaleDateString("en-us", {day: "numeric", timeZone: "UTC"})

Fun fact

I once made it unnecessarily weird for me in the debugging session, when I figured out about the timeZone option. What I ran was this:

Welcome to Node.js v16.13.0.
Type ".help" for more information.
> new Date('2014-11-27T02:50:49Z').toLocaleDateString("en-us", {day: "numeric", zimeZone: "UTC"})

I expected it to be '27' now but why did it revert?? Notice the typo? And Date.toLocaleDateString won't throw an error for passing in options it doesn't expect.

Automatically 'npm install'

April 6, 2023
0 comments Node, JavaScript

I implemented this at work recently and although it felt like a hack, I've come to like it and it's been very helpful to our many contributors.
As (Node) engineers, we know that you should keep your node_modules up-to-date by running npm install periodically or every time you git pull from the upstream. It could be that some package got upgraded last night since you git pulled last time.
But not everyone remembers to run npm install often enough. They might do git pull origin main && npm start and now the code that starts up depends on some latest version that was upgraded in package.json and package-lock.json.

How we solved it was that we added this script:

node script/cmp-files.js package-lock.json .installed.package-lock.json || npm install && cp package-lock.json .installed.package-lock.json

And it's hooked up as a script in package.json called prestart:

"scripts": {
  "prestart": "node script/cmp-files.js ...",

Now, every time you run npm start to start up the local development server, it will run that piece of bash. No more having to remember to run npm install after every git pull.

A note on performance

The npm install command is fast when all packages are already updated. You can see it with:

# First time
$ npm install

# Second time when nothing should happen
$ time npm install
2.53s user 0.37s system 134% cpu 2.166 total

So it only takes 2 seconds. Not bad.

$ time node script/cmp-files.js package-lock.json .installed.package-lock.json
0.08s user 0.03s system 100% cpu 0.110 total

But 0.08 seconds is better :)

The comparison script

The cmp-files.js script looks like this:

#!/usr/bin/env node

// Given N files. Exit 0 if they all exist and are identical in content.

import fs from 'fs'

import { program } from 'commander'

program.description('Compare N files').arguments('[files...]', '').parse(process.argv)


function main(files) {
  if (files.length < 2) throw new Error('Must be at least 2 files')
  try {
    const contents = => fs.readFileSync(file, 'utf-8'))
    if (new Set(contents).size > 1) {
  } catch (error) {
    if (error.code === 'ENOENT') {
    } else {
      throw error

The file .installed.package-lock.json file is added to the repo's .gitignore

Note; given how well this works for running before npm start we can probably add this to a post-checkout git hook too.

Benchmarking npm install with or without audit

February 23, 2023
1 comment Node, JavaScript

By default, running npm install will do a security audit of your installed packages. That audit is fast but it still takes a bit of time. To disable it you can either add --no-audit or you can...:

cat .npmrc

But how much does the audit take when running npm install? To find out, I wrote this:

import random
import statistics
import subprocess
import time
from collections import defaultdict

def f1():
    subprocess.check_output("npm install".split())

def f2():
    subprocess.check_output("npm install --no-audit".split())

functions = f1, f2

times = defaultdict(list)
for i in range(25):
    f = random.choice(functions)

    t0 = time.time()
    t1 = time.time()
    times[f.__name__].append(t1 - t0)

for f_name in sorted(times.keys()):
        f"mean: {statistics.mean(times[f_name]):.1f}s".ljust(10),
        f"median: {statistics.median(times[f_name]):.1f}s",

Note how it runs a lot of times in case there are network hiccups and it sleeps between each run just to spread out the experiment over a longer period of time. And the results are:

f1 mean: 2.81s median: 2.57s
f2 mean: 2.25s median: 2.21s

Going by the median time, the --no-audit makes the npm install 16% faster. If you look at the mean time dropping the --no-audit can make it 25% faster.

How much faster is Cheerio at parsing depending on xmlMode?

December 5, 2022
0 comments Node, JavaScript

Cheerio is a fantastic Node library for parsing HTML and then being able to manipulate and serialize it. But you can also just use it for parsing HTML and plucking out what you need. We use that to prepare the text that goes into our search index for our site. It basically works like this:

const body = await getBody('http://localhost:4002' + eachPage.path)
const $ = cheerio.load(body)
const title = $('h1').text()
const intro = $('p.intro').text()

But it hit me, can we speed that up? cheerio actually ships with two different parsers:

  1. parse5
  2. htmlparser2

One is faster and one is more strict.
But I wanted to see this in a real-world example.

So I made two runs where I used:

const $ = cheerio.load(body)

in one run, and:

const $ = cheerio.load(body, { xmlMode: true })

in another.

After having parsed 1,635 pages of HTML of various sizes the results are:

FILE: load.txt
MEAN:   13.19457640586797
MEDIAN: 10.5975

FILE: load-xmlmode.txt
MEAN:   3.9020372860635697
MEDIAN: 3.1020000000000003

So, using {xmlMode:true} leads to roughly a 3x speedup.

I think it pretty much confirms the original benchmark, but now I know based on a real application.