RunKit is Joining TC39 to Focus on Interactive Programming

by Francisco Tolmasky
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The RunKit team is incredibly excited to be representing Stripe at TC39! We hope to do our best to help JavaScript become an even better interactive programming experience.

At its core, RunKit is guided by the principle that the interactive programming models pioneered by environments like Smalltalk, Mathematica, and Jupyter offer an important path to making development truly accessible. Although this model has already proven itself in the data-science and prototyping spaces, we think it has tremendous potential for every-day programming as well. The REPL's that ship with most modern languages today give us a glimpse of this already, but we think they are just barely scratching the surface of what's possible.

When we started RunKit we made the deliberate decision to bet on JavaScript. Instead of focusing on running any container, or even any language, we wanted to really dive deep into one coherent experience — whether that be by turning the entire npm registry into an immediately accessible standard library or making errors actually understandable. We chose JavaScript because we think it is already a spiritual successor to these interactive programming models — when I first started programming, the browser was the ultimate interactive playground, and it was free!

Today we're excited to take the next step beyond simply working on tooling to make this vision a reality and actually participate in the future of what the language could look like. We're excited to approach the language from a REPL-and-Playground-first perspective. The last decade has seen JavaScript mature into a language far more capable of architecting ever larger applications, but we think there's still a lot that can be done to make the day to day experience more interactive and explorable. Can we learn from Elm to make errors clearer? Can we learn from Ruby and Pry to make the REPL more discoverable? Can we eliminate the gap between the REPL and the file altogether?

The future of JavaScript is bright and we are honored to be able to take a small part in it!

What is RunKit?

  • RunKit is an interactive playground for running Node.js in the cloud.
  • RunKit offers serverless functions with zero deploy time — prototype code changes in real time!
  • RunKit can be embedded in your tutorials and docs to make them interactive as seen on,, and
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