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Duktape 2.0 release notes

Release overview

Main changes in this release (see RELEASES.rst for full details):

  • New tools/ frontend tool replaces for configuring and preparing Duktape sources for build.
  • Buffer handling has been simplified: Duktape.Buffer has been removed and is replaced by Uint8Array, plain buffers now behave like Uint8Array objects. Node.js Buffer behavior aligned with more recent Node.js Buffer API.
  • Implement more ES2015 and ES2016 functionality, and align some ES5.1 semantics with ES2015/ES2016. Implement WHATWG Encoding API with TextEncoder() and TextDecoder() bindings.
  • Some incompatible API changes, and several API additions. API and config changes to avoid I/O dependencies (such as printf() and fopen()) in core Duktape code to simplify porting.
  • More configuration flexibility in dropping Duktape specific functionality from build, e.g. coroutines and finalization.
  • Disabled ECMAScript bindings are no longer present (instead of being present but throwing a TypeError).
  • Built-in functionality moved to optional extras: print/alert bindings, logging, and module loader. New optional extras include a Node.js-like module loader and a 'console' binding.
  • Bug fixes, performance and footprint improvements.

The release has API incompatible changes, see upgrading notes below.

Upgrading from Duktape 1.x

There are API incompatible changes in this release. Whenever possible the incompatible changes cause a compilation error (or warning) so that fixing call sites should be straightforward. Below are instructions on how to migrate from 1.x to 2.0.0. There are also bug fixes and other minor behavioral changes which may affect some applications, see RELEASES.rst for details.

There are backwards compatible providers for some removed/modified API calls in extras/duk-v1-compat.

Supporting Duktape 1.x and Duktape 2.x simultaneously

For C code you can use the DUK_VERSION define to support both Duktape 1.x and 2.x in the same application. For example:

#if (DUK_VERSION >= 20000)
rc = duk_safe_call(ctx, my_safe_call, NULL, 1 /*nargs*/, 1 /*nrets*/);
rc = duk_safe_call(ctx, my_safe_call, 1 /*nargs*/, 1 /*nrets*/);

If you're developing against Duktape master before 2.0 release, DUK_VERSION is set to 19999 so that you can use:

#if (DUK_VERSION >= 19999)
rc = duk_safe_call(ctx, my_safe_call, NULL, 1 /*nargs*/, 1 /*nrets*/);
rc = duk_safe_call(ctx, my_safe_call, 1 /*nargs*/, 1 /*nrets*/);

Similarly for ECMAScript code you can:

var plainBuffer;
if (Duktape.version >= 19999) {
    plainBuffer = Uint8Array.plainOf(bufferObject);
} else {
    plainBuffer = Duktape.Buffer(bufferObject);

Or you can detect features specifically:

var plainBuffer = (typeof Uint8Array.plainOf === 'function' ?
                   Uint8Array.plainOf : Duktape.Buffer)(bufferObject);

DUK_OPT_xxx feature option support removed

Duktape 2.0 no longer supports DUK_OPT_xxx options given via the compiler command line. Instead, all options are encoded in duk_config.h.

To use custom Duktape options, use the tools/ tool to create a customized duk_config.h and prepared Duktape sources matching the configuration. For example to enable assertions and fastint support:

$ python2 tools/ \
      --output-directory /tmp/output \
      --source-directory src-input \
      --config-metadata config \

# Prepared duk_config.h header and Duktape sources (duktape.h and
# duktape.c) are in /tmp/output.  Compile normally with your application.

$ gcc -std=c99 -Wall -o/tmp/test -I/tmp/output /tmp/output/duktape.c \
      my_application.c -lm

See for details and examples.

To upgrade:

  • If you're using the Duktape default configuration and no DUK_OPT_xxx compiler options, no actions are needed.
  • Otherwise, remove DUK_OPT_xxx options from the compilation command and add a tools/ pre-step to your build. Add the equivalent DUK_USE_xxx options to tools/ argument list; for example -DDUK_USE_FASTINT.
  • If you're using a duk_custom.h header there are three simple approaches:
    • To embed your custom header into duk_config.h statically, use --fixup-file duk_custom.h in tools/ options.
    • To include your custom header at compilation time, similarly to DUK_OPT_HAVE_CUSTOM_H, use --fixup-line '#include "duk_custom.h"' in tools/ options.
    • Finally, you can in some cases remove your custom header and use equivalent config options for tools/

Config option changes

There are several new config options and some existing config options have been removed.

To upgrade:

  • Review any DUK_OPT_xxx or DUK_USE_xxx options in use against config/config-options/*.yaml.

Built-ins disabled in configuration are now absent

If a built-in is disabled when running, it won't be present in the ECMAScript environment. For example, with -UDUK_USE_ES6_PROXY:

duk> new Proxy()
ReferenceError: identifier 'Proxy' undefined
    at [anon] (duk_js_var.c:1262) internal
    at global (input:1) preventsyield
duk> typeof Proxy
= "undefined"

In Duktape 1.x the binding was present but would just throw an Error when invoked:

duk> new Proxy()
Error: unknown error (rc -1)
    at Proxy () native strict construct preventsyield
    at global (input:1) preventsyield
duk> typeof Proxy
= "function"

The revised behavior saves footprint and allows scripts to detect supported built-ins reliably using e.g.:

if (typeof Proxy === 'function') {
    // supported

To upgrade:

  • In most cases no action is needed. If your code relies on the builtins being present but throwing an error (which seems unlikely), such call sites need to be fixed.

Tooling changes

There are some tooling changes in this release:

  • The distributable now includes raw sources in src-input/ and some tooling in tools/. This allows Duktape sources to be modified and re-amalgamated directly from the distributable. The distributable still includes sources prepared using default configuration (src/, src-noline/, and src-separate) and some configuration examples.
  • The tooling includes a new tools/ tool which creates a duk_config.h and matching prepared sources simultaneously. This allows use of ROM built-ins from the distributable. Previously ROM built-ins required a manual --rom-support ... command.
  • The utility in Duktape main repo has been renamed to and no longer supports --rom-support, --rom-auto-lightfunc, and --user-builtin-metadata options. Use the tools/ tool instead, which supports these options. However, --user-builtin-metadata has been renamed --builtin-file.
  • The config/ has been relocated to tools/ in the distributable. It can still be used as a standalone tool, but using is recommended instead.

To upgrade:

  • If you're just using the default sources and duk_config.h in the distributable, no changes are needed.
  • If you're using considering using tools/ instead. If you keep on using, update path to tools/
  • If you're using ROM built-ins via, change your build to use tools/ instead, and change --user-builtins-metadata option argument(s) to --builtin-file.

Dist package file changes

  • Configuration metadata is now in unpacked form in dist/config to match the Duktape master repo and to make config files more convenient to patch. The dist/tools/ tool no longer accepts a tar.gz metadata argument.
  • The pre-built duk_config.h examples have been removed as somewhat useless. Use dist/tools/ (or dist/tools/ to generate duk_config.h files.
  • dist/duk_build_meta.json has been renamed to dist/duk_dist_meta.json for clarity. It no longer contains string data scanned from source files. This metadata is now in source directories, e.g. dist/src/duk_source_meta.json as the string set potentially depends on options used to prepare sources.
  • Source metadata, e.g. dist/src/metadata.json, has been renamed to dist/src/duk_source_meta.json for clarity. The metadata contains Duktape version information, strings scanned from source files, and for combined (amalgamated) sources the line number metadata.

Buffer behavior changes

There are a lot of buffer behavior changes in the 2.0 release; see detailed changes below and in RELEASES.rst. Here's a summary of changes:

  • Duktape.Buffer has been removed. Plain buffers now behave like Uint8Array instances to the extent possible. They don't have a property table, however, which causes some limitations. Plain buffers ToObject() coerce to an actual Uint8Array object with the same backing buffer. There are many small changes to how plain buffers are treated by standard built-ins as a result. For example, string coercion (String(plainBuffer)) now mimics Uint8Array and usually results in the string [object Uint8Array].
  • Plain buffers have an inherited .buffer getter property which returns an ArrayBuffer object backing to the same underlying plain buffer. Because there is no property table for plain buffers, each .buffer access creates a new ArrayBuffer instance.
  • When duk_push_buffer_object() creates an automatic ArrayBuffer for a view (such as Uint8Array), the ArrayBuffer's .byteOffset will be set to 0 and its .byteLength will be set to view.byteOffset + view.byteLength. This ensures that accessing the ArrayBuffer at view.byteOffset returns the same value as when accessing view at index 0, which is the usual relationship between a view and its backing ArrayBuffer. Up to Duktape 1.6.x the ArrayBuffer's .byteOffset and .byteLength would be the same as the view's.
  • Non-standard properties, such as virtual indices and .length have been removed from ArrayBuffer and DataView. The .byteOffset, .byteLength, .BYTES_PER_ELEMENT, and .buffer properties of view objects are now inherited getters to match ES2015. The .length property remains a virtual own property, however (it is a getter in ES2015).
  • Default ECMAScript built-ins no longer provide the ability to do a 1:1 buffer-to-string coercion where the buffer bytes are used directly as the internal string bytes. Instead, an encoding (usually UTF-8) is always involved, and U+FFFD replacement characters are used when invalid inputs are encountered. See C code can still do 1:1 conversions using duk_buffer_to_string() or by pushing a raw string directly, and can expose such a binding to ECMAScript code.
  • Node.js Buffer binding has been aligned more with Node.js v6.9.1 (from Node.js v0.12.1) and some (but not all) behavior differences to actual Node.js have been fixed.
  • Disabling DUK_USE_BUFFEROBJECT_SUPPORT allows use of plain buffers in the C API, and allows manipulation of plain buffers in ECMAScript code via their virtual properties (index properties, .length, etc). Plain buffers still inherit from Uint8Array.prototype, but won't Object coerce. All ArrayBuffer, typed array, and Node.js Buffer methods will be missing, including Uint8Array.allocPlain(). Duktape custom built-ins operating on plain buffers (like Duktape.dec() with hex or base-64 encoding) continue to work. (This behavior is not guaranteed and may change even in minor versions.)

To upgrade:

  • If you're using buffers in general, review which has been updated for Duktape 2.0.
  • If you're using standard ArrayBuffers and typed arrays, no changes should normally be necessary, however see technical changes in RELEASES.rst.
  • If you're using the Node.js Buffer binding, review the following:
    • Node.js Buffer .concat() always returns a buffer copy, even for a one-element input array which had special handling in Node.js v0.12.1.
    • Node.js Buffer.prototype .toString() now decodes the input buffer using UTF-8, emitting replacement characters for invalid UTF-8 sequences.
    • Review Buffer code for Node.js Buffer changes between Node.js versions v0.12.1 and v6.9.1 in general.
  • If you're using plain buffers, review their usage especially in ECMAScript code, in particular:
    • Because plain buffers now mimic Uint8Array (a view), they are treated as initializer values when used as typed array constructor arguments. For example, new Uint32Array(plainBuffer) will create a new Uint32Array rather than a view into the plain buffer.
    • To create a view into the plain buffer, use the same approach as with a Uint8Array, e.g. new Uint32Array(plainBuffer.buffer).
  • Regardless of buffer type(s) in use:
    • One important change is that String(plainBuffer) and duk_to_string() for a buffer does not work as before, use new duk_buffer_to_string() C API call instead. There's no equivalent function for the default ECMAScript built-ins.
    • Another important change is that plain buffers, like Uint8Array objects, boolean coerce to true regardless of buffer size (zero or larger) and contents.
  • If you're using Duktape.Buffer, the following new built-ins replace its functionality (and more):
    • Uint8Array.allocPlain(): to allocate a new (fixed) plain buffer
    • Uint8Array.plainOf(): to get the underlying plain buffer of any buffer object (without making a copy)
    • However, these bindings are intentionally missing if buffer object support has been disabled in Duktape configuration.

Some detailed changes, not exhaustive; see RELEASES.rst and tests/ecmascript/test-bi-plain-buffer-*.js for even more detail:

  • typeof plainBuffer is now object instead of buffer.
  • plainBuffer instanceof Uint8Array is true.
  • Plain buffer Object.prototype.toString() now usually, assuming no overridden .toString(), yields [object Uint8Array] instead of [object Buffer].
  • Plain buffer inherits from Uint8Array.prototype instead of Duktape.Buffer.prototype.
  • For a plain buffer duk_to_string() no longer creates a string with the same underlying bytes, but results in [object Uint8Array] instead (unless .toString() or .valueOf() has been overridden); in particular, using a plain buffer as an object property key is misleading as obj[buf] is (usually) equivalent to obj['[object Uint8Array]']. duk_to_buffer() for a string still results in a plain buffer with the same underlying bytes as before.
  • A new duk_buffer_to_string() API call converts any buffer value to a string with the same underlying bytes as in the buffer (like duk_to_string() did in Duktape 1.x). ECMAScript built-ins no longer have this ability directly.
  • duk_to_boolean() for a plain buffer: always true, even if the buffer has zero length.
  • duk_to_primitive() for plain buffer: usually coerces to the string [object Uint8Array] because plain buffers are not considered a primitive value.
  • duk_is_primitive() for a plain buffer is now false to match how duk_to_primitive() deals with plain buffers (i.e. coerces them rather than returning them as is).
  • When a plain buffer is used as the "this" binding of a function call, it is ToObject() coerced to an actual Uint8Array if the call target is non-strict. This mimics what happens to e.g. plain strings. Lightfuncs have also been revised to behave the same way (in Duktape 1.x they would not be ToObject() coerced in this situation).
  • new ArrayBuffer(plainBuffer) no longer creates a new ArrayBuffer with the same underlying plain buffer; instead, the plain buffer gets coerced to zero and creates a zero-length ArrayBuffer. This matches how a Uint8Array argument is handled in new ArrayBuffer().
  • new Buffer(plainBuffer) no longer special cases plain buffer and gets treated like an Uint8Array: a fresh Buffer with matching .length is created and index elements are copied into the result buffer (in effect making an actual buffer copy).
  • ArrayBuffer.isView(nodejsBuffer) is now true to reflect the fact that Node.js Buffers are Uint8Arrays in newer Node.js versions.
  • new Uint32Array(plainBuffer) and other typed array constructors use the argument plain buffer as an initializer (like Uint8Array), which causes a copy to be created.
  • new DataView(plainBuffer) is rejected and DataView() in general rejects any other argument than an actual ArrayBuffer.
  • typedarray.prototype.subarray() accepts a plain buffer and the resulting slice is a Uint8Array because plain buffers cannot represent a view offset/length.
  • Node.js Buffer.prototype.slice() accepts a plain buffer and the result is a Node.js Buffer (which itself is a special Uint8Array instance).
  • plainBuffer.valueOf() ordinarily backed by Object.prototype.valueOf() returns Object(plainBuffer), i.e. converts plain buffer to an actual Uint8Array. This matches normal Object.prototype.valueOf() behavior, e.g. plain string is coerced into a String object.
  • JSON.stringify() now recognizes plain buffers like Uint8Array instances; the result is typically {"0":XXX,"1":XXX,....} without a .toJSON() implementation, as the virtual index properties are enumerable for Uint8Arrays.
  • Object.freeze() not allowed for plain buffers or buffer objects (Duktape 1.x allowed silently) because array index elements cannot be made non-writable. This is an internal limitation and failing with a TypeError signals this to the caller (and matches how e.g. V8 handles Object.freeze(new Uint8Array(4))).
  • Typed array .subarray() and Node.js Buffer .slice() result internal prototype is now set to the default prototype of the result type (e.g. initial value of Uint8Array.prototype if the input is an Uint8Array) rather than being copied from the argument.
  • Node.js Buffer and Buffer.prototype methods now accept plain buffers.
  • A plain buffer is accepted as a constructor "replacement value".

Pointer behavior changes

There are very minor changes to pointer value behavior:

  • plainPointer instanceof Duktape.Pointer now evaluates to true (false in Duktape 1.x).

To upgrade:

  • If you're using pointer values in ECMAScript code, check pointer handling.

Lightfunc behavior changes

There are very minor changes to lightfunc value behavior:

  • duk_is_primitive() now returns false for lightfuncs; this is more in line with how lightfuncs behave in ECMAScript ToPrimitive() coercion and matches how plain buffers work in Duktape 2.x.
  • [[DefaultValue]] coercion now considers lightfuncs non-primitive (previously considered primitive and thus accepted as [[DefaultValue]] result).
  • When a lightfunc is used as the "this" binding of a function call, it is ToObject() coerced to a full function when the call target is non-strict. Duktape 1.x would not coerce the lightfunc to an object in this situation; the change was made to match plain buffer behavior. Note that because lightfuncs themselves are considered strict functions, this only happens when the call target is not a lightfunc but the "this" binding is.
  • A lightfunc is accepted as a constructor "replacement value".

To upgrade:

  • If you're using lightfuncs, review their handling.

print() and alert() globals removed

The print() and alert() globals were removed because they depended on stdout/stderr which is a portability issue on some platforms. Further, even if stdout/stderr is available, it's not always the appropriate place for debug printouts, so it's cleaner if the application provides its own debug/console logging functions.

To upgrade:

  • If you don't use print() or alert() no action is needed; they simply won't be a part of the global object anymore.

  • If a simple print() and/or alert() suffices, you can use something like this:

    static duk_ret_t my_print(duk_context *ctx) {
        duk_push_string(ctx, " ");
        duk_insert(ctx, 0);
        duk_join(ctx, duk_get_top(ctx) - 1);
        fprintf(stdout, "%s\n", duk_to_string(ctx, -1));  /* 'stderr' for alert() */
        fflush(stdout);  /* may or may not want to flush, depends on application */
        return 0;
    /* And after Duktape heap creation (or after each new thread with a
     * fresh global environment):
    duk_push_c_function(ctx, my_print, DUK_VARARGS);
    duk_put_global_string(ctx, "print");
  • If you do need print() and/or alert() with the Duktape 1.x semantics you can include the following extra into your compilation: extras/print-alert.

Built-in CommonJS module framework removed

The built-in CommonJS module loading framework consisting of require(), Duktape.modSearch() and Duktape.modLoaded was removed; a module framework isn't always needed, and when it is, it's difficult for a single framework to match the very different use cases.

To upgrade:

  • If you don't use the built-in module loading framework, no action is needed.
  • If you do use the built-in module loading framework and want to continue using a module loader with Duktape 1.x semantics, you can include the following extra into your compilation: extras/module-duktape.
  • If you're upgrading, there are also other alternatives to module loading. For example, the extras/module-node module loader provides Node.js-like semantics with a more flexible module resolution and loading process.

Duktape.Logger, duk_log(), and duk_log_va() removed

The built-in logging framework consisting of Duktape.Logger, duk_log(), and duk_log_va() were removed because they depended on stdout/stderr which is a portability issue on some platforms. The logging framework also didn't always match user expectations: for some uses it was too simple (lacking e.g. expressive backend configuration); for other uses it was too complex (too high a ROM/RAM footprint for some embedded uses). Sometimes an existing API like console.log() was preferred while in other cases a platform specific logging binding was more appropriate.

To upgrade:

  • If you don't need Duktape.Logger or the C logging API calls, no action is needed.
  • If you do need Duktape.Logger and/or the C logging API calls with Duktape 1.x semantics, you can include the following extra into your compilation: extras/logging.

duk_safe_call() userdata

There's a new userdata argument for duk_safe_call():

/* Duktape 1.x */
typedef duk_ret_t (*duk_safe_call_function) (duk_context *ctx);
duk_int_t duk_safe_call(duk_context *ctx, duk_safe_call_function func, duk_idx_t nargs, duk_idx_t nrets);

/* Duktape 2.x */
typedef duk_ret_t (*duk_safe_call_function) (duk_context *ctx, void *udata);
duk_int_t duk_safe_call(duk_context *ctx, duk_safe_call_function func, void *udata, duk_idx_t nargs, duk_idx_t nrets);

The additional userdata argument makes it easier to pass a C pointer to the safe-called function without the need to push a pointer onto the value stack. Multiple C values can be passed by packing them into a stack-allocated struct and passing a pointer to the struct as the userdata.

To upgrade:

  • Add a userdata argument to duk_safe_call() call sites. If no relevant userdata exists, pass a NULL.

  • Add a userdata argument to safe call targets. If no relevant userdata exists, just ignore the argument.

  • If a call site needs to support both Duktape 1.x and Duktape 2.x, use a DUK_VERSION preprocessor check:

    #if (DUK_VERSION >= 20000)
    duk_ret_t my_safe_call(duk_context *ctx, void *udata) {
    duk_ret_t my_safe_call(duk_context *ctx) {
        /* Ignore 'udata'. */
    /* ... */
    #if (DUK_VERSION >= 20000)
    rc = duk_safe_call(ctx, my_safe_call, NULL, 1 /*nargs*/, 1 /*nrets*/);
    rc = duk_safe_call(ctx, my_safe_call, 1 /*nargs*/, 1 /*nrets*/);

Duktape specific error codes removed from API

Duktape specific error codes were removed from the public API and from internals. These error codes were not very widely used, and they didn't have an ECMAScript counterpart (for example, a DUK_ERR_API_ERROR mapped to a plain Error object) which was confusing. The removed error codes and defines are:


Duktape API related errors were also changed to map to either a TypeError or RangeError instead of a plain Error:

  • A RangeError is used when an argument is out of bounds; for example: a value stack index is out of bounds, pop count is too large, not enough value stack items for call argument count.
  • A TypeError is used when a value has incorrect type, and is thrown by for example duk_require_boolean(). TypeError is also typically used when nothing else applies.

To upgrade:

  • If you use the custom error codes (DUK_ERR_INTERNAL_ERROR etc) in your code, convert to using standard error codes (DUK_ERR_TYPE_ERROR, etc).
  • If you depend on API errors mapping to a plain Error, revise such code to accept also TypeError or RangeError. (In general depending on a specific error type should be only be done when it's absolute necessary.)

duk_error(), duk_error_va(), duk_throw(), duk_fatal() have a return value

The prototype return value for these error throwers was changed from void to duk_ret_t which allows for idioms like:

if (argvalue < 0) {
    return duk_error(ctx, DUK_ERR_TYPE_ERROR,
                     "invalid arg: %d", (int) argvalue);

To upgrade:

  • Without an explicit cast to (void) duk_error(...) you may get some new compiler warnings. Fix by adding the void cast, or convert the call sites to use the return duk_error(...) idiom where applicable.

duk_dump_context_stdout() and duk_dump_context_stderr() removed

These two API calls were helpers based on duk_push_context_dump() which would write the context dump directly to stdout/stderr. Having a dependency on stdout/stderr is a portability concern so the calls were removed in Duktape 2.x.

To upgrade:

  • Replace duk_dump_context_stdout() with an explicit call sequence like:

    printf("%s\n", duk_to_string(ctx, -1));

    Similarly for duk_dump_context_stderr().

  • Alternatively, include extras/duk-v1-compat into your compilation to add back the removed API calls.

duk_to_defaultvalue() removed

The duk_to_defaultvalue() API call was rather technical: it invoked the internal [[DefaultValue]] algorithm which is used in ES5.1 as part of the ToPrimitive() coercion (duk_to_primitive()). ES2015 no longer specifies [[DefaultValue]] which has been folded into ToPrimitive(). The API call thus no longer makes much sense.

To upgrade:

  • If you're using duk_to_defaultvalue() (which is unlikely), you can in most cases replace it with duk_to_primitive(). The main difference is that duk_to_primitive() accepts all argument types (returning those considered primitive as is) while duk_to_defaultvalue() rejects primitive value arguments. See the ES5.1/ES2015 specifications for exact differences between the two.

  • Here's an example replacement. Replace this:

    duk_to_defaultvalue(ctx, idx, hint);


    duk_require_type_mask(ctx, idx, DUK_TYPE_MASK_OBJECT |
                                    DUK_TYPE_MASK_BUFFER |
    duk_to_primitive(ctx, idx, hint);
  • Alternatively, include extras/duk-v1-compat into your compilation to add back the removed API call.

File I/O Duktape C API calls were removed

Some platform don't have file I/O API calls (even ANSI), while on others they are present but don't actually map to the file system (instead, a platform specific API is used to access the actual file system). Finally, there are character encoding issues with ANSI C file I/O APIs e.g. on Windows, so that the built-in file I/O support didn't always work as expected.

To improve portability, the following Duktape C API calls depending on platform file I/O (fopen() etc) were removed (moved to extras):

  • duk_push_string_file()
  • duk_compile_file()
  • duk_pcompile_file()
  • duk_eval_file()
  • duk_eval_file_noresult()
  • duk_peval_file()
  • duk_peval_file_noresult()

To upgrade:

  • If you don't use these API calls, no action is needed.
  • If you use these API calls you can e.g. implement a helper to push a file as a string (like duk_push_string_file()) and then implement any needed compile/eval helpers based on that.
  • Alternatively, you can include the following extra into your compilation: extras/duk-v1-compat. The extra provides Duktape 1.x compatible file-related API call bindings.

duk_debugger_attach() and duk_debugger_attach_custom() merged

The duk_debugger_attach_custom() API call in Duktape 1.x has been renamed to duk_debugger_attach() to eliminate an unnecessary API call variant from the public API. The remaining debugger attach call always includes an AppRequest callback argument.

To upgrade:

  • duk_debugger_attach_custom() call sites: rename API call to duk_debugger_attach(); no argument changes are needed.

  • duk_debugger_attach() call sites: add a NULL request_cb callback argument.

  • If a call site needs to support both Duktape 1.x and Duktape 2.x:

    /* Alternative #1: conditional call name. */
    #if (DUK_VERSION >= 20000)
            request_cb,  /* NULL OK if not necessary */
    /* Alternative #2: conditional request_cb argument. */
    #if (DUK_VERSION >= 20000)
            request_cb,  /* NULL OK if not necessary */

Debug protocol version bumped from 1 to 2

Because there are small incompatible changes in the debug protocol in this release, the debug protocol version has been bumped from 1 to 2. The version is provided by the DUK_DEBUG_PROTOCOL_VERSION constant, and also appears in the debug protocol version identification string.

To upgrade:

  • Review the debug protocol changes and ensure debug client has corresponding changes.
  • Update debug client code to support both versions 1 and 2, or version 2 only.

Debugger detached callback has a duk_context pointer argument

The debugger detached callback is allowed to immediately reattach the debugger session. However, the detached callback didn't have a duk_context * argument in Duktape 1.x so that the relevant context pointer needed to be passed e.g. via the udata argument which is awkward.

In Duktape 2.x an explicit context argument was added:

/* Duktape 1.x */
typedef void (*duk_debug_detached_function) (void *udata);

/* Duktape 2.x */
typedef void (*duk_debug_detached_function) (duk_context *ctx, void *udata);

To upgrade:

  • If you're using duk_debugger_attach(), add an additional duk_context * argument to the detached callback.

  • If support for both Duktape 1.x and 2.x is desired, use:

    #if DUK_VERSION >= 20000
    void my_detached_cb(duk_context *ctx, void *udata) {
    void my_detached_cb(void *udata) {
        /* ... */

Debugger command callstack index changes

Debug command callstack indexes have been made mandatory where appropriate to simplify the protocol. Affected commands are: GetVar, PutVar, GetLocals, and Eval.

To upgrade:

  • Review debug client handling of callstack indices when sending affected commands.

Debugger print/alert and logger forwarding removed

Forwarding of print(), alert(), and log writes, enabled using config options DUK_USE_DEBUGGER_FWD_PRINTALERT and DUK_USE_DEBUGGER_FWD_LOGGING, was removed as part of removing the bindings themselves. Also debugger notifications Print (0x02), Alert (0x03), Log (0x04) were deprecated.

To upgrade:

  • No changes are needed, but print/alert and logger notification support can be removed from a debug client.
  • If you rely on print/alert or logger forwarding in your debugger setup, you can add custom print/alert or logger forwarding by implementing print/alert or logging yourself and using AppNotify (duk_debugger_notify()) to forward print/alert or logger text.

Internal duk_harray affects debugger array inspection

Duktape 2.x introduces an internal duk_harray type to represent arrays. The array .length property is no longer stored in the property table of the array but is a C struct field in duk_harray and the property visible to ECMAScript code is virtual.

As a result, array .length is not visible when inspecting ordinary array properties using e.g. GetObjPropDesc or GetObjPropDescRange. Instead, array .length is an artificial property "length" returned by GetHeapObjInfo.

To upgrade:

  • If the debug client uses array .length for e.g. UI purposes, ensure the artificial property "length" is used instead.

Other debugger changes

  • Artificial properties renamed for consistency with internal renaming:
    • compiledfunction -> compfunc
    • nativefunction -> natfunc
    • bufferobject -> bufobj
    • bound -> boundfunc

Debug print config options changed

Debug print related config options were reworked as follows:

  • Debug prints no longer automatically go to stderr. Instead, an application must define DUK_USE_DEBUG_WRITE() in duk_config.h when DUK_USE_DEBUG is enabled. The macro is called to write debug log lines; there's no default provider to avoid platform I/O dependencies. Using a user-provided macro removes a dependency on platform I/O and also allows debug logs to be filtered and redirected in whatever manner is most useful for the application. Example provider:

    #define DUK_USE_DEBUG_WRITE(level,file,line,func,msg) do { \
            fprintf(stderr, "D%ld %s:%ld (%s): %s\n", \
                    (long) (level), (file), (long) (line), (func), (msg)); \
        } while (0)

    See for more information.

  • Debug level options DUK_USE_DPRINT, DUK_USE_DDPRINT, and DUK_DDDPRINT were replaced with a single config option DUK_USE_DEBUG_LEVEL with a numeric value:

    • 0 is minimal logging (matches DUK_USE_DPRINT)
    • 1 is verbose logging (matches DUK_USE_DDPRINT)
    • 2 is very verbose logging (matches DUK_USE_DDDPRINT)

To upgrade:

  • If you're not using debug prints, no action is needed.
  • If you're using debug prints:
    • Add a DUK_USE_DEBUG_WRITE() to your duk_config.h. By itself it won't enable debug prints so it's safe to add even when debug prints are disabled.
    • Convert debug level options from DUK_USE_{D,DD,DDD}PRINT to the equivalent DUK_USE_DEBUG_LEVEL (0, 1, or 2).

Fatal error and panic handling reworked

The following changes were made to fatal error and panic handling:

  • Fatal error function signature was simplied from:

    /* Duktape 1.x */
    void func(duk_context *ctx, duk_errcode_t code, const char *msg);


    /* Duktape 2.x */
    void func(void *udata, const char *msg);

    where the udata argument is the userdata argument given in heap creation.

  • duk_fatal() error code argument was removed to match the signature change.

  • The entire concept of "panic errors" was removed and replaced with calls to the fatal error mechanism. There's a user-registered (optional) fatal error handler in heap creation, and a built-in default fatal error handler which is called if user code doesn't provide a fatal error handler.

    Some fatal errors, currently assertion failures, happen without a Duktape heap/thread context so that a user-registered handler cannot be called (there's no heap reference to look it up). For these errors the default fatal error handler is always called, with the userdata argument as NULL. The default fatal error handler can be replaced by editing duk_config.h.

To upgrade:

  • If you're not providing a fatal error handler nor using a custom panic handler, no action is needed -- however, providing a fatal error handler in heap creation is strongly recommended, see for instructions.

    The default fatal error handler will by default call abort() with no error message to stdout or stderr. To improve this behavior define DUK_USE_FATAL_HANDLER() in your duk_config.h.

  • If you have a fatal error handler, update its signature:

    /* Duktape 1.x */
    void my_fatal(duk_context *ctx, duk_errcode_t error_code, const char *msg) {
        /* ... */
    /* Duktape 2.x */
    void my_fatal(void *udata, const char *msg) {
        /* ... */
  • If you're using duk_fatal() API calls, remove the error code argument:

    /* Duktape 1.x */
    duk_fatal(ctx, DUK_ERR_INTERNAL_ERROR, "assumption failed");
    /* Duktape 2.x */
    duk_fatal(ctx, "assumption failed");
  • If you have a custom panic handler in your duk_config.h, convert it to a default fatal error handler, also provided by duk_config.h. Both Duktape 1.x panic handler and Duktape 2.x default fatal error handler apply to all Duktape heaps (rather than a specific Duktape heap).

InitJS support removed

Both Duktape InitJS (DUK_USE_BUILTIN_INITJS) and user InitJS (DUK_USE_USER_INITJS) were removed. Duktape built-in InitJS is no longer needed (and was never used for very much). User InitJS was rarely used and it's not a full solution because custom environment initialization may also involve native initialization code which isn't supported by the mechanism.

To upgrade:

  • Duktape built-in InitJS removal requires no user code changes.
  • If you're using the user InitJS option, call sites need to be modified to run the init code explicitly on heap/thread creation.

Enumeration order changes

Enumeration order for Object.getOwnPropertyNames() has been changed to match ES2015/ES2016 [[OwnPropertyKeys]] enumeration order, which is:

  • Array indices in ascending order
  • Normal (non-array-index) property keys in insertion order
  • Symbols in insertion order

While not required by ES2015/ES2016, the same enumeration order is also used in Duktape 2.x for for-in, Object.keys(), and duk_enum(). A related change is that duk_enum() flags DUK_ENUM_ARRAY_INDICES_ONLY and DUK_ENUM_SORT_ARRAY_INDICES can now be used independently.

The revised enumeration order makes enumeration behavior more predictable and matches other modern engines. In particular, sparse arrays (arrays without an internal array part) now enumerate identically to dense arrays.

To upgrade:

  • Check application code for enumeration assumptions.

Symbol support related changes

Small changes related to adding symbol support:

  • Symbols are represented as strings with an invalid UTF-8 representation (like internal keys in Duktape 1.x), and they behave like strings in the C API just like internal keys did in Duktape 1.x. For example, duk_is_string() is true for symbols. Symbols can be distinguished using duk_is_symbol().
  • Symbol support is currently experimental. The core semantics have been implemented but it's likely some of the internal details will change in future releases. The C API may also need changes (for example to the typing model) in future releases; in its current form symbols behave just like internal strings in the C API.
  • Being experimental, the Symbol built-in is disabled by default; enable via config option DUK_USE_SYMBOL_BUILTIN. Symbols can be created from C code even when the Symbol built-in is disabled, and symbol semantics (like typeof and coercion behavior) are currently enabled.
  • Internal properties are now called "hidden symbols" and adopt some ES2015 Symbol behaviors, e.g. typeof internalKey === 'symbol and "" + internalKey is now a TypeError. Internal keys are different from normal ES2015 Symbols in that they can't be enumerated from ECMAScript code even with Object.getOwnPropertySymbols().

Other incompatible changes

Incompatible changes (not exhaustive, also see RELEASES.rst):

  • Normal and constructor function call argument limit is now 255, down from the previous 511.
  • If a user function is called using the identifier 'eval', such a call won't get tailcall optimized even if otherwise possible.
  • duk_gc() no longer accepts a NULL context pointer for consistence with other API calls. A NULL pointer not causes memory unsafe behavior, as with all other API calls.
  • duk_def_prop() now ToPropertyKey() coerces its argument rather than requiring the key to be a string. This allows e.g. numbers to be used as property keys.
  • duk_char_code_at() and String.charCodeAt() now return 0xFFFD (Unicode replacement character) if the string cannot be decoded as extended UTF-8, previously an error was thrown. This situation never occurs for standard ECMAScript strings or valid UTF-8 strings.
  • duk_get_length() now allows the size_t rather than the unsigned 32-bit integer range for the target value's .length.
  • Legacy octal literal handling has been improved to match more closely with ES2015 Annex B. Octal look-alike decimal literals like "0778" and "0778.123" are now allowed.
  • Legacy octal escape handling in string literals has been improved to match more closely with ES2015 Annex B and other engines: "078" is not accepted and is the same as "u00078", "8" and "9" are accepted as literal "8" and "9" (even in strict mode).
  • The NetBSD pow() workaround option DUK_USE_POW_NETBSD_WORKAROUND has been generalized and renamed to DUK_USE_POW_WORKAROUNDS.
  • When using a Proxy as a for-in target the "ownKeys" trap is invoked instead of the "enumerate" trap in ES2016. Duktape now follows this behavior. The "enumerate" trap has been obsoleted. Key enumerability is also now checked when "ownKeys" trap is used in Object.keys() and for-in.
  • Bound function internal prototype is copied from the target function to match ES2015 requirements; in ES5 (and Duktape 1.x) bound function internal prototype is always set to Function.prototype.
  • Function.prototype.toString() output has been changed to match ES2015 requirements. For example function foo() {"ecmascript"} is now function foo() { [ecmascript code] }.
  • Function .name and .length properties are now non-writable, non-enumerable, but configurable, to match revised ES2015 semantics. Previously the properties were also non-configurable.
  • Function .fileName property is now non-writable, non-enumerable, and configurable. Previously it was writable, non-enumerable, and configurable. While this is not required by ES2015 (as the property is non-standard), it has been aligned with .name. Direct assignment to the property will be rejected, but you can set it using e.g. Object.defineProperty(func, 'fileName', { value: 'myFilename.js' });.
  • Error instance .fileName and .lineNumber property attributes are also non-writable, non-enumerable, but configurable. This only matters when tracebacks are disabled and concrete properties are used instead of the inherited accessors.
  • Object constructor methods like Object.keys(), Object.freeze(), etc now follow more lenient ES2015 coercion semantics: non-object arguments are either coerced to objects or treated like non-extensible objects with no own properties.
  • RegExp.prototype follows ES2015 behavior more closely: it is no longer a RegExp instance, .source, .global, .ignoreCase, and .multiline are now inherited getters, etc. However, leniency to allow e.g. RegExp.prototype.source (from ES2017 draft) is supported for real world code compatibility.
  • now returns an object rather than an array. The object has named properties like .type and .enext for the internal fields which is easier to version and work with. The names of the properties are not under version guarantees and may change in an incompatible fashion in even a minor release.
  • Memory management without mark-and-sweep is no longer supported; relying on only refcounting was error prone because reference cycles or debugger use could result in leaked garbage that would only get collected on heap destruction.

Known issues

  • Some non-compliant behavior for array indices near 2G or 4G elements.
  • RegExp parser is strict and won't accept some real world RegExps which are technically not compliant with ECMAScript E5/E5.1 specification but allowed in ES2015 Annex B.
  • Final mantissa bit rounding issues in the internal number-to-string conversion.

Raw issues from test runs

API tests

test-to-number.c: fail; 15 diff lines; known issue: number parsing bug for strings containing NUL characters (e.g. '\u0000')

ECMAScript tests

test-bi-array-proto-push: fail; 30 diff lines; known issue: array length above 2^32-1 not supported
test-bi-array-push-maxlen: fail; 17 diff lines; known issue: array length above 2^32-1 not supported
test-bi-date-tzoffset-brute-fi: fail; 12 diff lines; known issue: year 1970 deviates from expected, Duktape uses equiv. year for 1970 on purpose at the moment; requires special feature options: test case has been written for Finnish locale
test-bi-function-nonstd-caller-prop: fail; 175 diff lines; requires special feature options: DUK_USE_NONSTD_FUNC_CALLER_PROPERTY
test-bi-global-parseint: fail; 89 diff lines; known issue: rounding differences for parsing integers larger than 2^53
test-bi-json-enc-proplist-dups: fail; 8 diff lines; known issue: JSON.stringify() can be given a property list to serialize; duplicates should be eliminated but Duktape (and other engines) will happily serialize a property multiple times
test-bi-json-enc-proxy: fail; 13 diff lines; known issue: JSON enumeration behavior for Proxy targets is incomplete and uses 'enumerate' trap instead of 'ownKeys' trap
test-bi-number-proto-toexponential: fail; 75 diff lines; known issue: corner case rounding errors in toExponential()
test-bi-number-proto-tostring: fail; 46 diff lines; known issue: expect strings to be checked, but probably Duktape rounding issues
test-bi-proxy-object-tostring: fail; 6 diff lines; known issue: Object class handling for Proxy objects is incomplete
test-bi-regexp-gh39: fail; 7 diff lines; known issue: requires leniency for non-standard regexps
test-bi-symbol-coercion: fail; 9 diff lines; known issue: no @@toPrimitive coercion yet
test-bi-typedarray-misc-inherited-accessors: fail; 21 diff lines; known issue: typed array .length etc not yet inherited accessors (ES2015 requirement)
test-bug-date-timeval-edges: fail; 17 diff lines; known issue: test case depends on current timezone offset
test-bug-enum-shadow-nonenumerable: fail; 12 diff lines; known issue: corner case enumeration semantics, not sure what correct behavior is (test262 ch12/12.6/12.6.4/12.6.4-2)
test-bug-json-parse-__proto__: fail; 18 diff lines; known issue: when ES2015 __proto__ enabled, JSON.parse() parses '__proto__' property incorrectly when a specially crafted reviver is used
test-bug-numconv-1e23: fail; 10 diff lines; known issue: corner case in floating point parse rounding
test-bug-numconv-denorm-toprec: fail; 7 diff lines; known issue: in a denormal corner case toPrecision() can output a zero leading digit
test-bug-tonumber-u0000: fail; 7 diff lines; known issue: '\u0000' should ToNumber() coerce to NaN, but now coerces to zero like an empty string
test-dev-16bit-overflows: fail; 11 diff lines; requires special feature options: requires 16-bit field options
test-dev-func-cons-args: fail; 18 diff lines; known issue: corner cases for 'new Function()' when arguments and code are given as strings
test-dev-func-varmap-drop: fail; 46 diff lines; requires special feature options: debugger support must be disabled
test-dev-lightfunc-accessor: fail; 50 diff lines; requires special feature options: DUK_USE_LIGHTFUNC_BUILTINS
test-dev-lightfunc-finalizer: fail; 8 diff lines; requires special feature options: DUK_USE_LIGHTFUNC_BUILTINS
test-dev-lightfunc: fail; 518 diff lines; requires special feature options: DUK_USE_LIGHTFUNC_BUILTINS
test-dev-object-literal-method-computed: fail; 8 diff lines; known issue: computed name for object literal method shorthand not yet implemented
test-dev-yield-after-callapply: fail; 8 diff lines; known issue: yield() not allowed when function called via Function.prototype.(call|apply)()
test-lex-unterminated-hex-uni-escape: fail; 29 diff lines; known issue: unterminated hex escapes should be parsed leniently, e.g. '\uX' -> 'uX' but Duktape now refuses to parse them
test-numconv-parse-misc: fail; 12 diff lines; known issue: rounding corner case for 1e+23 (parses/prints as 1.0000000000000001e+23)
test-numconv-tostring-gen: fail; 257 diff lines; known issue: rounding corner cases in number-to-string coercion
test-numconv-tostring-misc: fail; 6 diff lines; known issue: rounding corner case, 1e+23 string coerces to 1.0000000000000001e+23
test-regexp-empty-quantified: fail; 16 diff lines; known issue: a suitable empty quantified (e.g. '(x*)*') causes regexp parsing to terminate due to step limit
test-regexp-invalid-charclass: fail; 7 diff lines; known issue: some invalid character classes are accepted (e.g. '[\d-z]' and '[z-x]')
test-stmt-for-in-lhs: fail; 29 diff lines; known issue: for-in allows some invalid left-hand-side expressions which cause a runtime ReferenceError instead of a compile-time SyntaxError (e.g. 'for (a+b in [0,1]) {...}')


ch12/12.6/12.6.4/12.6.4-2 in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: enumeration corner case issue, see test-bug-enum-shadow-nonenumerable.js
ch15/15.10/15.10.2/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: Duktape bug, matching /(a*)b\1+/ against 'baaaac' causes first capture to match the empty string; the '\1+' part will then use the '+' quantifier over the empty string.  As there is no handling to empty quantified now, Duktape bails out with a RangeError.
ch15/15.10/15.10.2/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: Duktape bug, matching /(a*)b\1+/ against 'baaac' causes first capture to be empty, the '\1+' part will then quantify over an empty string leading to Duktape RangeError (there is no proper handling for an empty quantified now)
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: probably Duktape bug related to long array corner cases or 'length' sign handling (C typing?)
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: probably Duktape bug related to long array corner cases or 'length' sign handling (C typing?)
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: Array length over 2G, not supported right now
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: Array length over 2G, not supported right now
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: a.indexOf(<n>,4294967290) returns -1 for all indices n=2,3,4,5 but is supposed to return 4294967294 for n=2.  The cause is long array corner case handling, possibly signed length handling (C typing?)
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: probably Duktape bug: long array corner cases (C typing?)
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: probably Duktape bug: long array corner cases (C typing?)
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: probably Duktape bug: long array corner cases (C typing?)
ch15/15.4/15.4.4/ in non-strict mode   // diagnosed: Array .pop() fast path (can be disabled) ignores inherited array index properties
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