Oxlint: The Swift and Efficient Linter


Linting is an important tool in the software development process, helping to improve code quality and catch potential errors or bugs before they cause issues. One popular linter for JavaScript is ESLint. However, ESLint has its limitations and drawbacks, such as having a large number of NPM dependencies and a slower runtime. This has led to the emergence of alternative linters, with one promising contender being Oxlint. In this article, we will explore the key insights and discussions surrounding Oxlint, and how it aims to be faster and more efficient than ESLint.

The Need for Custom Rules and Dependency Management

One major concern raised by developers is the lack of support for custom rules in alternative linters. Many developers have established their own set of custom rules in ESLint, making it difficult to transition to a new linter without plugin and rule parity. The ability to customize linting rules is crucial for enforcing project-specific coding standards and practices.

Another challenge that arises with ESLint is its heavy reliance on NPM dependencies. This can lead to a complex dependency management process, as well as potential issues with version compatibility. The need for a linter that is faster and less dependent on external packages is evident.

The Orthogonality of Linting and Development

There is ongoing discussion regarding the orthogonality of linting and development. Some argue that linting should remain separate from development, acting as a layer that enhances code quality without being fundamental to the code’s functionality. By overextending linting to include custom rules and logic, there is a risk of increasing complexity and creating a maintenance burden for developers. However, others emphasize the importance of customizations and believe that linting should be an integral part of the development workflow.

The Role of TypeScript and Static Analysis

TypeScript, being a widely adopted statically-typed superset of JavaScript, plays a crucial role in static analysis for JavaScript codebases. While TypeScript itself is not extensible, custom static analysis can be done through custom ESLint plugins. This highlights the need for a tool that supports pluggable static analysis, as there is currently no alternative that provides the same level of extensibility.

The Power of Trustfall Query Engine

Oxlint utilizes the Trustfall query engine, which allows for efficient and optimized queries. The use of Trustfall is not limited to Oxlint alone, as it is also employed by other projects such as the Rust semver linter cargo-semver-checks. The impressive benchmarks and optimizations provided by the Trustfall query engine are promising for the performance of Oxlint and other tools that utilize it.

The Dependency Dilemma and Ecosystem Fragmentation

A common concern raised by developers is the issue of dependencies and ecosystem fragmentation. The JavaScript ecosystem, with its multitude of frameworks and libraries, can be overwhelming and lead to anxiety-inducing dependency management. The desire for a linter that addresses this dependency mess and provides a streamlined experience is evident.

The Debate on Formatting vs. Linting

Linting and code formatting are often intertwined in discussions, but it’s important to differentiate between them. While formatting tools like Prettier focus on syntax and consistent code style, linting goes beyond that to encompass static analysis, rule enforcement, and bug detection. While some argue that formatting and linting should be kept separate, others appreciate the productivity boost and enforced coding standards that come with opinionated formatting tools.

The Need for Speed: Oxlint’s Performance Advantage

One of the most compelling reasons to consider Oxlint as an alternative to ESLint is its impressive performance advantage. With claims of being 50-100 times faster than ESLint, Oxlint significantly reduces linting time and boosts developer productivity. The ability to lint large codebases in a matter of seconds, compared to minutes with ESLint, is a game-changer.


Oxlint offers an enticing proposition for JavaScript developers looking for a faster and more efficient linter. While there are challenges to overcome, such as achieving plugin and rule parity, as well as balancing customizability and simplicity, Oxlint shows promise in addressing the pain points of ESLint. With its performance advantage, utilization of the Trustfall query engine, and potential for custom rule support, Oxlint could be a valuable addition to the JavaScript linting landscape. As development workflows evolve and the demand for faster tooling increases, Oxlint’s Swift and Efficient linting capabilities may just become the go-to choice for JavaScript developers.

Source: https://oxc-project.github.io/blog/2023-12-12-announcing-oxlint.html

Latest Posts