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A cross browser microtask library




immediate Build Status

testling status

npm install immediate --save


var immediate = require("immediate");

immediate(function () {
  // this will run soon

immediate(function (arg1, arg2) {
  // get your args like in iojs
}, thing1, thing2);


immediate is a microtask library, descended from NobleJS's setImmediate, but including ideas from Cujo's When and RSVP.

immediate takes the tricks from setImmediate and RSVP and combines them with the scheduler inspired (vaguely) by when's.

Note versions 2.6.5 and earlier were strictly speaking a 'macrotask' library not a microtask one, see this for the difference, if you need a macrotask library, I got you covered.

Several new features were added in versions 3.1.0 and 3.2.0 to maintain parity with process.nextTick, but the 3.0.x series is still being kept up to date if you just need the small barebones version

The Tricks


Note that we check for actual Node.js environments, not emulated ones like those produced by browserify or similar.


Function available in major browser these days which you can use to add a function into the microtask queue managed by V8.


This is what RSVP uses, it's very fast, details on MDN.


Unfortunately, postMessage has completely different semantics inside web workers, and so cannot be used there. So we turn to MessageChannel, which has worse browser support, but does work inside a web worker.

<script> onreadystatechange

For our last trick, we pull something out to make things fast in Internet Explorer versions 6 through 8: namely, creating a <script> element and firing our calls in its onreadystatechange event. This does execute in a future turn of the event loop, and is also faster than setTimeout(…, 0), so hey, why not?

Tricks we don't use


We avoid using setImmediate because node's process.nextTick is better suited to our needs. Additionally, Internet Explorer 10's implementation of setImmediate is broken.

Reference and Reading