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That is noted in README.md of URI.js - you can also find a (very simple) performance comparison here: http://jsperf.com/idl-attributes-vs-uri-js

Does the IDL stuff work in non-browser Javascript (like node.js)?

Node has http://nodejs.org/docs/latest/api/url.html built-in.

URI.js could be really useful for developers building web apps that need to do a lot of URL parsing or manipulation. But developers who only need basic functionality outside of performance-critical loops would probably be better off using built-in functionality.

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