Node.js Foundation: New Members, Technical Governance

2015-06-17 17:57:14 +0100 by Alex R. Young

After io.js joined the Node Foundation, there's now the news that the industry backers and developer communities behind the Node.js Foundation are working together to ratify the "open governance structure":

The open, technical governance model that will guide the project was determined with input from the public, including contributors from both the Node.js and io.js communities. The model includes a Technical Steering Committee that will direct technical decisions, oversee working group projects and manage contributions to the node code base, and a Board of Directors to guide business decisions.

Joyent's CEO, Scott Hammond, wrote a blog post that ties in with the announcement:

There's a lot of work ahead to secure a successful future for Node.js. While crucial, an open governance model by itself does not guarantee long-term success. We'll need to balance the needs of the strong developer community with those of the users and encourage a vibrant ecosystem of technology and service providers to ensure the bright future we all envision. And the best way to strike this balance is through a community-driven, neutral foundation.

The PR behind all of this has been much more professional than what I've previously seen from Node, so I'm still cautiously optimistic about the development of the Foundation and its implications for us, as JavaScript programmers. The industrial backing is impressive:

Founding and new members include Platinum members Famous, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Microsoft and PayPal. Gold members include GoDaddy, NodeSource and Progress Software, and Silver members include Codefresh, DigitalOcean, Fidelity, Groupon, nearForm, npm, Sauce Labs, SAP, StrongLoop and YLD!.

But what about The Great Merge of 2015? The press release does say that the "Node.js and io.js developer communities today are announcing a collaboration to merge their respective code bases" – but I'm still not clear about when and how this is happening.

Meanwhile, io.js 2.3.0 is out, and Node is still at 0.12.4 (stable). If you're invested in Node my advice is to keep following io.js releases closely. I still see a lot of apps running 0.10.x in production. If you're at the latest security patched version then I wouldn't worry too much about switching over to io.js just yet. However, there's no harm in having a branch in your project that runs unit tests against io.js.