When Node forked last November, launching the hugely successful io.js project, enthusiasm was also tempered by apprehension about long term implications for the Node community. The io.js fork has been called the most successful open source initiative in living memory, but for some the schism in the community was an unhealthy sign that created confusion about which path to choose. What everyone really wanted to see ideally was a reconciliation that brought the community back together.
Node.js and io.js leaders entered into discussions about establishing a neutral foundation for the community to guide the projects forward and ultimately converge the codebases. On May 13, the io.js Technical Committee voted to join the Node.js Foundation. A new GitHub organization was created for the Foundation to house the repositories for both projects.
Today the Node.js and io.js communities announced their collaboration and intention to merge codebases through the official launch of the Node.js Foundation, hosted by the Linux Foundation. The goal of an open, transparent, neutral, and community-governed structure to balance the needs of all stakeholders, including the contributors, users, and vendors has been met through the official ratification of the open governance structure that includes a Technical Steering Committee to oversee working group projects and codebase and a Board of Directors to guide business decisions.
Current Foundation corporate members are listed here. There will also be an individual membership class soon that will have representation on the Board of Directors as well.
The Node community has grown at a phenomenal rate. One measure of its success is the number of published Node modules and the sheer momentum of module download activity. Node modules are published to npm, which in just a few short years has seen meteoric growth to become the largest module repository of all time.
Over 1.5 billion packages have been downloaded from npm over the past month.
Node helps to power some of the largest e-commerce platforms on the planets for companies like Walmart and PayPal, and has been adopted at large enterprises like IBM, Microsoft and Fidelity. It has become the platform of choice because of its high performance, high scalability, efficient use of system resources, and lightweight development and deployment requirements along with an effective package management system.
Having the Node.js Foundation orchestrate the effort to merge the two projects back under a unified umbrella is good news for everyone. As of right now, you can go to the Node downloads page and see that io.js is now officially available with a link. A GitHub repository had been dedicated to managing the convergence of the two currently separate streams, and given the pace of development sustained by core contributors over the past half year, the Node community will likely see the culmination of these efforts relatively soon.
So, for those developers that had been apprehensively holding off a bit to see how things were going to turn out, they can now feel encouraged to download io.js and get acquainted with the enhancements that have been added to the platform and the benefits they bring. Until all of the resources are fully merged, developers will still need to get some of the details from the io.js site and evangelism resources page, but everyone can now breath a collective sigh of relief.
Kudos to everyone who worked hard behind the scenes to make this work!
I originally published this on LinkedIn.