Is Node the future

JavaScript: io.js and Node.js are working on the foundations for a common future

For a few weeks now, members of the Linux Foundation, Node.js and io.js have been working on creating the basis for a common future for the two projects. In an article, Mikeal Rogers, who has become something like the voice of io.js in the last few months, informs about the current status of the talks and asks the members of his community for feedback and suggestions for improvement. At the end of 2014, io.js was created as a fork of the server-side JavaScript platform Node.js and has been making a name for itself ever since with new highs in the participation of volunteer developers.

The currently available structure papers are intended to help bring both projects back together and also to accommodate the io.js working groups that have emerged in the last few months in the Node.js Foundation. Since there are now around 50 so-called working groups with around 300 members at io.js, it would not be enough for the Foundation to merely lay down provisions for core development. A corresponding proposal should regulate their integration into the development process. In the article, Rogers points out that there will likely be some limitations compared to the previous approach. As part of a foundation, resources have to be distributed over several projects and groups and projects can no longer be started at will. But since this is responsible for part of the success of io.js, one will try to find an acceptable compromise here.

Responsibilities and initial feedback

A document is also available for the statutes of the Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The central control body of the merged project should correspond to the Technical Committee at io.js and include its members as well as the core members of Node.js. The charter for the committee will contain, among other things, points that regulate that technical decisions are to be made independently of the board of the foundation in order to eliminate the influence from this direction. The aim at the moment is to keep them as minimal as possible and at the same time to secure the open control structures so that it is still possible in retrospect to make necessary, slight adjustments based on experience without jeopardizing the freedoms of the project. Like the charter, the tasks and principles of the committee must be submitted to the board of directors of the Node.js Foundation for approval.

At the moment, opinions differ widely among io.js supporters as to whether it makes sense to merge both projects again. While many developers who use Node.js in corporate projects welcome the effort, some voices doubt the usefulness of such a step in a GitHub issue specially created for discussion. On Twitter, Rogers says that with io.js you are slowly reaching the limits of what is feasible without a foundation, and on GitHub he and a few others repeatedly address the concerns of community members. The fact that all discussions about a reconciliation were conducted in public should be taken as a sign that the principles of io.js are not simply to be thrown overboard. The proposal documents are also based on the structures of the project and were co-authored by core developers such as Bert Belder. (jul)

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