Node.js Foundation Releases First Joint Code
Node.js Foundation Releases First Joint Code
Written by Ian Elliot   
Thursday, 10 September 2015

Node v4.0.0 is the first code release from the reunited io.js and node.js communities, following last year's fork of the project. The breakaway group returned due to a new governance model under the auspices of the Linux Foundation and the Node.js Foundation has committed to a regular release cycle.

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In the blog post announcing v4.0.0 the Node.js foundation writes:

"This release represents countless hours of hard work encapsulated in both the Node.js project and the io.js project that are now combined in a single codebase. The Node.js project is now operated by a team of 44 collaborators, 15 of which form its Technical Steering Committee (TSC). Further, over 100 new individuals have been added to the list of people contributing code to core since v0.12.7."

This release is v4 since the io.js team, which adopted semantic versioning, released its own io.js v3 less than a month ago and this release adds new features. Given that the previous release from the node.js team was v0.12 this does seem like quite a jump and there's a list of breaking changes on the GitHub wiki.

The most important change is that Node.js now ships with version 4.5 of Google's V8 JavaScript engine, which is the same version that ships with the current Chrome browser. This brings with it a lot more features of ECMAScript 6 (ES6), the latest JavaScript standard, which keeps node.js abreast of the greater flexibility and powerful new capabilities of ES6..

One improvement that will be welcomed by hobbyists and devs working with embedded systems is that Node.js now has first-class support for ARM processors, including the 64-bit ARMv8 architecture. 

Other notable changes are outlined in the blog post.

Version 4.0.0 is stable and the next LTS version will be released in October. The blog post states:

At the same time, a new v5.x branch will be cut and we will begin making a new series of Stable releases available, starting with v5.0.0. These will likely contain a new version of V8 and any breaking changes that may be necessary. The v4.x line of releases will continue for an additional 18 months in LTS, with a focus on stability and security and no unnecessary additions in functionality. Beyond that, v4.x will move in to Maintenance for an additional 12 months where it will continue to receive attention for critical bugs and security fixes.

This release schedule meets the requirements of the group that forked and everyone should welcome the fact that this project is now re-united and more vigorous.

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