Node + JS Foundation


Today the Node.js and JS Foundations announced an intent to merge.

tl;dr – This is a good thing. I’m psyched.

The JavaScript community is a big and diverse group of people, doing lots of stuff. Most companies in the world use JavaScript, and at npm, we have a unique view into the shape and scope of this ecosystem.

The overwhelming majority of JavaScript users are people making websites, using modern frameworks, and tooling built in Node.js. They are trying to get a job done, and they want streamlined tools that make them more able to do their jobs. Many of them are not what we might have thought of as “Node Devs” a few years ago (though many are). Their websites run on every back-end platform, including but not limited to Node.js, and they all have to ship a website to browsers, which means JavaScript. Node.js is the dominant platform for building the tools for doing this, and npm is the place where platforms, modules, and tooling are distributed and shared.

A split between “back-end” and “front-end” JavaScript makes less and less sense in light of the way that this community has grown over the last 9 years since Node.js was released. (Wow, has it really been that long? Time flies.) A fast-growing community means that most of the people writing websites, using Node.js-powered tooling and pulling libraries and frameworks from npm, have only been doing it for less than 2 years. The split may have felt normal to those of us involved in 2009, but it seems unnatural and awkward to most working in the field today. It’s just JavaScript. It runs on servers, and on the command line, and in browsers, and you use npm and a bunch of other tools it provides. Is “babel” a front-end tool or a back-end tool? Why are there two groups, when it’s mostly the same people?

Node.js getting more integrated with the broader JS community means that the project can more effectively advocate for server-side use cases, and can get better feedback from those who are depending on Node.js to power the tools they use to ship websites.

As one of the companies at the center of JavaScript development, we at npm are thrilled to see the two major JavaScript foundations joining forces to provide a forum for the entire Open Source JavaScript community. Consistency of governance, processes, and policies can make it easier for devs in disparate JavaScript projects to collaborate and coordinate, removing an unnecessary barrier to innovation. Both foundations now have an established history of iterating on their processes. I hope that this new shift provides a chance to retrospect on what worked, what didn’t work, and what can be improved by working together.

On a personal note, I got involved with Node.js in the first place because I wanted to live in a world where front-end, back-end, tooling, and infrastructure coding did not require constantly shifting my brain around to a whole new language. I couldn’t have predicted how npm would become so relevant to the world of web development, and it’s more than I would have thought to hope for. There’s a lot of open questions about what exactly a merged foundation will look like, but I’m very happy to see things move in this direction.

Via: The npm Blog