Unhappy Node.js users fork the Joyent-run project, creating community-driven io.js

Datetime:2016-08-23 15:41:41         Topic: io.js          Share        Original >>
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The Node.js server-side Javascript runtime is today’s hot thing. You might say it’s the Ruby on Rails of the ’10s. Where developers used to code in Perl and PHP, then Ruby/Rails, today’s startup-fueled web-development world is all about Javascript on the server, and Node is the grease that makes it all go.

And sitting atop the Node.js heap is Joyent , the company where Node creator Ryan Dahl was working when he came up with the idea and the code to make it run.

So even though Node.js is an open-source project, its direction is largely guided by the for-profit Joyent. And that doesn’t sit so well with some Node users/developers.

As reported in InfoWorld and elsewhere, A group of them just started a fork of Node.js called io.js, which is now living on GitHub and prepared to take Node in a community-driven direction.

As the io.js project’s “Read Me” text states:

This repository began as a GitHub fork of joyent/node where contributions, releases, and contributorship are under an open governance model .

We intend to release, with increasing regularity, releases which are compatible with the npm ecosystem that has been built to date for node.js.

As InfoWorld previously reported the Node forking threat has been floating around for awhile, and in response Joyent created an advisory board to get more community input into what has become one of the most-used open-source projects in the world of web-delivered application development.

Fighting, infighting, forking and just plain grumbling is nothing new to open-source projects. Friction over the transition from Python 2 to Python 3, the never-ending gestation of Perl 6, everything about Linux distribution Ubuntu and its SABDFL (self-appointed benevolent dictator for life) Mark Shuttleworth since he moved the buttons from right to left, Debian and the now-raging debate over the systemd init system that’s so much more than an init system … and the beat goes on.

The question is, does Joyent have enough developer (and major corporate) juice to keep Node as the glue holding together today’s Javascript-driven web stack?

The short-term bettor says yes, but since Javascript on the server has gone from curiosity to total domination in a few short years, it’s anybody’s game. If the many-horse race over “best Javascript web framework ” is any indication, another player in Node’s space is nothing more than the healthy competition that keeps the technology world on its tool-swapping toes.

Most forks come to nothing. Just like Steve Ballmer once said in all his sweat-drenched glory, it’s all about “developers, developers developers.”








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