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A Change in Leadership for Node.js

by Brian Rinaldi on Jan 23, 2014 |

In a recent blog post on the Node.js blog, Isaac Schlueter announced that he was handing the reigns of leadership of the project to contributor and Joyent employee, TJ Fontaine. Joyent is the corporate steward behind the Node.js project. Isaac had been the lead of the Node.js since January of 2012 when the project's creator, Ryan Dahl, stepped down. In a follow up post, Timothy detailed some of the goals for the Node.js project over the coming year.

The post, The Next Phase of Node.js, discusses TJ's significant contributions to the project over the past year and also discusses Isaac's plans for the future. According to Isaac, TJ has been effectively leading Node for some time, and this move is just making the change official. TJ said in an interview with VentureBeat, "This [announcement] is pretty much the status quo. Node has been operating [under my leadership] for a while now. This just makes it public"

While remaining a committer to the project, Isaac, a former Joyent employee, is creating a new startup named npm, Inc. that will be focused on npm, the popular package manager for Node.js. Details about the startup are sketchy at this point, though Isaac goes out of his way to reassure the community that building a business around npm will not change the way npm currently works.

"I am starting a company, npm, Inc., to deliver new products and services related to npm. I'll be sharing many more details soon about exactly how this is going to work, and what we'll be offering. For now, suffice it to say that everything currently free will remain free, and everything currently flaky will get less flaky. Pursuing new revenue is how we can keep providing the npm registry service in a long-term sustainable way, and it has to be done very carefully so that we don't damage what we've all built together"

In a follow up post, TJ details the plans for Node.js in 2014, which includes the forthcoming release of version 0.12. Beyond that he discusses integrating features in expected new releases of v8, the open source JavaScript engine from Google that serves as the foundation of Node, and the need for more tooling.

However, much of the discussion of the project's future focuses on ways to better allow feedback and participation in the project from the community. This was reiterated in the VentureBeat interview where it was noted that the the Node.js core team is working on a code of conduct, "something that Fontaine said will codify the values, such as inclusiveness, that are integral to the Node project and how its team gets work done"

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