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1.0.x Release for io.js

| by James Chesters Follow 1 Followers on Jan 20, 2015. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

The io.js team has released version 1.0 -- but the versioning does not suggest the platform is "production ready." 

The project began as a controversial Node.js fork, but despite overtaking Node, io.js clarifies the release in its own FAQ

"The choice to release as 1.0.x was not to signify that io.js should be considered production-ready, but because it was a significant enough release from Node.js to warrant a major version increment," it says.

Significant changes to io.js from the parent Node.js v0.10.35 are detailed in the io.js ChangeLog. These include:

  • The V8 JavaScript engine bundled with io.js was upgraded dramatically, from version 3.14.5.9 in Node.js v0.10.35 and 3.26.33 in Node.js v0.11.14 to 3.31.74.1 for io.js v1.0.0. This brings along many fixes and performance improvements, as well as additional support for new ES6 language features! For more information on this, check out the io.js ES6 page.
  • Other bundled technologies were upgraded:
    • c-ares: 1.9.0-DEV to 1.10.0-DEV
    • http_parser: 1.0 to 2.3
    • ibuv: 0.10.30 to 1.2.0
    • npm: 1.4.28 to 2.1.18
    • openssl: 1.0.1j to 1.0.1k
    • punycode: 1.2.0 to 1.3.2.
  • Performance and stability improvements on all platforms.

In his blog post Io.js, from December 2014, project team member Isaac Schlueter lists goals for the framework, including weekly releases, active development and "supported versions of V8". At the same time the team stated their intent "to land, with increasing regularity, releases which are compatible with the npm ecosystem that has been built to date for Node.js."

Just over a month later, io.js is on version 1.03 and ships with V8 4.1.0.7.

As noted in the post ES6 on io.js, 1.03 "includes ES6 features well beyond version 3.26.33 that will be shipped with joyent/node@0.12.x." Furthermore, all features considered stable by V8 are "turned on by default on io.js and do not require any kind of runtime flag."

1.03 includes further changes, not limited to an npm upgrade to 2.2.0 and an V8 upgrade from 3.31 to 4.1.

The reaction from the JavaScript community has been largely supportive, although in places -- such as on Hacker News, in the discussion io.js -- there remains confusion why io.js is referred to as a "spork" rather than a development "fork". Elisée Maury explained the term's interpretation:

It's a playful way to say they don't really want to fork the Node.js ecosystem. io.js will evolve alongside Node.js and the core team is open to merging back with Node.js if possible.

A recent post on Geekregator.com comparing the performance of io.js to Node.js found there was "no clear winner" between the two.

The iojs/io.js GitHub repository is maintained by the Technical Committee and additional Collaborators who are added by the TC on an ongoing basis. The io.js team say anyone can help contribute to the project. io.js adheres to a code of conduct, and contributions, releases, and contributorship are all under an open governance model".

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