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Node.js Releases Version 0.12


Node.js has released version 0.12, its first significant release since 2013's 0.10.

The much-anticipated version 0.12, once described as "imminent" in January 2014, comes with a raft of Module and JS API changes, an updated version of V8, and many debugging enhancements. Significantly, it also comes with initial support for ECMAScript Internationalization API 1.0 (ECMA-402).

The Node.js release notes elaborate on this further:

By default, Node.js v0.12.0 binaries are shipped with ECMA-402 support, but only for the English language. In other words, the ECMA-402 API is working as you would expect, but only data for the English language is included.

Other changes include updates to HTTP, with max sockets no longer limited to 5 (default now set to Infinity, developer controls simultaneous connections), KeepAlive support enables sockets to stay open until timeout at configured time, closed by remote side, or process exits, and developers are now able to explicitly flushHeaders, to ensure time to first byte is low and proxied connections are held open.

Node.js 0.12 ships with V8 version 3.28.73, released in August 2014. On Github, user Si Robertson asked "Is there any chance of Node ever catching up with the latest stable release of V8? The V8 version used by Node always seems to be at least four months out of date."

Core contributor T.J. Fontaine responded:

Yes, Node.js will definitely be upgrading to a newer version of V8, and we are working to improve our roadmap and scoping such that our releases are more predictable.

I would argue that Node.js should not just be accepting newer version of V8 and pinning our release cycle to that portion of the upstream. Instead I propose that Node.js architect itself in a manner that insulates it from V8 changes and opens a door to a wider set of runtimes.

Node.js has also been the subject of some speculation, criticism and controversy in recent months. In December, several core members of the Node.js community forked the project with io.js, in response to their dissatisfaction with Joyent's Advisory board, and a lack of releases.

Node.js 0.12 coincides with the recent announcement of a formal open governance model for Node.js, and collaboation with IBM, Paypal, Microsoft Corp and The Linux Foundation to establish the independent Node.js Foundation.

InfoQ reached out to Joyent CEO Scott Hammond to ask to what extent the creation of the Node.js Foundation promised more frequent releases for the project, and if the 0.12 release brought a potential unification with io.js any closer. No response from Hammond had been received at time of press.

The Node.js blog hints that with 0.12, future releases may come sooner than before, saying "The team is excited to start pulling in the items and discussing what the roadmap will look like next for Node.js." It continues:

 We want to make sure we're scoping future versions of Node.js so we can have confidence in knowing we're on the right path and that we're ready to release based on the standards we have set for ourselves.

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