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Industry Heavy Hitters Establish Node.js Foundation with Joyent

| by James Chesters Follow 2 Followers on Feb 17, 2015. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |

Industry heavy hitters IBM, Paypal, Microsoft and The Linux Foundation have joined with Node.js stewards Joyent to set up the Node.js Foundation.

The independent foundation is intended to oversee the production and development of Node.js. The announcement follows the release of Node.js 0.12 earlier this month.

Joyent describe the foundation as being "committed to the continued growth and evolution of Node.js, while maintaining a collaborative environment to benefit all users."

Scott Hammond, CEO of Joyent, said:

We feel the [Node.js] project needs to evolve to attract additional contributions, foster a healthy ecosystem of technology and service providers and further enrich the community.

For us, the first step in this evolution was to create the Node.js Advisory Board to gather input from a diverse set of organizations and individuals in the Node.js community. We believe the creation of the Node.js Foundation is the logical next step in that process.

Vice president of cloud architecture and technology for IBM, Angel Diaz, commented on the announcement, saying "establishing transparent and open governance within the new Node.js Foundation" was "significant."

Diaz further commented that the foundation demonstrates "the industry's focus on accelerating innovation in JavaScript and ensuring open architectures for the years to come."

In the blog post Introducing the Node.js Foundation Hammond says that "as the Node.js project moves into the foundation, more transparency and an open governance model will be added to make sure Node.js is driven by the community."

A Board of Directors is planned, as well as a Technical Committee staffed by core Node.js committers.

The foundation's set up follows the 1.0 release of the io.js fork last month. The stated goals of io.js, as set down in Isaac Schlueter's blog post io.js include active development and community engagement -- elements that Node.js was perceived to be lacking.

On the io.js blog, the post io.js and a Node.js Foundation addresses the foundation's set up and "the current state of reconciliation", explaining that the project's open governance structure "has rejuvenated the community and drawn more contributors to the project than we’ve ever had in the history of Node.js."

It continues:

The only thing that could make io.js better is putting to rest the questions hanging over the future of our split with Node.js. We are eager to put this all behind us, but we can’t sacrifice the progress we’ve made or the principles and open governance that got us here.

Talks with Joyent are ongoing. Once the foundation has a technical governance model you will see an issue on io.js’ GitHub about whether io.js should join which will be discussed and voted on openly in a public TC meeting following the governance rules we’ve already built.

Node.js 0.12, released earlier this month, is the most significant Node.js release since 2013. The creation of the Node.js Foundation was also followed by news that Node.js startup Nodejitsu had been acquired by domain registrar and web hosting company GoDaddy.

InfoQ reached out directly to Scott Hammond to ask how the work of the Node.js Foundation will address and change the recent lack of stable releases, and influence future releases, as well as how the focus on transparency and open governance would help to reconcile with io.js. Hammond was not available for comment.

Node.js is currently used by tens of thousands of organisations in over 200 countries, reporting over 2 million downloads per month.

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