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Node.js 8.0 Released, New LTS Version Later This Year

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Node.js 8 has been released with a bevy of welcome features, but enterprises should wait a few months before upgrading.

While version 8 immediately replaces version 7 as the current release, it won't gain its status as a Long Term Support (LTS) release until later this year. The Node.js Foundation suggests that enterprises wait:

Those who need stability and have complex production environments (i.e. medium and large enterprises) should wait until Node.js 8 goes into LTS before upgrading it for production.

Version 6 is the current LTS branch. The following chart, courtesy of the Node.js foundation, shows the current and future state of Node.js support versions.

Chart of the Node.js release and LTS versions

Node.js 8 will take advantage of V8 5.8, Google's JavaScript engine used in Chrome. This is an important step because it sets up for an upgrade to V8 5.9 later on. This will be the first version with the Ignition interpreter turned on by default.

Also new is the inclusion of the just released npm 5.0. The performance gained from this upgrade alone should make Node development less painful.

The new util.promisify() function allows developers to turn any function written with "traditional" Node.js callbacks into a Promise. This, in turn, allows for the use of async/await. Again, because 8.X will have a LTS release later, this marks the first LTS version that supports async/await. It was first enabled by default in version 7.6, though many enterprises choose not to run that version. This news has made some developers, like HackerNews user STRML, very happy:

This is a big release. Async/await in stable core is something I've been (literally) waiting 6 years for. Async/await is a giant leap forward toward making Node usable for beginner and expert alike. This release is a celebration.

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