Linux Foundation Launches Node.js Foundation

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2015-06-16 Print this article Print

The popular open-source programming framework gets reunited under the direction of the Linux Foundation and backed by IBM, Joyent and io.js.

The widely deployed open-source Node.js programming framework is being reunited June 16 as the new Node.js Foundation, run as a Linux Foundation collaborative project. The Node.js community has been in turmoil this year with the io.js project publicly splitting from the original Node.js project started by Joyent. With the new foundation, the two communities are coming back together with support from multiple vendors.

The Node.js Foundation has the support of, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Microsoft, PayPal, NodeSource, Progress Software, Codefresh, DigitalOcean, Fidelity, Groupon, nearFORM, npm, Sauce Labs, SAP, StrongLoop and YLD!. It will join other collaborative efforts hosted by the Linux Foundation, including Cloud Foundry, AllSeen Alliance, OpenDaylight and OPNFV, among others.

"It [Node.js Foundation] will operate with its own board of directors and community-elected technical steering committee with services and guidance provided by the Linux Foundation," Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, told eWEEK.

The Linux Foundation started talking to Node.js stakeholders last summer and was a facilitator in discussions that took place over the last eight months or so among the community and companies that support Node.js, according to Zemlin.

"The Linux Foundation has expertise in hosting neutral forums with open, technical governance structures that help advance and accelerate complex technologies," he said. "It will provide that foundation of knowledge and resources to Node.js so that it can meet the increasing adoption of its code base for building enterprise network applications."

Zemlin added that for developers, the goal is to make it much easier to get engaged in the community as well as having more frequent code releases. For enterprise users, the new foundation model ensures innovation and continuity without risk.

One of the perceived challenges prior to the establishment of the Node.js Foundation was the risk that a single company had a disproportionate amount of influence and say over the development. The perception that Joyent wasn't listening to developers and the community is what sparked the io.js fork.

"The Node.js Foundation unites a truly diverse group of stakeholders, and our governance model ensures no single company or community can outweigh the others," Zemlin said.
"And if one member happens to back out, Node.js will still remain healthy and strong."

With the Node.js Foundation now alive and launched, Zemlin emphasized that the Node.js community is united. He added that the Node.js Foundation will oversee the next steps among the technology community, with transparency and openness being paramount. Though the Node.js Foundation is its own legal entity, Zemlin said Joyent will own the Node.js trademark, but will give the foundation a broad, perpetual license to use the Mark for Foundation purposes.

From a coding perspective, the first Node.js Foundation code release will be a convergence of the Node.js and io.js codebases.

"The io.js and Node.js code lines are in the process of converging, and io.js workgroups are now part of Node.js Foundation workgroups," Zemlin said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.


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