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The Next Phase of Node.js (nodejs.org)
235 points by sintaxi 1256 days ago | hide | past | web | 130 comments | favorite

What about the bnoordhuis story?

It seems not to be active again for his lib: https://github.com/joyent/libuv/graphs/contributors

For people who don't know, bnoordhuis exiled himself 2 months ago after the bashing the node.js community imposed him for not merging a pull about gender. It was a shame because he was in the top 3 contributors. (all details: https://github.com/joyent/libuv/pull/1015)

"I'm probably going to step back from libuv and node.js core development. I do it more out a sense of duty than anything else. If this is what I have to deal with, then I'd just as rather do something else."

That sucks. This is why we can't have nice things.

He got called out for making a dodgy call; it was by a lot of people, which can't have been nice but does is this not part of the job? I honestly don't know, I've never been in that position.

I get the feeling (and please tell me if I'm reading too much into this) that you take exception to the pull request and what many people would call political correctness.

Have you actually read his response?


I don't think it was a dodgy call. I think people went unforgivably ape-shit, gained effectively nothing, and made someone else feel bad enough that they stopped contributing to an important project.

I did, thanks very much for asking. Originally however he called it "trivial" which gives a bad impression. Furthermore I think generally you shouldn't say that any contribution is "more trouble than it's worse" because that stops a tonne of people being part of the open source community.

> I think people went unforgivably ape-shit

I'm not sure people went "ape-shit". There was a lot of discussion but it was generally polite, a lot more so than the normal internet discussion.

>they stopped contributing to an important project

That's a shame

There was a lot of discussion but it was generally polite

There was an announcement from the node people saying that had he been an employee, he would have been fired on the spot. Not retrained, mediated, facilitated or whatever. Nothing inclusive, just 'put a foot wrong, bam, fired'. There was no profanity, but it was a pretty offensive and poorly-thought out response from Joyent, a professional entity.

It was a terribly-managed situation, and while I certainly think his commit refusal was wrong, after a comment like that (the subtext is 'i personally hate this guy, froth froth froth'), I can't blame the guy for leaving.

> There was a lot of discussion but it was generally polite

Except where everyone called for him to be fired, and publicly slandered and demonized him on Twitter, github, HN, and in blogs.

But apart from that, yes, a model of civility.

Hence the word "generally". That was a vocal minority, on the comments linked at least. The person who did it got called out from people on both sides. I can't comment on the rest of the places.

I'm not sure if Joyent's blog, which characterized him as an "asshole", would qualify as a minority voice.

I wonder if there was more to it than "he felt bad". I wonder if there was pressure from his employer or the community (you know, death threats, million hate emails, etc)

> I get the feeling (and please tell me if I'm reading too much into this) that you take exception to the pull request and what many people would call political correctness.

Not the grandparent, but I don't take objection to things like gender-neutral pronouns (I try to do it myself if I can incorporate it in a way that doesn't make the sentence feel weird). I don't know how easy it is for someone in his position to merge things on Github, how important following protocol is etc...

But what leaves a bad taste in my mouth is when someone does something that can be interpreted in a malicious manner, someone interprets in that (worst kind of) manner, and then dozens of people fuel the fire with "I am outraged, too!!!" without adding anything more to the issue or debate. Then by the time the 'offending party' gets around to respond, the damage has already been done, the slander has already spread like a wildfire, and everyone has already made up their mind about what went down based mostly on wild speculations from third parties from one or the other (or third) sides.

Goodness. I haven't read a pull request discussion like that since the semicolon battle in Bootstrap (https://github.com/twbs/bootstrap/issues/3057). At least the semi-colon pull request actually fixed something.

... long discussion is long, but now I'm curious - did somebody eventually cave? Or did the offending line of code get reformatted into the appropriate if-statement since using the shortcircuiting behavior of javascript "and" as a naked flow-control construct seems obscene.

Read fat's first post. The code was already changed but fat was purposely trolling.

Bootstrap is still semi-colon free. I really don't like the style personally, but I'm not about to start a flame war.


Some people like obscenity.

Interesting and really sad

I find it rather depressing

That is some ridiculous bikeshedding

Why not ask him directly instead of bringing up old pointless news.

2 months is old?

Key node members fighting amongst themselves is pointless news?

Or how about Joyent saying they would sack Ben even though he didn't work for them?

How about this thread being about changes to the organisation of npm and nothing to do with the drama the OP tried to crowbar into conversation?

A guy involved in the drama and self-exile of a key Node contributor is now starting his own company to profit from what has long been regarded "community" infrastructure. He wants your money. For some people, past behaviour and conduct might be a factor in deciding whether or not to support NPM Inc.

There were a lot of people "involved" in the drama. The overwhelming majority were against the guy who exiled himself. I guess I'm really not seeing the issue here, and think that "this guy who is setting up a company was involved in drama he did not create himself" feels tenuous.

Actually, Isaac was definitely part of the drama.

Ben rejected a third party pull request, Isaac commited a change related to the pull request, Ben rejected Isaac's commit because Isaac broke the commit rules by not getting sign-off before committing.

Ben walks away after getting libelled by Joyent and virtually fired (http://www.joyent.com/blog/the-power-of-a-pronoun) while Isaac gets to go on and make coin from NPM...

I did not break any commit rules. I acted as an agent of the company that is responsible for management of that project, and I did so in a manner that promoted the company's agenda. (Which, just incidentally, is that OSS should be inclusive of non-male people, and that our language should reflect this explicit inclusion.)

"Libel"? What did Bryan write that was a false statement? There were some unkind judgements, but I didn't see any factually untrue statements in it.

If not, then as it turns out, your claim that Bryan committed libel is itself libel, as it impugns his character by promoting a falsehood (ie, that he committed libel).

Don't use words you don't understand.

Yes. Joyent directed public wrath at an individual, over a political issue, who was a key employee of a competitor. This employee then left the community. Then, a day or two after, Joyent launched a competing offering IIRC. The Node project blog then essentially told the Node community to stop talking about the issue out of "respect", with no plea for the exiled individual to return to the community. Isaac was a key individual involved in this drama, defending the purge by claiming he'd received an abusive email from the exiled employee.

What about 9/11?

I'm starting to think everyone involved with node.js should probably start speaking through a PR person. I can't even remotely imagine the logic behind this comment.

I'm not sure if you're American or not, but it's a fairly common meme of sorts in U.S. discourse. "But what about 9/11" is shorthand for "I'm bringing up some random political point that is irrelevant to the discussion at hand, because I hope I can outrage people."

For a period absolutely everything, whether at all even distantly related or not, was somehow tied to "because 9/11" or "what about 9/11". Not because people actually thought it was relevant, but because politicians can't pass up a chance to grandstand by invoking something that people have strong opinions on.

I thought it was a succinct way of conveying the point here. "But what about the node.js gender incident??" isn't as widespread and not as big a problem as the "but what about 9/11???" crowd, but suffers from a sort of isomorphic logic.

Hi, American here. I think the problem here is that memes are actually not common in public U.S. discourse. One may use it in private discourse with friends, etc. but when they represent a large software organization the onus is on them to be diplomatic and take care not to offend their public.

izs' ignorance to this principle is on par with, say, someone refusing to change a gendered pronoun because of its perceived triviality.

On 4chan, "Jews did 9/11" is also a meme. Should I not consider that a horrible comment simply because it has some meme qualities?

Bend over backwards to forgive and explain all you want, I guess.

If someone were to mock a conspiracy theorist by saying he was like the "Jews did 9/11" people, I wouldn't have any problem with that comparison.

The popular example of this being skewered is Family Guy's take on Rudy Guliani:


Things Hacker News cares about:

    - Keeping women out of tech.
    - 9/11.

Since I lack the ability to downvote I felt compelled to write that this response is quite distasteful. This exacerbates the gendered-pronoun incident and serves to divide the community. I expect better from a community leader.

How is it divisive? Pointless questions deserve pointless answers.

Invoking the deaths of 3,000 people and one of the darkest moments in United States history to make a point about being asked an undesirable question comes to mind. There's also a first blush interpretation that reads as comparing Ben's departure to said events.

I got to the original comment and rolled my eyes that I halfway knew someone would bring it up today. Rather than dismiss it, though, somehow Isaac found a way to make it worse. I should start invoking the holocaust when discussions aren't going the way I want, apparently.

While invoking 9/11 isn't exactly the best way to illustrate the point I agree with Isaac that this doesn't have anything to do with npm, and is just an attempt at digging up old drama.

And yes, the sitation with regards to that commit is unfortunate, but I'm not sure what any of us can do about it beyond wait for someone to get over themselves and start contributing again.

From IsaacSchlueter's HN profile:

>I don't look at this site much, because it turns people into jerks. Contact me somewhere else.

It's like he's throwing stones in a glass house and then complaining of all the vandals...

That's beyond distasteful. Node.js seems to be the new Rails/Ruby community, from a couple of years ago, drama-wise.

And, ironically, this is on his profile: "I don't look at this site much, because it turns people into jerks."

It surprises me that there seems to be quite a few people who have genuine contempt for the Hacker News forum. I think that people here are for the most part reasonable, even though we don't always give out our viewpoints in a straightforward, snark-free manner (but few Web communities are free of that kind of stuff). Posts that are very unreasonable seems to tend to be downvoted. But then I think that maybe I've become too coloured by this forum to really have the outside view of this place.

A comment like this makes me question node/npm's future...

Being in high school in Northern VA when the Pentagon was hit that day really does color my perception of when people bring up this event.

This is coming from someone who remembers Rudy Giuliani's brain being replaced by a broken record player during his presidential campaign. It took way too long for me to get what you were trying to convey.

I can understand if you don't want to talk of that anymore, no need to be agressive.

[I don't know either of you but I think that's a sad story.]

I agree. 9/11 was indeed very sad.

And it had about as much to do with this announcement as Ben's departure from Node last year.

Yeah, whole different level of sadness I hope though.

Again, no need to be agressive, it's not that idiotic to ping the past when we talk about the futur.

"Last year" is a funny way to frame 2 months ago.

Really, what happened 2 months ago was just the tail end of what had taken many months to build up. I say "last year", because it started much earlier, as Ben alluded to in his parting message.

People outside a team rarely have much insight into the day to day relationships. That's just how it works. That's what a "team" is.

Won't someone please think of the children!

How offensive. Aren't you aware that empathy is a core engineering value?

> I am starting a company, npm, Inc., to deliver new products and services related to npm.

I don't know whether I should be concerned a core part of Node.js is becoming "businessy". Is this common amongst other big software projects?

Providing "premium" services is a slippery slope. What happens when someone wants to add a feature to npm that the premium services already provide, for example?

Python and Django have non-profits which help sustain their ecosystems, but AFAIK Node.js doesn't. Perhaps it would be a good step.

I think it can work, though you have to be careful to avoid conflict with community goals. It seems to work best when the "premium services" involve technical support or custom open source development, rather than closed-source code.

Canonical and Red Hat are examples of for-profit businesses that primarily build and distribute free software, including employing some of the developers and managing some of the open source projects they distribute. I believe both make money primarily through "premium services" (especially "enterprise" support services).

Ximian was a for-profit company started by Nat Friedman and GNOME project founder Miguel de Icaza, which developed much of the GNOME code base for a while. (It was later acquired by Novell.) Miguel went on to found the Mono project and Xamarin, the for-profit company that leads development of Mono.

Qt, MySQL, InnoDB, and Berkeley DB were each developed in part by businesses using dual licensing models, where licenses for use with non-free-software were available for a fee. (The original companies have since been acquired by Nokia, Sun, Oracle, and Oracle, respectively. Sun was itself later acquired by Oracle.)

The author of SQLite earns income by providing commercial support and custom development services: http://www.sqlite.org/support.html

The developers of CyanogenMod recently founded a VC-backed company to fund its development. I'm sure there are a bunch more examples like this that I've forgotten or don't know about.

I agree that a non-profit foundation has benefits for free software projects. (I've been a developer on three projects associated with non-profits: Audacity, Debian, and Mozilla.) "For profit" as I used it above may be the wrong label, though. "Taxable" might be a better word in some cases. If a company is privately held, then its owners can use it to pursue a mission other than maximizing profit. For example, I'm employed by the Mozilla Corporation, a taxable entity that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. The Corporation has to pay taxes because of the nature of its income and spending, but its mission is still that of its sole shareholder, the Foundation.

> If a company is privately held, then its owners can use it to pursue a mission other than maximizing profit

Well, that depends on your shareholders.

Mozilla Corp can do this, because its only shareholder is Mozilla Foundation.

However, the minute you take institutional investment, hand out shares to employees, take on debt financing, etc., you are now bound by a fiduciary duty to do right by those other parties. You still can focus on other things, but only if they don't conflict with turning a profit.

In my opinion, "turning a profit" in fact serves the greater needs of the npm/node community, because servers cost money. npm isn't just a program, it's a service, and services require infrastructure. So, it's not a conflict at all.

It is a very foolish business person who sees an exponential curve of user engagement, and decides that the best way to make money is to screw all those people.

> However, the minute you take institutional investment, hand out shares to employees, take on debt financing, etc., you are now bound by a fiduciary duty to do right by those other parties. You still can focus on other things, but only if they don't conflict with turning a profit.

This is not true. The shareholder value myth has been debunked by law professors.

"...shareholder primacy theory was first advanced by economists, not lawyers. This may explain why the idea that corporations should be managed to maximize shareholder value is based on factually mistaken claims about the law."


"Contrary to myth, the sale of Ben & Jerry’s to corporate giant Unilever wasn’t legally required."


Yeah, whatever. Academic. IANAL, but I'm guessing you aren't either, so let's leave that to the lawyers. I'm sorry I brought it up.

Bottom line, I've done a lot of work on npm over the last 4 years, and I've got some ideas about how to best take care of it in the future. Those ideas require money, and it's a lot easier to get money if you have a plan to turn it into MORE money. (This IS still a site about startups, right? ;)

If things keep expanding and growing like they have, then it's going to require more money. So, we've gotta earn our keep to be sustainable, and the way to do that is to provide stuff people will pay for.

Also, I like to make money. It's fun, and it keeps you grounded in reality, if you run it like a responsible business. So that's another nice plus of going this route. I still have full flexibility to carve things up however I want later on, and like I said, we're keeping every option on the table.

> This IS still a site about startups, right?

Yes, but this thread is still about a language.

> I like to make money.

Of course. And the main concern with npm, Inc is whether making money will at some point conflict with wanting to make npm better, no-strings-attached.

npm's "no strings attached" low-ceremony approach is the reason why it's taken off like it has. The purpose of all this is to keep that going.

If "make money" ever appears to be in conflict with the thing that puts us in a position to make money, then we're thinking about it wrong.

For example, imagine if Twitter were not from the get-go a for-profit company. If they got really popular, and then said, "Hey, guys, we can't keep the lights on without figuring how a monetization strategy, so we're gonna take some VC and do that." It wouldn't be wise to assume that "make money" was going to mean "charge to read or post tweets". Forget love or greed or good and evil, that wouldn't be a smart way to make money.

What is currently free will remain free, precisely because the free-ness of it is what makes npm interesting.

You could also consider creating a B Corp,[0] which balances its duty to shareholders against a duty to also promote the common good. And there are examples VC-backed B Corps, such as Disconnect.[1]

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_corporation

[1] https://disconnect.me/#about

We've looked into making benefit corp or dual-purpose corp for npm, and it's still on the table.

The tricky thing is that, while there ARE some VCs that back them, most of them are pretty interested in bigger plays than "sharing javascript programs with other javascript programmers".

Disconnect is a pretty revolutionary idea, that will change society in some dramatic ways if it catches on. Most VCs that invest in benefit corps are looking for bigger plays than what we're doing. This is a pretty straightforward technology service that already has loads of adoption and upward-trending engagement graphs. It was just a lot easier to go the more traditional C Corp route first.

From what I heard on the nodeup podcast, many corporate node users are eschewing all modules they did not develop themselves, hosting their own internal package managers and rewriting libraries in order to avoid unvetted 3rd party code.

It seems like this is the market that NPM premium is after. The question is will businesses be more comfortable using a premium service? In other words - someone they can sue?

EDIT: It think it was the security episode, if I recall correctly.

yes a slippery slop indeed. The bigger problem is the current economic system/context that we are all operating in. I for one would prefer a NPM non-profit (maybe with a for-profit branch for consulting).

How does the Python and Django non-profits work right now?

This is pretty common, and there's certainly a wave of open source software based companies currently. Definitely a tricky thing to navigate, of course.

Typically I find it works best when the company is very clear about which areas they feel should be open source and which areas they will be monetizing. Its the ambiguity and loss of trust that creates tension.

So NPM Inc.? Interesting. I do think NPM requires its own team, but I am unsure if NPM itself is a business (although I can see it being a sponsored foundation.) But there are hopefully creative business solutions to be had here.

Q: How does this relate to the money I gave to the Scale NPM project a few months back? https://npm.nodejitsu.com/

> But there are hopefully creative business solutions to be had here.

I sure hope so! I'll be sharing many more details about the specifics in the next few days. I just kept it brief in this announcement so as not to drown out the message about TJ taking over Node.

> Q: How does this relate to the money I gave to the Scale NPM project a few months back? https://npm.nodejitsu.com/

The money you gave to Nodejitsu to continue supporting npm was a huge part of getting us in front of the exponential growth curve. I'll continue to be closely involved with Nodejitsu.

But a service of npm's scale and importance can't survive on handouts forever. At some point, we need much more continued investment and a focused team, and the way to get that is to develop additional features that people are willing to pay for.

IsaacSchlueter: Your NPM & Node made this possible btw: http://facebook.com/Exocortex http://clara.io

Thank you!

(And yeah we do an "npm install" from the NPM servers during production deploys, I guess we like to live dangerously. We should probably fix that.)

Clara.io looks great, nice work on that! Would you mind elaborating on how it was created?

Wow! This is really rad!

Have you considered operating as a non-profit?

Yes, we are considering a variety of corporate and legal structures to make sure that the open source projects and community are taken care of in a sustainable way. There are many trade-offs involved, and we've just started.

I don't feel strongly (as some do) that non-profits guarantee benevolence. There are many evil non-profits (and many more incompetent ones!) which do harm to the world, and many capital-G Good for-profit companies. In many cases, a non-profit can easily become an empty hand-wavey thing. (And in that case, what's the real difference, except $800/year to the state of California?)

Of course, it has worked out well in some cases. Mozilla and WordPress are great examples of this sort of thing functioning really well to facilitate the interaction between a company and an open source community. But it is very early to even be worrying about such things.

In any event, even if we do create a non-profit, the first step is to create a Delaware C as a for-profit company to generate the money that can allow us to create new products, spin up new infrastructure when necessary, and employ people to run the thing. So that's what I'm up to these days. npm has gotten too big to be just some dude's hobby project :)

You might also want to consider whether a B Corporation would make sense: http://www.bcorporation.net

Thank you for mentioning B Corporations. If Isaac is trying to decide between a non-profit and a C Corp, then a B Corp could be the perfect compromise. And as I posted on another thread, there are examples of B Corps raising A rounds.

Hello, runvnc from reddit here. What did you think of the idea of a fully distributed, fault-tolerant npm database based on a content/data-oriented network architecture? http://www.reddit.com/r/node/comments/1v7ras/npm_is_down_aga...

Obviously since I said that I believe that the ideal npm registry would not depend on any particular company or funding but rather be fully distributed and free.

So that is what I think the ideal is. But the reality is that the world runs on money, and I think you deserve to be filthy rich for creating such a great system that so many people are relying on. So if you create a business and charge for npm somehow, certainly I will pay money to support it. And I will advocate that everyone else sign up for paid services related to npm as well. I mean, I doubt its going to break the bank for people. The difference between a million people paying $0 for something and even a very small fee like $10 would be huge in terms of funding.

I think the trick is to come up with a service that people need/really want so as avoid people doing an end-around with some alternate completely free system that doesn't support npm development at all.

Sorry if I complained too much by the way. Its just easier to dream about grand architectural changes on the internet than to do my actual job, which I believe I will go back to now.

Why Delaware?

Most US companies incorporate in Delaware mostly because their courts and laws are business friendly. The filing fees are also cheaper than most states. See:

- http://www.quora.com/Whats-the-advantage-of-incorporating-a-... - http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/local/brandywine-to-broad... - http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/business/how-delaware-thri...

You didn't think commercializing NPM would be the lead of that post? Seriously?

You seem to have an utterly different perspective on this than anyone I know who relies on Node.

This is all starting to look rather amateurish and scary to me now where before I saw stability and excitement.

>The money you gave to Nodejitsu to continue supporting npm was a huge part of getting us in front of the exponential growth curve.

The $300,000 is gone already?

A) It wasn't 300k. B) I don't believe so. But we're also still running on Nodejitsu, because things don't happen over night :)

https://npm.nodejitsu.com/ says "we raised over $300,000 for the project".

What's next? The pip corporation? Worldwide Gems Inc?

"Global ./configure&&make&&make install Industries" ?

I hope so.

The problem with things like rubygems is so long as it's a community project with people donating their time to it, any grievances you have with the service can be trumped by "we're just doing this in our spare time, lay off".

While I respect people who contribute to software in their spare time, pip and rubygems are way, way too important for them to be taken so casually. I really appreciate that the NodeJS community is increasing their commitment to the NPM infrastructure.

How about the 200k Nodejitsu crowdfunded not long ago for npm? Also, how the npm revenue model is going to affect packages distribution? To whoever may concern: I expect some clear answers. There's simply too much money going around Node at the moment and while it might eventually be a good thing (as involved companies will push node adoption among devs), it's also scaring and quite weird.

[EDIT: Isaac already partially replied, see other answer]

Copied for posterity from the other answer:

The money you gave to Nodejitsu to continue supporting npm was a huge part of getting us in front of the exponential growth curve. I'll continue to be closely involved with Nodejitsu.

But a service of npm's scale and importance can't survive on handouts forever. At some point, we need much more continued investment and a focused team, and the way to get that is to develop additional features that people are willing to pay for.

> There's simply too much money going around Node at the moment and while it might eventually be a good thing (as involved companies will push node adoption among devs), it's also scaring and quite weird.

Yes, there is the hazard of extrinsic motivation messing up intrinsic motivations. That's why pursuing revenue around npm must be done carefully.

I assumed from the title this would be an announcement about Node 1.0, but I'm not terribly surprised to see the trend continue of approaching 1.0 asymptotically.

Still, this is interesting stuff. Does anyone know if any similar repos (Ruby Gems, etc.) have their own for-profit companies?

RubyGems is funded through Ruby Central [0], a 501(c)(3).

I imagine Ruby Central gets a significant chunk through conference ticket sales? Someone more knowledgable here can chime in :)

[0]: http://rubycentral.org

I can think of a few examples, but none of the ones that come to mind are only the repository as its own company. Instead the repository is hosted by a for-profit company that is also primary host of the language itself. For example, D's main repository is hosted by Digital Mars, also the creator and lead steward of the language. And Tcl's main repository for a while was hosted by Scriptics, which was founded by Tcl's creator and also employed most of its core devs.

Node is becoming a business not a community, and the community is taken by surprise. I saw this coming, but I think many people thought Node was about free love and changing the world. It is down hill from here. You can avoid a lot of politics when there isn't any money involved, but now there is, and that changes everything.

NPM "app" store? Should I laugh, cry or try to monetize?

All three, at the same time.

Good luck Isaac and thanks for all the fish!

You did a great work as a node lead. The brief moment when our paths crossed, due to a security issue in node, was handled perfectly. Seriously. You will be missed.

Awesome, so glad Isaac gets to focus on what he loves. Congrats to TJ on his new role!

I'd love to see an alternative to npm that:

* Puts security as a high priority

* That is operated as a federated system (think bitcoin block chain)

* Puts uptime as a high priority

Many companies and individuals could run deployments of it, removing the need for a new NPM Inc to pay for service costs.

While there are ways to create private registries [0], having a new packaged way to do it would be very useful to some orgs.

[0] https://npmjs.org/doc/registry.html#Can-I-run-my-own-private...

"The peacekeeping budget for the 2013–14 fiscal year was $7.54 billion" - this is from the Wikipedia UN page

I'm not saying that npm is like, that important, but - take 0.01% (one ten thousandth) and npm would have an annual budget of 3/4 million bucks.

Will we get to a place where core software distribution to devices not humans is deemed as critical infrastructure?

It would be great to know that npm (and github and every other package distribution tool) were somehow too big to fail like banks have shown to be.

Meanwhile - everyone who has worked hard to make npm and node brilliant - thank you!

Are you actually suggesting to divert UN money to run NPM servers? ;-)

lol not the 'actually' part : ) just comparing the budgets and saying npm is 0.01% as important to the world as the UN

"Open-Source Democracy 101"... 3 Leaders in less than five years: Ryan Dahl(2009-2012) -> Isaac Z. Schlueter(2012-2013) -> Timothy J Fontaine(2014-2016?)

True but it is quite a load of work. People on average change jobs about that often as well nowadays. It is like a massive project or a fulltime job for x years. Even Guido the Python BDFL largely is more of a Board of Director for Life. He developed Python largely on his own for 5+ years. Only so many years in a project per programmer, not everyone is a Linus or Guido. Too many other fun things to get into after the initial purpose/goal is achieved.

Python's code_swarm: http://vimeo.com/1093745

I hope ry can bring us more surprise for node for he invented node and libuv.On the contrary, I didn't see any new techs from Isaac or TJ Fontaine to compare with both of two yet.

What are you getting at?

It's different, it means there is no Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL) in Node.js.

I prefer BDFW: "Benevolent Dictator For a While"

A good leader makes themselves obsolete by taking the community somewhere new. A bad leader gets themselves into a problem they can't fix. Either way, occasional change is good and healthy :)

There's nothing wrong to focus on NPM.

Take a look at Maven[http://maven.apache.org] and Sonatype[http://www.sonatype.com/] (dependency management in Java-land).

Works awesomely (and maybe even better!).

There's no "maybe" about it, I don't think.

wonder if this has anything to do with the npm maintainer who is missing. Hope he's ok.

No, this does not have anything to do with him. This has been in the works for several months.

I also hope Luke's ok. Thanks.

I just wanted to wish Isaac the best with his new initiative. He's been a great contributor and helped make the node community a fun and friendly one.

[edit] - originally thought TJ Fontaine wasn't employed by Joyent but apparently he is.

Kind of disappointing this wasn't more about the technical direction. Really feel the title is misleading and should have been something about leadership/people change so I would have known not to bother reading it.

i think is a great thing! communities flourish when they are support by companies with effective ( preferably transparent) revenue models. exciting times . npm inc , best of luck !

The next phase of npm should be to fix this open issue:


and to add namespaces to packages , i think its the single thing npm did not get right.

I suspect that the ecosystems forming around node will find more success by emulating what Ubuntu has done vs RedHat.

Node.js is a scam.

Can you explain? I program in Node and have not encountered any plea for money or such. I am guessing the "scam" is that the former lead developer is now trying to monetize Node.js in someway. I wouldn't worry because the core project is free and that cannot be undone.

Oh no, nothing so prosaic as that. (For the record I am in favor of making a [good!] living via open-source software.) The scam is this:

I believe that Node.js is waaay too immature to be used as a foundational technology, yet so many people (both folks who should know better and their naive followers) are trumpeting it as a great wonderful thing, pushing it hard as hell.

If you really need dynamic programming on your back-end server use Twisted. Twisted.

If you just said "but my engineers only know JS!" reflect: you have people that won't or can't learn Python but who feel okay about writing your back-end code.

Fire them and hire a real programmer.

Toys are very fun, and I would never try to take that away from anyone, but (in my opinion) there are waaay too many people pushing Node for production work that should know better, and that's the scam.

Node is not ready for the position which people are hyping it for, and (again in my opinion) if you are telling your non-tech-savvy clients or students that they should learn and use Node because it is ready for prime time then you're lying to them or simply naive and misguided.

> I believe that Node.js is waaay too immature to be used as a foundational technology, yet so many people (both folks who should know better and their naive followers) are trumpeting it as a great wonderful thing, pushing it hard as hell. If you really need dynamic programming on your back-end server use Twisted. Twisted.

I fail to see how Twisted is a better choice than Node , but I agree on Node.js(and NPM) immaturity.

All async frameworks need async libraries. With Node async is the default.You cant use any python sync io lib with Twisted for instance. Or it defeats its purpose.

I dont think Javascript is an issue especially with ES6 coming.

But like Twisted , NodeJS is not for everything ,that's the main issue here,with people trying to be fullstack javascript, and claiming they will replace CMS X or MVC framework Y with NodeJS.

Twisted is (would have been) a better choice because it is (was) already done. (And done really really well.)

To me it feels like people are busily (and happily) rewriting a lot of stuff in JS that might just be written better in some other language (Go) or have already been written (Erlang)

I actually like JS (Thank you Crockford) but it was startling to see it show up on the server side, and downright alarming to see so many people go apeshit over it.)

>Toys are very fun, and I would never try to take that away from anyone, but (in my opinion) there are waaay too many people pushing Node for production work that should know better, and that's the scam.

Walmart used it to deal with much of their Black Friday traffic with no incident and with modest hardware. Node hasn't hit 1.0 yet, but the major API changes are now in the past. So what, specifically, do you see as immature about the project?

All points for working code, and let me confess ignorance up front right now.

Really my irk comes down to something along the lines of, "Well why not write it in Go or something? Why JS?" and thinking that the only really good answer to that is "Well, we really like JS."

You should read this interview [1] and watch the talk [2] by node's creator Ryan Dahl to get a better understanding of where it comes from. There was much more to it than "we really like javascript" (tldr: single-threaded, evented, dynamic, freedom to write new I/O apis, backed by huge companies, well known).

[1] http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2011/01/31/node-js-interview-4...

[2] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo_B4LTHi3I

> single-threaded, evented

Those are drawbacks. Fatal ones, in fact. They are distinguishing characteristics of microcomputer OSes of the 80s.

Are you talking about cooperative multitasking (vs preemptive)? Though modern OSs went a different route, it clearly works very well for servers and node.

Cheers, I will do.

Agreed that no language/framework should be the default. Best tool for the job and all that.

About the immaturity thing, so... should Node.js vanish because it is currently in a natural phase that every fucking project need to pass through... or can we just keep with the development?

Um, as long as you're asking ME what to do...

Node.js should vanish (except for where it is already deployed and useful, in maintenance/legacy mode) and all those really smart and talented people currently wasting their time on it should go build something even better and more useful.

There. How's that? ;-)

(Like this: http://swannodette.github.io/)

Wow. You are dismissing an entire technology stack with a wink and a smile that you just admitted you actually know very little about.

I have experience with Python and Twisted. For many types of applications such as realtime web collaboration, the Node stack is not only much easier to use but performs better.

If you like Python then take a look at ToffeeScript. It is cleaner than Python and works with Node.

The Node package management system is based on semantic versioning and combined with the dependency management and massive 54000 module easily searchable ecosystem is much more useful than Python.

You really don't know what you are talking about and you are pissing me off with your offhanded winky smug dismissal of Node and Node programmers.

I have been coding for more than 20 years using many different languages and platforms from c/c++ to ocaml to python to c#. And Node.js with ToffeeScript and npm is just a more advanced way to do development compared to any of those for most types of applications.

Build a few projects using Node.js and ToffeeScript and modules from npm and then come back and we will compare the experience to building the equivalent with Python/Twisted or Go.

By the way I like Go for some things but its not the best new language for systems development. I think Rust and nimrod have Go beat.

First: Respect. Sorry for pissing you off. I was acting like a troll and I don't usually do that. I'm having a bad day.

Thank you for calling me on my B.S. in a way that I can really relate to and respect.

Next: Yes, I'm ignorant of Node et. al. but my point is kind of that I shouldn't have to know about it at all, because Node shouldn't exist, and all the effort that went into it would have been better spent on other things.

Really my issue is with the whole industry and I'm just picking on Node because that's what I saw this morning. The Tornado project gave me similar misgivings.

I feel like we are constantly reinventing things (GUI widgets, IRC/IM/chat, Twisted/Tornado/NodeJS/..., video codecs, and on and on) yet certain basic really simple and important things (like getting a file from one computer to another, or UI design) are eternally neglected.

Why the heck is Dropbox a thing? You feel me?

You have actually given me food for thought, and I will check out Node.js with ToffeeScript. I'm a little leery of 54000 modules but I take your point.

But, without meaning to be harsh on Node in particular, I really feel like our industry has to kind of grow up some how. I never thought I would hate on innovation for its own sake, but it is starting to get a little ridiculous, and, from my POV, JS on the server seems a little bit too much JS. Now that it's there, and someone with your XP says it works well, well there you go, I suppose that's not a bad thing.

I apologize again for being a mouthy ignorant punk. I'll try to at least know what I'm talking about if it happens again.

OK I think I sort of understand what you are saying.

Such as, for example, why don't we have an easy to use program like Dropbox that is just built in to every operating system, or freely available and in common use? Rather than having a bunch of people rely on this commercial system just to transfer files or make them available on the internet.

I agree that we are reinventing things an amazing number of times. I think we have at least 5 times as many crappy ways to accomplish basic things as we need. And certainly more cohesion is called for.

On the other hand I think that people often don't appreciate how changes to fundamental approaches are the best way to solve problems because problems are often structural or caused by the way the issues are framed.

I agree that there is too much reinventing the wheel and fragmentation of effort. I don't believe that Node.js is a good example of that. Although 54000 modules is too many and there is quite a lot of redundancy and crap in there. But having a very easy way to publish, consume and search for modules as well as instantly handle dependencies is a step forward.

Holy cow, I think you DO sort of understand what I was saying! :-)

Obviously I don't know enough about Node.js to put it down (and from what you've said if I knew it better I think I'd like it.)

Cheers (and I will check out ToffeeScript, thanks.) :)

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