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Node.js and io.js are merging under the Node Foundation (github.com/iojs)
794 points by onestone on May 13, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 81 comments

  The io.js TC agrees to:

  1. have the io.js project join the Node Foundation
  2. rename the entire “iojs” GitHub org to be “nodejs”
  3. invite the the current Node.js TC on to our TC to form 
     the basis of a Node Foundation TSC under the policies 
     of the Node Foundation
  4. moving the io.js Working Groups to be under the Node 
-- https://docs.google.com/document/d/15Y_kJlYm-8cIf-alniaqUWMM...

In short, Node.js is discontinued, but io.js is renamed to Node.js? That sounds reasonable.

I personally preferred the name of "iojs" to "node", but it's true that node's brand is more powerful...

It's EGCS all over again.

Great news. Like Rails + Merb merge. We should give awards for these achievements. In our field, forking is easy - but merging is up hill battle.

Kudos to whoever made it happen.

Personally, I think the ruby world really lost something when merb folded into Rails. It left the community split between the one giant framework and many microframeworks, where merb was really something in between. Big enough for real work, but small enough and with a small enough dose of 'magic' (where rails has an absurd amount) that it was still pretty understandable.

Rails became more configurable because of it, but I don't really feel like it ever got smaller or more understandable. That said, I've been out of that game for quite a while, so maybe it eventually did.

But I also don't think it's really comparable because merb wasn't a fork of rails like io.js was of node.js.

Agreed, as a former merb user, I really miss it. The merger was turning point for me, it turned me away from Ruby, mostly because of the community.

I dunno, I've done a lot of Rails work and a bit of work with Padrino, and Rails doesn't really seem a lot bigger, just better put together.

Padrino might be a good counter-example, because I think maybe it occupies a similar niche as merb fell into (I can't say for sure, because I've only used it very experimentally). But it took a long time from the merb-Rails merge to Padrino existing (at least 2 years, I believe).

I'm glad the community started looking into this option. Sometimes it's hard to work together with people after all the success of finally being free from them. Not that I wanted io.js to compromise, but it looks like it will be best for everyone. Thanks for all the hard work from people like Mikeal Rogers who worked on this when they could have been working on other things.

Great. Great for stable v8 in node, great for a node with all the new commits in the io.js branch, great for trademarks now being owned by the community.

Mikeal has more details here: https://github.com/iojs/io.js/issues/1664#issuecomment-10054...

Also great for jsdom (one of node's best features) soon running on node again!

This is a massive weight off of my shoulders, I can imagine it is for Joyent and IO contributors alike as well. While the fragmentation fortunately didn't get to the point where the two projects were disjointed, I knew the day would eventually come when IO was so far ahead issues with compatibility between Node and IO start arising. I am glad both parties and everyone involved approached this situation with an open mind and as a result of carefully planned out and a fair democratic decision was reached.

Now we might finally see promises land in Node.js (finally).

Brilliant news for the entire node ecosystem! Having two competing implementations would not be ideal (even if they both support NPM). I hope under this new structure, the development will work at the speed of io.js. Well done to everyone involved!

I disagree. Having more than one competing implementation following the same standard would have been awesome. How likely it is that they would have followed the same standard rather than each branching off incompatibly is another question entirely...

The problem was that Node was based on a way older version of V8 with little sign of being ready to move on in the near future, and io.js users had access to all sorts of new features, so it was not a good thing for library authors - either you use the new features, and nobody using Node can use your library anymore, or you keep compatibility and have no advantage over just having Node.

They weren't really different implementations anywa - io.js was based on Node and most of the work they had done (as far as I know) was the move to the newer V8 engine version. So they were the same thing, just partially incompatible!

So it's really a great thing that they're merging, because it means that many more people can start actually using the new stuff!

Maybe I missed it, but is there an estimate for when we'd see the first Node release that has io.js changes merged in?

I know there's been a "convergence" repo for a while now, but I couldn't quickly get a sense of how far along that process is.

Don't be an excitement blocker, everyone wants to celebrate, then in the morning we can try to understand what just happened.

But seriously, that is a good question. Maybe we can get an answer when node .12 will be stable as well.

Im glad, but honestly want the project to be called io.js. I liked the name much better.

Note: this did come up in the TC meeting if anyone listened in. And they are keeping the branding alive and will decide what to do with it in the future.

Exactly. For me, the Node.js name is tarnished. The community hit the ground running with io.js and I believe it should have continued down that road. It would have come to replace Node.js in due time.

I think you are an outlier, though. When you are talking about mass appeal, a lot more people are aware of thee node name than io. There is no reason to have to rebuild the branding and awareness process.

I agree. As someone who just helped transition the main product of a company from polling towards socket.io + node.js, I can tell you the main name they know, somewhat understand and praise is "nodejs". To them that's the keyword to what made everything so quick and responsive. If I had to tell them at some point that actually nodejs was a bit behind and now we should move to io.js that would have been a bit confusing at least. Now, I can just be happy that "nodejs" will be the "awesome cutting edge tech" for me aswell as for them.

As anecdotal evidence: Where I work we use Node in our projects and today is the first time I've ever heard about io.js.

Make of that what you like.

You're not curious about your own tech stack?

When "everyone" says "Use node" and every problem you need solve is solvable by googling "nodejs $problem" without anyone every anywhere mentioning iojs as a viable option, you can still be curious about your own tech-stach without knowing about the existence of forks.

I think you suffer from a too simplistic view of things.

I think the name Node works better, really. In writing both work fine, but in spoken language it's a bit easier to say/more distinctive in response to the question 'what are you using'.

I'm not deeply involved with the Node community, but on the surface this sounds like really exciting news. From what I understand core development has slowed down quite a bit with Node.js, and there were some issues with the governance model, and io.js set out to solve these problems? It would be awesome to get these benefits without having to split the community.

This is awesome! I think we have to thank Microsoft for their node fork. That scared the hell out everyone, so they decided to get back together. :P

Microsoft's fork is meant to be temporary, experimental fork.

"This GitHub fork enables Node.js to optionally use the Chakra JavaScript engine on Windows 10, allowing Node.js to run on Windows on ARM. Our goal is to merge back into master after stabilizing this code, fixing key gaps and responding to early community feedback."

Their goal is to work on it, stabalize it, and then merge it back in once it's ready for general use. Microsoft's "fork" wasn't trying to split the community or create a permanent new path. It's to build something new for Node.js that shouldn't be in the main project until it's ready. Microsoft wasn't trying to split the community, but rather trying to take on an experimental project.

The io.js/Node.js situation wouldn't have been influenced by Microsoft's announcement. Node.js/io.js didn't necessarily have an intention of reuniting in the future and might have stayed apart. By contrast, Microsoft doesn't intend to split off from Node.js at all.

Thanks for all the explanation. I though ending something with :P - could be universally understood as a bit of irony. I'm just happy with the announcement, and used MS fork and this announcement timing for my irony-driven-comment. I'm sorry for the misunderstanding. <3

I'm aware publishing GIFs on HN is off-topic and I realize this might be a bit childish but I couldn't help myself, and also, you sound like a lad with a sense of humor so you might appreciate it :P


Whoever else might see this post, I'm sorry, this is just such great news I had to celebrate somehow.

Bashing the Nadella Microsoft is a poor taste.

> I think we have to thank Microsoft for their node fork

Yeah whatever. Microsoft is no threat to FOS server-side solutions like nodejs, given their reputation. Nodejs is its own worse ennemy.

I've been waiting for a while for server-side JS to seem a little less like the wild west. One step closer to being willing to do more than play around with it. Glad to see this.

This is great news. It's so common for open source projects to fork, and rarely do you see them join. I think this will be an overall win for both communities.

This is hopefully great news. The contribution pace needs to keep up though, as it was with iojs.

Phew. I can finally stop explaining the difference between io.js and node.js to recruiters!

Never explain anything to recruiters.

Sounds like a good outcome, for the software and community.

Does anyone recall the GitHub issue that turned into a days long thread of animated gifs? I thought it was... happening again. And then I logged in to find that the conversation was locked to collaborators.

That was a fix to PHP's composer system that drastically reduced memory usage.

I don't think that's really an excuse.

This is great news and makes me very happy. I wanted to switch us over to io.js but dreaded a future in which npm package only work on one or the other or maybe a npm and a iopm would exist. It's great to know that I don't need to worry about moving over and that my imaginary future will never come to be. Also glad both projects were able to reconcile their differences for the great good of node's future.

Such as with gcc and egcs under the FSF.

Really great news. I guess io.js fulfilled its purpose of shifting control of Node.js away from Joyent and giving it the vitality it needs to remain a leading backend technology.

This is great news for the node community because a splinter would not have worked for any one. Hopefully, we can leave this behind us and continue to build great node apps.

This is amazing for Javascript!

By the way since tj Fontaine is out, who's going to replace him? and is it related to iojs and nodejs merging?

There is no BDFL any more, so nobody will be replacing him.

There will be a Technical Steering Committee in charge instead.

BTW, what's the status 'Node programming'? After the initial hype it seemed to have landed in the 'trough of disillusionment'. Are companies still creating new Node applications? Or just maintaining the old until they are replaced? Will Node be a valuable skill in 2 years?

I'm personally using it for a non-web project, but the most typical use case for it is websites where some chunk of logic has to run on both client and server; this is quite a common scenario and when it arises, Node is the only game in town unless you want to write that code twice in two different languages and then have to maintain the two versions in lockstep. (People have started using the word 'isomorphic' to describe this scenario; one could argue whether that's strictly accurate, but it's close enough to be suggestive at least.)

Some companies just start with node because certain people enforce due to the hype it has.

We're using Node on new apps. Node is still the top choice for sharing code between the client and server. That's a niche case, but a significant niche.

I'm assuming many individuals swallowed their pride as part of this agreement. Kudos to you all!

As someone who is still learning Node.js and not familiar with io.js, what does this mean exactly?

It means that you're going to get more updates. Nothing more, nothing less. The biggest issue with Node under Joyent was the lack of updates.

A really nice story, a demonstration that open source is an evolution for human kind

Wow, I'm surprised this actually happened. I haven't been watching developments lately but it seemed like a pipe-dream when I first heard rumblings of the idea. Congrats to everyone involved.

The merge is great news. I also like the io name, but definitely agree that Node.js should remain just based on awareness and for marketing. However.. has anyone considered Node.io? :)

I'm really happy. This will greatly reduce the work for maintaining our nodejs addon and also encourages us to continue investing in nodejs.

Has anyone actually used Io.js for something?

Yep, nw.js runs on io.js as of the 0.12 release in January.

Here's a giant list of people using it: https://github.com/nwjs/nw.js/wiki/List-of-apps-and-companie...

One of the more notable ones is Popcorn Time, the stupid easy to use movie torrent client.

Thank you.


OK I am just an observer but what does this mean? End of io.js, codebase merged back?

Hopefully this doesn't mean io.js won't slow down again :\

Anyone know what exactly Joyent got out of the deal?

Next up: ffmpeg and libav

Great News!!


great success!



No, it wasn't a reaction to that misstep of Joyent's. The problem was that Joyent was not bringing in code and keeping the product up-to-date. The project had stagnated, and Joyent had shown that they were incapable of keeping a nascent, popular project growing in good order. iojs was born of developers being frustrated at being unable to develop, not as a political counterpoint.

iojs was created a year after Noordhuis's public flogging - that's a pretty slow counterpoint if it was the reason for iojs.

Thanks, it looks like that's correct and I was misled about the original motivation.

That wasn't the only reason for the fork. Focusing on that seems unproductive.

Lets see if we can break github record with animated gif comments on this one. Let the good times roll!

are these people in highschool? get it together over there already!

If you have been following the story much, they have handled this situation with great care. Not like high schooler's at all.

well someone in the bunch ain't acting their age. IMHO. Otherwise they wouldn't have created the situation in the first place. nah mean?

but thanks for the down votes. ;)

Do you even understand how the situation came about in the first place?


Joyent calling Ben an "asshole" is definitely worthy of a "highschool drama"

thats what im saying!

how so? you seem to know so much more, so please explain and elaborate.

from where i am standing i see a lot of ego involved, among other things.

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