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This article was published on September 9, 2015

Node.js grows up with its first stable release

Node.js grows up with its first stable release
Owen Williams
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Owen Williams

Former TNW employee

Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.

Node.js, the cool new kid on the JavaScript block, has finally hit a stable version today with the announcement that 4.0 is now available.

The release is a big one, because it marks the official merge of Node.js and io.js for the first time after they violently split last year over a dispute with the framework’s steward.

Node 4.0 brings the same version of the V8 JavaScript engine used in the Chrome Web browser, along with a number of ES6 features.

It also brings first-class support for ARM processors for the first time, and the Node foundation has built an extensive testing suite to ensure it works consistently across Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, SmartOS and ARM devices.

The release marks first time the Node foundation is making available a “long term support” branch. Beginning in October, the foundation will guarantee 18 months of updates for stability and security without breaking changes.

After the 18 months are up, it moves into maintenance mode where the foundation will still release critical bug and security patches.

Alongside that, Node will be releasing a ‘stable’ line with major new versions every six months, with LTS releases for each major version, which will overlap as time goes on for consistency.

Node.js 4.0 has a number of breaking changes from the previous version, which can be found here. The foundation expects the transition to take time as add-ons catch up to the new version of V8, however going forward it should be a lot easier to transition between releases.

As Node.js adoption skyrockets, this is a huge step forward for companies that have bet on the technology.

Long term support and non-breaking changes should reassure both large and small companies that the framework is a big deal, is here to stay and will get even more popular in the future.

Node v4.0.0 Stable [Node.JS]