Joyent Appoints Node.js Foundation as Sole Arbiter

In the interest of making sure that all the stakeholders in Node.js have an equal say in both the technical and business dealings of the framework, Joyent today announced that it, along with IBM, Microsoft, SAP, PayPal, Fidelity and The Linux Foundation, is establishing a Node.js Foundation.

The foundation was announced at the Node Summit conference. Joyent CEO Scott Hammond says that while the existence of a nonprofit Node.js Foundation would not affect how the technical committee that oversees Node.js is structured, it would replace Joyent as the sole arbiter of all things relating to Node.js business decisions. The new members of the governing board, says Hammond, can be expected to put forward candidates to join the technical committee, which he says will be vetted using the existing processes that Joyent put in place for joining. Microsoft, notes Hammond, is already represented on the technical committee.

As Node.js evolves into a de facto industry standard for using APIs to build both client and server-side applications, Hammond says it has become apparent that Node.js has expanded well beyond the core Joyent business model. As a provider of cloud services that are written in Node.js, Joyent has a vested interest in its ongoing development, Hammond says. But that doesn’t mean that Joyent needs to be solely responsible for overseeing every aspect of the Node.js framework.

To that end, Joyent today also announced a new Node.js Incubator Program along with the launch of certified Docker container images for Node.js and increased Node.js support for enterprise customers. Those Docker containers can be run on either a physical server or a virtual machine, depending on developer preference.

Hammond says that Node.js has emerged as an alternative to legacy programming languages such as Java because it provides a much lighter framework for building applications. Node.js is especially popular with cloud service providers, he says, because it only consumes about 10% of the server footprint as legacy programming languages such as Java.

Over the years, multiple variants and offshoots of the Node.js framework have sprung up. Hammond says all the variants conform to the core Node.js framework, but the participation of IBM, Microsoft and The Linux Foundation should help ensure that Node.js as a de facto application development framework doesn’t fray any further.

Of course, the impact that multiple vendors could have on the process could just as easily slow Node.js development down. After all, vendors working together in committees have not historically been known for advancing the rate at which any technology is developed.

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