World’s Fastest Growing Open Source Platform Pushes Out New Release

New “Current” version line focuses on performance improvements, increased reliability and better security for its 3.5 million users

SAN FRANCISCO, April, 26, 2016 — The Node.js Foundation, a community-led and industry-backed consortium to advance the development of the Node.js platform, today announced the release of Node.js version 6 (Node.js v6). This release provides major performance improvements, increased reliability and better security.

With over 3.5 million users and an annual growth rate of 100 percent, Node.js is emerging as a universal platform used for web applications, IoT, mobile, enterprise application development, and microservice architectures. The technology is ubiquitous across numerous industries, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and is the only unified platform that full stack JavaScript developers can use for front end, back end, mobile and IoT projects.

Performance improvements are key in this latest release with one of the most significant improvements coming from module loading, which is currently four times faster than Node.js version 4 (Node.js v4). This will help developers dramatically decrease the startup time of large applications for the best productivity in development cycles and more seamless experience with end users. In addition, Node.js v6 comes equipped with v8 JavaScript engine 5.0, which has improved ECMAScript 2015 (ES6) support. Ninety-three percent of ES6 features are also now supported in the Node.js v6 release, up from 56 percent for Node.js v5 and 50 percent for Node.js v4. Key features from ES6 include: default and rest parameters, destructuring, class and super keywords.

Security is top-of-mind for enterprises and startups alike, and Node.js v6 has added several features that impact security, making it easier to write secure code. The new Buffer API will reduce the risk of bugs and vulnerabilities leaking into applications through a new constructor method used to create Buffer instances, as well as a zero-fill-buffers command-line flag. Using the new command line flag, developers can continue to safely use older modules that have not been updated to use the new constructor API. In addition, V8 has improved their implementation of Math.random() to be more secure — this feature is added into Node.js v6.

“The Node.js Project has done an incredible job of bringing this version to life in the timeline that we initially proposed in September 2015. It’s important for us to continue to deliver new versions of Node.js equipped with all the cutting-edge JavaScript features to serve the needs of developers and to continue to improve the performance and stability enterprises rely on,” said Mikeal Rogers, Community Manager of the Node.js Foundation. “This release is committed to Long Term Support, which allows predictable long-term stability, reliability, performance and security to the growing number of enterprise users that are adopting Node.js as a key technology in their infrastructure.”

To increase reliability of Node.js, there has been increased documentation and testing done around Node.js v6 for enterprises that are using and looking to implement the platform.

Node.js release versioning follows the Semantic Versioning Specification, a specification for version numbers of software libraries similar to dependencies. Under the Node.js’ Long-Term Support (LTS), version 6 is now the “Current” release line while version 5 will be maintained for a few more months. In October 2016, Node.js v6 will become the LTS release and the LTS release line (version 4) will go under maintenance mode in April 2017, meaning only critical bugs, critical security fixes and documentation updates will be permitted. Users should begin transitioning from v4 to v6 in October when v6 goes into LTS.

Additional Resources

About Node.js Foundation Node.js is used by tens of thousands of organizations in more than 200 countries and amasses more than 3.5 million active users per month. It is the runtime of choice for high-performance, low latency applications, powering everything from enterprise applications, robots, API engines, cloud stacks and mobile websites.

The Foundation is made up of a diverse group of companies including Platinum members Famous, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Microsoft, PayPal and Red Hat. Gold members include GoDaddy, NodeSource and Modulus/Progress Software, and Silver members include Apigee, AppDynamics, Codefresh, DigitalOcean, Fidelity, Google, Groupon, nearForm, New Relic, npm, Opbeat, RisingStack, Sauce Labs, SAP, StrongLoop (an IBM company), Sphinx, YLD!, and Yahoo!. Get involved here: https://nodejs.org.

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