Short History of the Node.js Foundation
Joyent (now a part of Samsung) funded the original Node.js project and jumpstarted its breakneck development pace. At the same time, a community of thousands of downstream developers became increasingly reliant on Node.
Today it is a thriving project, with 9 million Node instances online and more than 1,600 contributors. In 2017, Node.js has been downloaded nearly 25 million times, including more than one million on a single day.
While this success is enviable, at one time it created growing pains. Four years ago, the project’s technical leaders grappled with conflicting development paths and slowing releases. Although user adoption flourished, the project was looking for a different governance structure.
The Node.js community began talking with The Linux Foundation in 2014 about how a foundation might help promote stability and support among an increasingly diverse community of users and contributors. The Linux Foundation helped facilitate discussions among the community and companies backing Node and announced the new Node.js Foundation in 2015 with Fidelity, GoDaddy, Groupon, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Microsoft, PayPal, NodeSource, among others.
In its first year, the Node.js Foundation technical leaders created a long-term support (LTS) plan for improved stability, established a core team to handle security and formalized a security disclosure policy.
When the Foundation started, much of the work in Node Core was done by only four individuals. Today, there are over a dozen working groups, 18 members of the Technical Steering Committee, and more than 2,000 contributors. The LTS strategy is seeing great success .
Node.js ranks as the fourth most important open source project, according to The Battery Ventures Open Source Software Index (BOSS Index). Additionally, last year Forrester called out Node.js’s staying power and relevance: “The growth of Node.js within companies is a testament to the platform’s versatility. It is moving beyond being simply an application platform, and beginning to be used for rapid experimentation with corporate data, application modernization, and IoT solutions.”
In March 2019, the Node.js Foundation and the JS Foundation voted to merge and become the OpenJS Foundation. This combined organization will provide a single, neutral focal point for the project communities, and will build upon the momentum of Node.js and the culture of incubation established by the JS Foundation. The merger was accomplished through mindful deliberation and consensus-gathering, and with immeasurable assistance from the technical and business communities of both organizations. The Node.js Foundation looks forward to a bright future at the OpenJS Foundation.