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Plus Node.js 8 heads into long-term support

Node.js 9 is available for initial testing

Jane Elizabeth
Node.js 9
© Shutterstock / kaer_stock

Big news from the Node.js world! Node.js 8 moves into long-term support as the Node.js 9 is available for initial testing.

Lots of things are happening in the Node.js world! News comes today that Node.js 8 has been declared stable and ready for long term support. Additionally, Node.js 9 is now available for testing as part of the current release line.

Ready for production

The big news here is that Node.js 8 has moved into long-term support. This means that Node.js 8 is going to be a stable and steady release, suitable for production. Doing so should open up Node.js 8 to a wider community.

Node.js 8 came out six months ago to great acclaim. It was the biggest release yet for the Node.js community and chock full of goodies for everyone to enjoy, including npm 5.0.  Additionally, the initial release delay gave Node.js time to develop a compatible version of V8 5.8.

Now, after six months of testing and use, Node.js 8 is being moved into long-term support. Here’s an infographic from the Node.js team to show the planned lifecycle of this release:

Node.js 8

As you can see, the plan is to have Node.js 8 running until 2019 at the earliest. After all, the goal is to create a stable foundation designed to build scalable network applications. Hence, the slightly unusual release lifecycle.

SEE MORE: Node.js 8 doesn’t come away empty-handed — Developers also receive npm@5

What’s new about this release of Node.js 8?

Lots! This is the last chance for things to enter the Node.js 8 release, so all of the goodies that were ready have been added in. Let’s take a look at what Node.js 8 has to offer.

First off, Node.js 8 runs with V8 JavaScript Engine 6.1. This comes with Turbofan and the Ignition pipeline. Thanks to the V8 engine, Node.js applications have lower memory consumption and faster startup times across the board. Plus, Node.js is a first class language for V8, so no V8 commit can land if it breaks Node.

Other features include full support for Async / Await, as well as experimental use of HTTP/2 and ES Modules.

What’s up with Node.js 9?

Always striving forward, the Node.js Project is keeping their eyes on the horizon. And so, Node.js 9.0.0 is now available for developers who are interested in testing and experimenting the news release. Obviously, this release has a lot of very rough and ready features and is frequently updated. It’s not recommended for those who want to use Node.js in production.

The majority of the changes in Node.js 9 are the depreciation or removal of legacy APIs. Additionally, the core codebase for Node.js is slowly migrating to a new error system. Why are they migrating? Well, all of the errors thrown by Node.js will be associated with a unique code. This will allow error messages to be changed without being considered as breaking. It’ll also make user code more robust by not relying on error messages.

SEE MORE: Node.js Errors: Changes are coming!

Where can I find it?

If you’re interested in the changes in Node.js, you can download both the long term support version 8 and the current release 9 here. If you are on Node.js 4.x or Node.js 6.x, they recommend starting the migration process onto Node.js 8.x LTS.  If you’re interested in learning more about the overall Node.js strategy, head here.

Author
Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com.