How JavaScript is Going to Replace Node.js

Node.js and its downward spiral into the black hole of politics and Immeritocracy™


Everyone has been going bananas about Node.js™ and with good reason: it’s fairly new, it has not yet been tapped out with regards to potential of full monetization, and it allows developers who do not know PHP to do enough back-end development to afford them the ability to front on understanding PHP’s pitfalls.

Despite its infancy in the web development world, Node.js has come out on top in the JavaScript framework wars. In recent days, though, its popularity has taken a nose dive.

Nose dive?
More like NODE dive.
.js

For lack of a better phrase, the development of Node over the past few weeks has been, for lack of a better phrase, a hot mess. For lack of a better phrase.

At the time of writing this, Node.js is now only 70.4% JavaScript. And not only does it now have C++ and its predecessor C (which is basically like running your app on 2 versions of Ruby, for you Ruby developers out there), but Node owners, Joyent, have also injected an unknown language called “Other,” threatening the maintainability by developers outside the company.

Developers are taking notice – nearly 7,000 of them, to be precise, who have gone on to fork the project to restore it to it’s pure vanilla JavaScript state.

Evidence of Node’s neapolitan language ingredients.

In a state of panic, Joyent started an advisory board which will act as a list of names for Node developers to look at.

But what does this say about the rest of the JavaScript world. Well, many are turning back to vanilla JavaScript to handle their development needs. At the time of writing this, there were no forks of JavaScript to be found on Github, showing that the status quo continues to be maintained.

Some developers may be wondering about other versions, such as jQuery or Rails. jQuery has been forked quite often, but it has not caused nearly as large a controversy as those forks of Node.js have. For example, I, myself, accidentally forked jQuery over a month ago and no one has batted an eye.

Yes, I forked jQuery https://github.com/jennschiffer/jquery

It is important for developers not to panic in situations where politics and bureaucracy stunt the evolution of a language or library. At the same time, though, it is important for developers to speculate on the worst case scenarios for when the tools we work with start crumbling before our eyes. We may have counted our eggs before they hatched with Node.js, but we can rest assured that JavaScript will be there to catch those eggs when they fall. Because the eggs were dropped.


Jenn Schiffer is the Pulitzer prize-winning author The Joy-ent In Forgetting, The Joy-ent In Acceptance, an O’Reilly guide to merit-based promotions in the tech workplace.

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