To solve that problem, the Node.js Foundation is making available on an experimental basis a Node.js API (N-API), developed collaboratively by Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, nearFrom, NodeSource and other contributors. The API will be in Node.js 8, and promises to eliminate the need to update all those dependencies. Pending additional testing, it is expected to be given Long Term Support (LTS) status later this year.
Mark Hinkle, executive director of the Node.js Foundation, says moving forward there will be more focus on reducing the friction surrounding upgrades of Node.js applications as part of an effort to further expand the ecosystem. Many organizations commonly end up supporting multiple versions running across a variety of applications. Hinkle says N-API is a step in helping to reduce the maintenance costs associated with supporting those applications. In an ideal world, the foundation would be gathering additional input from DevOps experts pursuant to achieving that goal. In most IT organizations, the care and feeding of Node.js applications is still left in the hands of IT operations teams after the apps are deployed in production.
In the meantime, Hinkle says its performance continues to improve. Naturally, there’s a corresponding relationship between better performance and the number of use cases for which it will be considered. Of course, that doesn’t mean Java and other legacy programming languages won’t be used to develop new applications. But it does means that in terms of the number of programming languages employed across the enterprise, it’s now a polyglot universe.