Sunday, March 8, 2015

Foundation and (JavaScript) Empire
To succeed, planning alone is insufficient. One must improvise as well.’ I’ll improvise.”
Isaac Asimov,

Joyent will join forces with IBM, PayPal, Microsoft, Fidelity and The Linux Foundation to establish the Node.js Foundation. This was announced on February 10th.
In open source world foundations are aplenty. From Apache to Document Foundation, including The Linux Foundation, one of the founders here. This one, formed around Node.js, gathered some respectable (and, hmmm, wealthy) companies. So, it hardly likely that these companies joined their meager means to scrape some money for diner across the street. These guys already have money. Lots (loads?) of it. I'm guessing that they are betting on Node as the tool for future development of the web, and are ready to put there money where there mouth are.

And now a few words from sponsors:


"Open technologies and Enterprise class development are ingrained into IBM's DNA. Node.js is an important technology for our clients looking to leverage Cloud, Data and Mobile applications," said Angel Diaz, Vice President, IBM Cloud Architecture and Technology. "Establishing transparent and open governance within the new Node.js Foundation is significant because it demonstrates the industry's focus on accelerating innovation in JavaScript and ensuring open architectures for the years to come."


"Since Node.js' inception over five years ago, I've watched the community grow to become an incredibly rich, active ecosystem of contributors," said Bill Scott, VP Business Engineering, Product Development at PayPal. "Openness is what Node.js is built on and the formation of the Foundation cements the importance of open governance, transparency and synergy."


"We know firsthand why Node.js is a popular choice for thousands of organizations worldwide," said Gianugo Rabellino, Senior Director of Open Source Communities at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. "Forming an independent foundation of such passionate contributors and users to guide Node.js as its growth continues validates the project's maturity and sets an open stage for more success to come."


"Establishing an independent foundation for the Node.js platform is an important step for software that is mission critical and growing in adoption across the enterprise," said Travell Perkins, CTO, Fidelity. "To support the engaged and ever-growing Node.js community, Fidelity is taking an active role in the foundation. The new governance model allows our business stakeholders and technology partners to adopt the Node.js platform with increased confidence, it prioritizes thoughtful evolution and long term sustainability."

Second Foundation
The good thing with open source is that it is, well, open source. Anyone who feels that his/hers favorite project is in jeopardy of some kind is free to fork it and create a new one. That's exactly what happened to Node.js. A group of developers, dissatisfied with the project's pace, created io.js. This is the short version of the story. You don't want to hear the long version. However, as bad as it is that Node.js development dwindled (or lost momentum, to say the least) lately, it's good that the community is alive and kicking, even at the price of forking the original project. So, there you are, a possibility for the Second Foundation. If it worked for Hari Seldon, it might work for Node.js.

Joyent ran Node.js development since they acquired it from its original creator Ryan Dahl. In the meantime things went well and then not so well, to the point where a number of people asked if it's still alive. Then Ryan Dahl left the project and then it was forked. This Foundation could do a lot of things right for Node. There are speculations that this even might get io.js “back home”.

Those who like Node.js certainly hope that too many cooks won't spoil the broth.

Joyent is offering public cloud, packed with Node.js tools and support, free of charge for new customers for the period of one year. Worth trying.