Reconciliation between Node.js and io.js could be near

A proposal from io.js advocate Mikeal Rogers suggests a path to reunify the code and governance

merge road sign route path street
Credit: Nemo via Pixabay

The popular Node.js server-side JavaScript platform and its recent io.js fork may be in for a quick reconciliation.

The Node.js community has been riven by intense politics for the past year, but fewer than three months after the fork emerged, a proposal for reconciliation has been posted on GitHub by Mikeal Rogers, who has been involved with the io.js fork and has served as a spokesman for the effort. 

"A lot of questions have been coming our way about what a merger of the Node.js and io.js projects might look like," the post begins. "People in both projects want to know their work won't be thrown away and that we can preserve the positive aspects of each project."

Rogers told InfoWorld that talks on a reconciliation are "ongoing" and the proposal was meant to address concerns about how contributions would be dealt with under a reconciliation. "We wanted to assure them that not only would they be able to continue contributing but that we would be open about building any kind of plan and that they would be involved in that process."

Asked what happens next, Rogers said, "We'll continue to respond to feedback from the community and refine the reconciliation plan. This also won't impact our continued development of the platform and releases under io.js."

The posted proposal constitutes a draft and "will be continually updated and edited based on input from the community," the GitHub post states. A "versions merger" part of the proposal states there is currently no overlap between io.js and Node.js versions and all versions must now be considered as versions of Node.js. "If we did not, we would unnecessarily break a large portion of the community that depends on these versions."

Joyent, whose stewardship over Node.js has irked some followers and led to the io.js fork late last year, recently decided to spin off Node.js so that it would to be under the jurisdiction of the Node Foundation. Joyent would still have a say over the platform.

Rogers' proposal includes a technical governance model and a long-term support proposal. "The foundation does not yet have a technical governance model and part of this reconciliation plan is to create one from the existing io.js governance structure," he said.

Under the proposal, working groups for io.js evangelism, road map, streams, tracing, and build would move over to Node.js, pending votes by these groups. All io.js language community working groups will vote to move to Node.js as well. The Nodejs.org website, meanwhile, would transfer to a website working group.

Some people have stayed involved in development of both Node.js and io.js, including Bert Belder, who gave InfoWorld an interview about the new Node.js 0.12 release earlier this month. Members of the io.js technical committee were invited to meet with Joyent CEO Scott Hammond recently to discuss a reconciliation, a post on Medium.com notes.

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