The future of Node.js: Stable, secure, everywhere

Node's developers look to tighten security, better accommodate ECMAScript, and move to HTTP/2

Server-side JavaScript platform Node.js remains on the rise in enterprise IT, as its usage has been doubling every year for four years now, according to the Node.js Foundation. Now, developers overseeing Node's future are mapping out future priorities like stability and security, and they're exploring threaded workloads and engagement with the JavaScript language itself.

Looking to spread Node "everywhere," proponents are pushing for increased adoption across servers and the desktop as well as the internet of things, according to a presentation by Rod Vagg, member of the Node Technical Steering Committee, at this week's Node Summit conference in San Francisco.

Node developers endeavor to improve stability of Node releases, Vagg said. "Unfortunately, this branch that we have called 'current' -- we used to call it stable -- is not quite as stable as we'd like to be," he said. Too many breakages and regressions have been slipping into releases, he said, and while the situation is not "terrible," it needs improvement.

Planned language enhancements include Zones, which make it easier to write asynchronous code. Threaded workloads, meanwhile, could be implemented in Node akin to browsers supporting Web Workers, which run web content in scripts in background threads.

Proponents also want to improve the relationship between Node and the ECMA TC39 committee, which develops the ECMAScript specifications underlying JavaScript. For example, Node could accommodate ECMAScript's promises capability, which helps asynchronous communications. "There are some ways that promises work that work against the way that some people use Node," Vagg noted. Node could also implement low-level JavaScript features like tail calls, which could impact debugging.

Node also may see a shifting philosophy related to its use of HTTP, including adherence to HTTP/2. New APIs may be needed for HTTP/2, though, and Node's loose approach to HTTP has been a source of security issues.

To further address security, Node's developers want to clarify and have strict adherence to security policies for Node while supporting a growing ecosystem of security service providers, including Lift, Node Security, and Snyk. Node has faced security issues like denial-of-service and out-of-bounds vulnerabilities recently.

Plans also call for more rapid upgrades of the V8 engine underlying Node while maintaining ABI stability, Vagg said. Also, to provide add-on stability and multivirtual machine experimentation, Node proponents are exploring development of a new C++ API compatibility layer. Google's V8 JavaScript engine currently is the VM of choice for Node, but Microsoft hopes to change that with a planned standard interface.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?