The trendy open source project Node.js could soon be getting a lot more open.
“What we’re really focused on is we want to make sure that the whole project is very community-driven,” Scott Hammond, Joyent’s chief executive, told VentureBeat in an interview.
That perspective is an acknowledgment that Joyent could do better — and that people outside the company, which sells cloud management, rents out its cloud infrastructure, and provides commercial Node support, should gain more control over the project’s development than they’ve had in the past.
The implications could be significant for Node, which has more stars from users on GitHub than almost anything else on the code-repository site. Perhaps discussion within the foundation could lead to an increase in the frequency of new Node releases, which has been an issue in the past.
That was one of the issues that led several prominent Node contributors to develop a “fork” of Node called io.js in December. Some Joyent executives have not exactly been ecstatic about the rise of io.js. Understandably — Node has been a differentiator for Joyent in the cloud infrastructure market. So it’s only natural that Joyent would want to see io.js folded back into the main Node project, and sooner than later.
“We’ve been having conversations with a lot of people on the io team, the io community,” Hammond said. “I think I’m pretty optimistic that we’ll find a way to work together in the future.”
The idea of forming a foundation occurred to Hammond after Joyent and others in the Node world formed an advisory board in October. Some people thought a foundation would be a great idea, while others disagreed, causing Hammond to think things through.
“The last thing I want to do is jump in and have a knee-jerk reaction to people saying, ‘You have to put it in a foundation,'” Hammond said.
Now, though, there is a foundation. And now Joyent will have some of its employees work full time on Node, and invest in developer training and certification, suggesting a renewed commitment to the framework.
“A really successful Node project is good for everybody, even us,” Hammond said.