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OpenJS Foundation Continues to Grow JavaScript Community

The open-source JavaScript foundation highlights updates across multiple projects as development moves forward.

Twenty-five years after it was first created, JavaScript continues to dominate the coding landscape, as it is still one of the most popular programming languages in use.

At the 2021 OpenJS World virtual conference last week, leaders in the open-source JavaScript community highlighted the latest advancements across a host of JavaScript projects. While JavaScript is more than two decades old, the OpenJS Foundation is just over two years old, having launched in March 2019. The OpenJS Foundation came about as a merger of the Node.js and JS foundations, to combine efforts to advance the JavaScript ecosystem of technologies.

During the opening keynote at the event, Todd Moore, chair of the board of directors at the OpenJS Foundation and vice president of Open Technology and Developer Advocacy at IBM, highlighted the growth of projects within the JavaScript effort. The OpenJS Foundation is now home to 37 open-source JavaScript projects, including some of the most widely used technologies on the internet today: Node.js, AMP, Electron and jQuery, among others.

JavaScript Projects Moving Forward in 2021

As part of the opening keynote, Robin Ginn, executive director of the OpenJS Foundation, went through a litany of project updates that showcase the momentum of multiple JavaScript efforts.

Among the updates detailed by Ginn, the AMP mobile website framework released a WordPress content management system plug-in that aims to make it easier for users to build optimized sites. The Appium test automation framework, meanwhile, is gearing up for its 2.0 release, which Ginn said will be helpful for testing across consumer devices, including Samsung TVs and Chromebooks.

Another popular project within the OpenJS Foundation is the Electron cross-platform application building environment that was originally created by GitHub. Electron 13 was released on May 25, providing users with API updates, bug fixes and overall performance improvements.

Node.js Advances with Version 16

Perhaps the most widely deployed project within the OpenJS Foundation is the Node.js JavaScript runtime framework.

The Node.js 16 update that was first released on April 20 is a major milestone for the project and was updated with incremental bug fixes on June 3 with the 16.3.0 release.

Among the new features in Node.js 16 is support for Apple's ARM silicon. During his keynote, Moore emphasized that it is the open-source foundation behind Node.js that helps to ensure its usage and popularity.

"Companies can bet on building their businesses with Node.js because they know the Node.js maintainers entrusted with the project ensure that it remains neutral," Moore said. "This has helped overcome fractures among contributors and the code base, and the Node.js project is a healthy community supported by a diverse set of companies that have increased the scale and commercial adoption of this project."

OpenJS Foundation Adding New Projects

New projects are also coming into the OpenJS Foundation. In particular, Moore pointed out the LoopBack project, which was created by IBM.

"LoopBack is a popular Node.js framework for API creation and a platform to build large-scale Node.js applications," Moore explained. "LoopBack is supported by IBM and a broad community outside of it, and today almost half of its pull code requests come from community members, which is really amazing."

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