Node.js 10 Has Been Released: Features to Watch Out for

Node.js is one of the most popular and broadly used server-side or back-end JavaScript runtime, which is developed on the Chrome’s JavaScript V8 Engine. It is an open-source cross-platform run-time environment that helps in building I/O intensive web applications such as single-page applications, video streaming sites etc.

As such this free back-end platform is known for its lightweight and efficiency and comprises a rich source of a library containing different JavaScript modules.

However, today Node.js is in the news due to the launch of its recent version, which is Node.js version is 10.0. According to the official information, the Node.js 10.0 will become the Long-Term Support (LTS) line for the platform in October 2018. The Long-Term Support (LTS) lines actually offer a sustainable and expended support and help developers in building scalable web applications.

The Node Foundation has slated version 10.0 for a stable launch, which would be the 7th release and the latest version will emphasize more on offering incremental improvements and better performance.

This release has been provided with Google V8 v6.6 JavaScript engine, which can deal with the errors in a much way along with effectively serving the Node.js developers and users. We would be viewing N-API as a free module API that would not be affected by V8 and let the modules to operate in the new Node.js versions without recompilation.

It also needs to be noted that with the unveiling of Node.js 10, the support and assistance for Node.js 4 will come to an end. Therefore, it is recommended to upgrade to the higher version.

1. The Changes in N-API

One of the significant changes evident in N-API is that it is has come out from its experimental mode. So, as an officially supported API layer, it will also lend its helping hand to the framework in bringing stability and contributing to different types of project developments so as to provide improved back-end applications. It also becomes independent from Google V8 engine allowing modules to run against the new versions of Node.js.

This also further curtains the cost of maintaining the native modules and also reduces the intensity and friction while updating so that the framework can efficiently process the deployment of production. It will be much easier to upgrade to the latest versions and also it has addressed the concerns of the module breakage.

In order to provide more convenience to both users as well as developers, N-API is getting ported back to the previous versions namely 8.x and 6.x so that the users of earlier versions can easily deploy and update the framework.

2. Errors can be tackled better

The new Node.js 10 version has tried to resolve another major issue which is handling the error issues. It has got standardized to adopt the error code in a much convenient manner.

As such the developers have had most of the times faced problems with the errors in the Node.js platform. In the earlier versions, it only had one string message and there was no other identifier. That means the changes in the programming or code meant that it needed a string comparison of the error content.

Moreover, the changes in the texts were delayed as well because it needed string matching and the next Node.js release so that it could not break Semver. The node.js new versions get released after every six months. The developers can make use of the error codes so that the message text gets updated without the breakage of the applications.

3. The Security becomes Robust with Cryptographic Support

Well, each of the JavaScript frameworks whether front-end or back-end tries to provide uncompromising security features and also tries to upgrade the security feature during every new version launch.

Node.js has also followed the same footsteps and tried to solve the security issue, which is becoming graver in online space today. So, to achieve its end, it is introducing OpenSSL 1.x for the first time.

In fact, the OpenSSL and the Core Infrastructure Initiative teams are working jointly in close knit with each other to provide robust solutions to the security issues.

The outcome of their joint effort has come out in the form of ChaCha20 cipher and Polu1305 authenticator. This will encrypt the communications even further with many improved architectures. As such it has already begun supporting the first version of the OpenSSL, which will make it easier to upgrade in the future.

4. Node.js 10 Comes with Performance Improvements

The Node Foundation has taken some notable steps to enhance the performance of the platform. As far as the developers are concerned, it is now much simpler to deal with the codes more independently due to improvements such as bringing the async generator and other benefits. The code resources have started to flow seamlessly across the promise chains and async functions.

Another performance booster has been bettering the flexibility of the run-time environment and eliminating the restrictive blocks and reducing errors. Efforts have been made to improve connectivity and streamline options. The developers will now be able to scrutinize the errors more easily and prevent any loophole in the performance issues.

5. Better Diagnostic Trace and Post Mortem

The Node.js 10 also facilitates the developers by the addition of trace elements to provide them with enhanced visibility into the applications. This step has also led to the improvement of metrics and sorted out performance-based issues. The users can also run off and on the events at run-time so that they can do better diagnosis with the help of API.

6. The Experimental Promise Versions of fs Functions

As such the previous versions of the Node.js had initiated towards offering promises via the util.promising (). However, the developers required to take additional steps and overhead in that process. Now, as the Node.js 10 is making its way, it is ready to provide the experimental promised version of the ‘fs’ functions supporting the promises directly.

7. The Availability of npm version 6

The npm has got better with the upgraded version 6 and the Node.js 10 will start to ship this updated v6.0 on an immediate basis. There has been an all-around improvement in the npm version 6 with an enhancement in performance, stability, and security.

8. Potential of New JavaScript language

When we talk about the capabilities of the new JavaScript language, we need to focus on two things. First is the function.prototype.toString () and second in V8 6.6 now shipping more mitigations for side-channel vulnerabilities.

In the first instance, the accurate slice of source code text is returned that include comments and whitespace. In the second case, the mitigations are shipped to secure the information so that it does not spill out to the unethical JavaScript and WebAssembly code.

Conclusion

The intention and aim of the Node.js team in making these significant changes and adding up the new features is to make the life of the back-end developer easier. With several improvements in the latest version of the JavaScript run-time, the developers can be sure of creating a more effective web application with easy access to errors and getting more visibility. The Node.js 10 will start providing the Long Term Support from October onwards and will remain active till April 2021.

He is a PHP team head at Mindinventory. He has expertise in NodeJS, AngularJS, Laravel, Phonegap and Ionic. He also works as Cordova plugin developer, Web Services expert, Database engineer, Linux Operator and technical advisor. In his free time, he likes to do learn new technology related Hybrid platform.