And here we were, guard relaxed, Node.js v4 was out and compatibility was looking nice and green on CI. Customers and clients were re-assured and all was serene. And then comes along Node.js v5. We can already hear your question: “Wait! What? Should we upgrade?” with eyebrows raised… So here is a bit of the story, but bottom line: for Production usage, and StrongLoop support, keep using Node.js v4, also named Argon.
The Node.js Foundation has been on a roll and are executing on an LTS plan in which there are two release lines, the LTS line (even numbered releases), focused on production stability and security and the odd numbered, quicker, but still stable releases, supported for a shorter time frame. Clearly, even numbered releases are on a predictable schedule and have a pretty solid support and maintenance plan of about 30 months (18 months of long-term support and 12 months of maintenance). Odd numbered releases are on a 9 month cycle, but without ongoing maintenance beyond that. These branches are essentially the difference between a stable secure business such as StrongLoop @IBM and a fast paced comet-like startup playing with raw, cutting edge ideas.
The best news is that an LTS line will not introduce any new features or breaking changes – other than stability and security updates, of course. This makes us at StrongLoop breathe easy, since we can solidly stand behind our Node support for our customer.
The release schedule can be viewed below (from the LTS site):
There is also a place for Node v5 and similar odd numbered Stable releases, of course, and our teams at StrongLoop will continue to play with cutting edge features, planning around them for future updates to our Product suite.
As an update, when I last wrote, we still had a few kinks to iron out for Node.js v4 support, but as of today, we can happily report that Argon is green for StrongLoop products. Argon! – a code name gives it some oomph doesn’t it?
StrongLoop, an IBM company, is one of the largest corporate contributors to Node.js and helps maintain the LoopBack and Express frameworks, strong-pm and StrongLoop Arc: a design, deploy and monitoring UI for Node applications. At StrongLoop we don’t just build products for Node, we also help create them! Have questions or comments? Email us at email@example.com. We want to hear from you!