Npm Inc. explores foundation for JavaScript installer

Developers who may hesitate to participate in a single company's technology may participate more if it's independent, Npm's founder hopes

Npm, the command-line interface that developers run when using the popular Npm package manager for Node.js and JavaScript, will be moved to the jurisdiction of an independent foundation.

A governance model for the technology is under exploration, said Npm founder Isaac Schlueter, CEO of Npm Inc., which currently oversees the project. He hopes the move will expand participation in Npm's development, as participating today could be awkward because the program is owned and maintained by a single company.

Plans call for completing the move by the end of this year, with Npm Inc. still participating. Other companies are already interested in working with the foundation, Schleuter said, though he would not reveal their names.

The command-line client works with the Npm registry, which features a collection of packages of open source code for Node.js. The Npm system lets developers write bits of code packaged as modules for purposes ranging from database connectors to JavaScript frameworks to command-line tools and CSS tooling.

Enterprise connectivity vendor Equinix, for example, will offer its upcoming AquaJS microservices framework via Npm. Schleuter has called the module system a "killer feature" of Node.js and a big reason for the server-side JavaScript platform's success. Npm Inc. says there are nearly 242,000 total packages and about 3.5 billion downloads in the past month alone.

Schleuter said that efforts would be made to keep the project on strong footing, adding "what we really don't want to do is break something that's working." There are transparent development processes already in place, he said, and in addition to encouraging more outside participation in NPM's development, the foundation should ensure the project's continuity.

Node.js itself was moved to an independent foundation, simply called the Node.js Foundation, last year, after gripes arose with Joyent's handling of the project and a fork of the technology occurred called io.js. But io.js has since been folded back into Node.js. "I think [developing a governance model] will be a lot easier than it was with Node because the team is more on the same page and there are not as many hurdles to jump through," Schlueter said.

Npm Inc. runs the open source Npm registry as a free service and will continue to do so after the foundation is formed. The company also offers tools and services to support the secure use of packages in a private or enterprise context.

Join the TechWorld newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

More about EquinixInc.

Show Comments

Market Place

[]