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The Node.js and JavaScript Foundations are in the exploratory phase of merge discussions. Here's what IBM thinks about the merger.

You probably saw the recent announcement that outlined the exploratory phase of merge discussions between the Node.js and JavaScript Foundations.

As two of the IBMers who are actively involved in the community and the project, we wanted to share our perspectives on this announcement.

Michael Dawson is the IBM Node.js community lead, chair of the Node.js Technical Steering Committee and member of the Node.js Community Committee. Joe Sepi is an Open Source Engineer at IBM and a Node.js Community Committee member.

Why this is happening

First, let’s talk about why this is happening. Over the last few years, we’ve seen increasing interest in tighter collaboration between the Node.js community and the greater JavaScript community. There have been some initial steps towards collaboration, such as the formation of a user feedback team and reporting/triaging the vulnerabilities for third-party modules.

Bringing Node.js together with other JavaScript projects under a single foundation is a great way to build natural opportunities for collaboration.

What this changes

So, what happens if the two foundations merge? Some expected outcomes include:

  • A foundation that can champion a more holistic view of the JavaScript ecosystem, which leads to more resources and a stronger future for Node.js and other JavaScript projects.
  • More awareness of and greater collaboration between Node.js and other JavaScript projects along with the ability to benefit from each other’s technical and community skills.
  • Clarity for where companies should provide funding and support.

We think this could be pretty great, actually

From our perspective, this is a positive change for the Node.js project, the JavaScript Foundation projects, the overall community, and the supporting companies, including IBM.

We believe the end result will be a stronger and more vibrant JavaScript ecosystem, with Node.js continuing as one of the key pillars.

Open governance will get us over the hurdles

We don’t discount the concerns in the community, for example with respect to the independence of the projects and a potential loss of focus on Node.js. However, we believe that if the community works through the governance and structure in public, this will ensure that these concerns are considered and mitigated appropriately.

There are good working examples of other foundations within the Linux Foundation that followed a similar approach and merged projects under a single entity. These examples provide us a good starting point and prior experience to help us through the process.

Let’s discuss

Please take advantage of the community discussions (town halls/Q&As) from the foundation and project’s leadership.