The Node.js and JS foundations want to merge

There are currently two main open-source foundations that focus on JavaScript: the JS Foundation, which was founded in 2016, and the Node.js Foundation, which launched in 2015. The JS Foundation’s mission is to shepherd the ecosystem around the language, while Node.js obviously focuses on the Node.js technology for using JavaScript server-side with the help of Google’s V8 engine and growing that ecosystem. Now, these two foundations want to merge.

This is not a done deal and the two organizations plan to get feedback from their respective communities, starting with an in-person Q&A at the upcoming Node+JS Interactive conference, as well as online.

“Joining forces will not change the technical independence or autonomy for Node.js or any of the 28 JS Foundation projects such as Appium, ESLint, or jQuery,” the two organizations write in today’s announcement. “JavaScript is a versatile programming language that has expanded far beyond its role as a backbone of the web, entering new environments such as IoT, native apps, DevOps, and protocols. As the ecosystem continues to evolve — moving from browsers to servers, desktop applications to embedded devices — increased collaboration in the JavaScript ecosystem is more important than ever to sustain continued and healthy growth.”

And indeed, that increased collaboration across the ecosystem is what seems to be at the core of this move. “The Foundation leaders and key technical stakeholders believe that a tighter alignment of communities will expand the scope of the current Foundations and enable greater support for Node.js and a broader range of JavaScript projects,” noted Mike Dolan, vice president of Strategic Programs at the Linux Foundation, in today’s announcement.

The ultimate goals of the merger are to “enhance operational excellence,” to increase collaboration and to increase the collaboration across JavaScript ecosystems and to create a single organization that can become the home for any JavaScript project.

If this merger happens, then it’ll surely help both groups that already sit underneath the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, which should make the transition relatively easy, assuming the community agrees. There is also some overlap between the two groups’ members, though probably less than you’d expect. While IBM is a platinum member of both, for example, Google is a platinum member of the Node.JS foundation but doesn’t sponsor the JS Foundation. Similarly, Samsung is a top-level sponsor of the JS Foundation but is nowhere to be found on the Node.JS Foundations’ site. It’s probably no surprise then, that one of the stated goals of the merger is also “streamlined member engagement.”