Updated on 25 Jun 2020 | 3 Min Read

Node.js was first introduced in 2009 by Ryan Dahl. It is about thirteen years after the introduction of the first server-side JavaScript environment, which is known as Netscape's LiveWire Pro Web.

Node.js turned 10 years old in 2019, and the number of packages available on "npm" crossed one million. The number of downloads for Node.js continued to rise exponentially. It almost grew 40% year over year. Also, Node.js recently joined the OpenJS Foundation. A lot has already happened in a relatively short amount of time. A lot of startups and companies are shifting from Java backend to Node.js backend. Node.js community is gaining momentum, and 2020 shows no signs of slowing down either. A large number of interesting and exciting features are coming in the next major releases of Node.js.

Talking about Node.js release patterns, Even-numbered versions (e.g., v8, v10, and v12) are released every April, whereas Odd-numbered versions (e.g., v9, v11, and v13) are released every October. Node.js' recent release is it's version 14. There are already several features and updates we can start playing around with leading into 2020. Here's a list of some highlights:

What's New in Node.js

  • ECMAScript modules
  • WebAssembly support
  • Diagnostic reports
  • Full internationalization support for the date, time, number, and currency formats
  • QUIC protocol support
  • V8 JavaScript engine performance updates

1. ECMAScript Modules

Currently, Node.js is supporting both traditional CommonJS modules as well as the new standard ECMAScript (ES) modules. This allows us to use "import" and "export" syntax for client-side JavaScript running in the browser. Also, it's essential to note ES modules in Node.js have strict JavaScript mode enabled by default, so we don't have to specify "use strict" at the top of every file we use in our project.

2. Node.js can Import WebAssembly Modules

Along with the ES module, support comes the ability to import WebAssembly (Wasm) modules! A WebAssembly module is a portable binary format that is compiled and parsed faster than JavaScript and executed at native speeds. These can be created using any of the following languages, such as Python, Elixir, Go, Rust, C/C++, C#, Java, and many others. Importing a WebAssembly module with the help of the new dynamic "import()" statement in Node.js is possible.

3. WebAssembly System Interface (WASI)

WASI is a new feature Node.js. It is designed to be a standard interface for making calls to the underlying system, such as the host application and native operating system.

5. Diagnostic Reports Launch in 2020

Node.js, now can be configured and thus improvised according to our need for saving diagnostic reports in a specified folder and file name of our choice. Diagnostic reports are JSON-formatted summaries of process information. These reports include information on the operating system and data designed to provide assistance in supporting applications. All these are easily read and understood by humans.

5. Internationalization Support Expands in 2020

Node.js now comes with full International Components for Unicode, ICU. It is a trendy globalization library. ICU provides us options for changing and formatting, dates, times, numbers, and currencies. ICU also provides an exceptional feature of performing time calculations and string comparisons, as well as converting text between Unicode and other character sets. It is beneficial.

These are the features of Node.js, which you should consider and learn appropriately in 2020. It is the right time to start working on Node.js and stand out of the rest.