Node.js versions:

How do they work?

With your host Myles Borins


View Source 2016


My Name is Myles

itsa me!

I currently work at a small disruptive startup called IBM

contributing to Node.js

Eye Bee M by Paul Rand
The opinions expressed in this talk are solely my own

Versions, how do they work?

Versions, are a lot like magnets

Stick with me on this

Versions, are a lot like magnets...

Many people are pretty darn confused about how they work


this stuff is complicated

you do not need to understand everything

to contribute in a meaningful way

starting from a small piece

let's see how it becomes something bigger

What is semver?

A major minor patch

check out

What is a Patch

What is a Minor

What is a Major?



Active LTS:


Maintenance LTS:

v0.10.46 & v0.12.15

Some History of

where the heck v1 - v3 went

and what the deal is with v0.12

Node started with alternating releases

Even was stable

Odd was unstable

It was taking a long time

for v0.12.0

Let alone v1.0.0

The project was forked in Dec of 2014

Released as v1.0.0

v0.12.0 Released

Feb 2015

Just before Node Summit

v1 - v3 were all part of the iojs project

Node was put into a foundation

The projects merged as v4.0.0

September of 2015

Node.js LTS schedule

What is Current?

What is Active LTS?

What is Maintenance LTS?

What about Master?

What happened to Stable?

So how the heck do we manage all of this?


Git Magic

We maintain release branches

v0.10.x v0.12.x v4.x v5.x and v6.x

When we are ready for a current release

We branch off of v6.x

And cherry pick commits from Master

We maintain staging branches for LTS


Used to stage changes as they are audited

All Changes must live in a release for at least a week

Before they are backported to lts-staging

Stop! Demo Time.

When we are ready for an LTS release

We branch off of v4.x

And cherry pick commits from v4.x-staging

How do we know which commits to cherry-pick?

Github Labels


Release tools

What is a breaking change?

How do we avoid breaking changes?


Smoke Testing

CITGM found failures the week of Feb 4


Jade moved orgs but didn't update their package.json

fixing jade

Before Change

> var parse = require('querystring').parse;
> parse('%p=123', undefined, undefined,
>  {maxKeys: Infinity}).length;
< 1

After Change

> var parse = require('querystring').parse;
> parse('%p=123', undefined, undefined,
>   {maxKeys: Infinity}).length;
< 0

Smoke Testing Saved the Day!

While the change was on master

It had not yet made its way to a release yet

As such we were able to land a fix

before it hit user land!

CITGM has found all sorts of weirdness

Ask me after and I'll tell you where to find my journal

So Which Version Should You Use?

v4.x (imho)


Do I have to?


v6 comes packed with v8 5.1

And with that lots of es6 goodies

Next month v6

will become LTS

Where it will have a 30 month Support Cycle

Be prepared for breakages

If you are an early adopter

Thank You

a surfing puppy

Myles Borins