Node.js 18 updates the JavaScript engine and allows you to create custom builds

Node.js 18 updates the JavaScript engine and allows you to create custom builds

Today we are going to give prominence to a technology that has been well known in the world of software development for years, but to which we have not dedicated any post until now in MuyLinux : Node.js. Sticking to its most basic features, it is an execution environment for JavaScript that works at the backend level and is open source (MIT) and cross-platform. It uses Chromium V8 as its engine and allows JavaScript code to be executed outside of a browser.

Node.js version 18 has recently appeared, which will be promoted as LTS in October, after spending 6 months as a ‘Current’ release. Once it has been promoted as LTS , it will be designated ‘Hydrogen’ as a code name and will be supported by those responsible for the official branch until April 2025 .

Node.js 18 has updated the V8 JavaScript engine to version 10.1, which is from Chromium 101 . Thanks to that update, vector methods have been introduced. findLast() y findLastIndex(), the function Intl.supportedValuesOf, API improvements Intl.Localeand better performance of class fields and private class methods.

As far as the toolchain and compiler are concerned, Node.js offers precompiled binaries for some platforms, these being the minimum toolchains for the builds made available:

  • Precompiled binaries for Linux are now built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 and are compatible with Linux distributions based on glibc 2.28 or later, so supported systems include Debian 10, RHEL 8, Ubuntu 20.04.
  • Precompiled binaries for macOS now require macOS 10.15 or later.
  • For AIX, the minimum supported architecture has been raised from Power 7 to Power 8.
  • The 32-bit binaries for Windows will not be available initially due to problems creating the V8 dependency in Node.js and it is emphasized that the engine will not support operating systems that have been abandoned by their vendors, so that support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will end in January 2023 and October 2023 respectively.

Then we come to the addition of some experimental features. To begin with, we have the default availability of the global fetch from , whose initial (and experimental) implementation comes undiciand is inspired by node-fetch, which was originally based on undici-fetch.

On the other hand, we have the incorporation of the Web Streams API at a global level together with others such as Blob and BroadcastChannel. The new test execution module makes it easy to create JavaScript tests that report results in Test Anything Protocol (TAP) format, while users can as of this release compile a Node.js binary with a V8 launch snapshot personalized with an indicator.

All the details of Node.js 18 are published in the official announcement and changelog, while the execution environment can be obtained from the download section of the project’s website for Linux, Windows, macOS and in. Docker container. As it is distributed as free software, it is highly likely to find Node.js in the repositories of Linux distributions, although possibly not the latest version.

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