What to Expect in Node.js v20: Exciting Updates and Features

What to Expect in Node.js v20: Exciting Updates and Features

Quick Summary: Node.js v20 has been released. This version of Node promises to deliver a better way to unlock JavaScript’s potential in real-time, data-intensive, and fast-paced applications. Packed with some amazing features, here is why Node 20 is considered the most anticipated release by the node team ever since the launching of Node.js v0.1 in 2009. The major highlight of this new version is FlexUnit support for your test suites. It also includes features like Moving GC to process.nextTick (ES7), Enhanced debugging experience with processId, Debugger for N-API (Experimental), and many additional enhancements you can look forward to! 

Introduction

Node.js 20, the latest version of Node.js, arrived last week with the newest features and updates taking the community to another level of excitement. This time the Node.js development team kept the release date of the Node 20 on April 18, 2023. As per the Node development convention, this LTS (Long-Term Support) version will be promoted in October 2023 as well as supported until April 2026. So if you are planning to adopt Node as part of your upcoming 2019 development project, read this article and gather new exciting knowledge about What’s New in Node 20 Features and Updates.

What’s New in Node 20 Features and Updates

Node.js Permission Model

The Node.js v20 includes an experimental feature that will revamp the process of making the permission mechanisms in it. It is known as the –experimental permission option, which has been made available after being merged during the Node.js v9 process. The permission feature loads with a pre-defined set of APIs that can be applied in our applications to grant or revoke access to sensitive resources. Depending on the requirements, you can enable or disable this option from the NODE_OPTIONS environment variable or start your Node application with the –permissions flag and values of true and false to enable and disable it respectively.

Custom ESM Loader Hooks are More Stable

With the introduction of dedicated threads for custom hooks provided via loaders (using the –experimental-loader=./foo.mjs flag), these hooks now operate independently from the main thread. This separation of threads creates distinct scopes for loaders and guarantees there is no cross-contamination between loaders and application code

 Synchronous import.meta.resolve()

Welcome to the next release where we align with the browser behavior. To reduce confusing code, and common mistakes that most users might make if they set their resolve hooks as asynchronous functions, we make sure to import.meta.resolve function will always return synchronously. The resolve hooks could be defined as asynchronous functions, but in unlikely situations when the user doesn’t follow the browser behavior, the execution will break down and return an error in those cases instead of throwing an exception.

V8 Upgraded To 11.3

 In Node.js 20, we see the valuable contributions of Michaël Zasso, who has integrated an updated V8 engine, version 11.3, derived from Chromium 113. This update not only introduces performance enhancements but also incorporates new language features.

Stable Test Runner

Node.js has always been ready for unit testing with Mocha, but it never had a good test runner to go with it. This changes as of today with the new test_runner module available in Node.js version 20. Test runners are crucial because they help us run our tests more effectively and consistently.

Performance Enhancements

Node.js 20 has brought about a lot of performance enhancements…Node’s next-generation URL, built on top of the WHATWG URL, brings an improved parser and helps prevent security vulnerabilities. HTTP fetch requests are better than ever with the new performance improvements — for instance, pre-fetching resources is now possible! EventTarget now boasts perf improvements across the board.

Ada 2.0 Included in Node.js v20

Ada 2.0 integration in Node.js v20 is one of the latest upgrades that enable URL parsing performance to be superior to the previous version, Ada 1.0.4. The upgraded version integrates more native language features, such as generics and contracts, which enables better definition checks, thus providing additional safety and fault tolerance. With improvements in performance by making URL hostname parsing faster using ICU optional, Node.js v20 is now being used for mission-critical web services. All these features enable Ada developers to produce code with mature language facilities while ensuring interoperability with C/C++/Java on an embedded system, along with a wave of other features to improve portability and robustness.

 Web Crypto API

There are three new functions in the Node.js 20 version that have been added in the process of coercing and validating arguments of Web Crypto API functions as per their WebIDL definitions which is identical to other implementations of the Web Crypto API and fosters interoperability. The goal here is to focus on interoperability with other Javascript environments.

WASI Version Must Now Be Specified

Node.js developers are celebrating the fact that WASI, a low-level API implementation of Web Assembly is now available for Node.js in version 8.0.0 using the experimental flag. WASI is a specification that intends to bridge the gap between JavaScript and native code. The official announcement declares that the Web Assembly System Interface (WASI), implemented in JavaScript, is available in Node.js version 8.

Conclusion  

This overview should provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the enhancements and new offerings that Node.js v20 brings to the forefront.If you’re a business owner utilizing Node.js for your web application development and you’re uncertain about whether to upgrade to the latest Node version, consider enlisting the services of a Node.js development company like Brain Inventory. Their expertise can provide you with the confidence to make an informed decision tailored to your project’s specific needs and requirements.

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