As we finished up Learning Node, 2nd, the Node.js Foundation released Node version 6. I quickly did a run through to see if I needed to modify the book text. Yes, indeed, I did.
One of the major changes was how new Buffers are created. This is a major change, considering how integral Buffers are to Node. I hastily re-wrote the section on Buffers in the book, noting that the existing examples demonstrate how to create a Buffer in Node 4.x, but not Node 6.x and later. I also provided additional examples for Node 6.x.
Another major change was how to refer to the fast lane version of Node.js, originally called “Node Stable”. Now, it’s referred to as “Node Current”.
I may have influenced this change. I filed bugs last year about the Node documentation. One bug had to do with the confusion surrounding which version of Node should be the “default” API.
The Node.js Foundation recommends the LTS versions for production use, because of their long-term stability (hence the name). However, if you access API documentation for Node.js directly, such as searching for Buffer in Google, you’ll get the new Current version.
We went back and forth in the comments about the problems inherent with having the least stable API as the default documented API. I also repeatedly pointed out the problems when you have multiple “current” versions of Node (LTS and Stable), and how would people know which is the current version of Node.js?
To be honest, I didn’t see renaming Stable to Current to be one of the possible solutions. That’s a bit like sweeping dirt under the rug. Oh look! We can’t see the dirt now!
Back to finishing up the book. I quickly changed Stable to Current where applicable. What’s done is done. I hope the book does well.
This is my last book on Node. I may, in the future, write other books on technology, but not Node. Change is the byword for the Node community and that doesn’t translate well when it comes to writing books. I will, eventually, return to technical writing here at Burningbird in addition to my other writing, and I will write about Node. But no books.
And when I write on Node, it will be the current version. Whatever that may be.