npm Blog (Archive)

The npm blog has been discontinued.

Updates from the npm team are now published on the GitHub Blog and the GitHub Changelog.

npm Joins ECMA International and TC39

We’re excited to announce that npm has joined ECMA International and is participating in TC39, the working group of ECMA International that defines the standard for the JavaScript programming language. (The standard is, strictly speaking, called ECMAScript, although everyone refers to it as JavaScript.)

Why are we joining TC39?

The members of TC39 have control over what JavaScript comes to be by discussing, debating, and reaching consensus on how the language should change.

npm directly touches nearly 11 million JavaScript users every day. As a part of TC39, we will use our knowledge of this community to advocate for improvements to the language spec that benefit all JS developers.

npm started in an obscure corner of the JavaScript universe, Node.js, which is why many people continue to expand npm to “Node Package Manager.” 

Almost six years later, Node.js is no longer an obscure corner of the JavaScript universe, and npm is used by a whole lot of people who don’t think of themselves as Node developers, but JavaScript developers. The npm Registry now distributes more front-end code than server-side JavaScript and is used to distribute every popular web development framework.

When we look at the wider context in which npm is used, we believe that every JavaScript developer in the world would like to write even more JavaScript using npm. Participating in ECMA and TC39 lets us shape the language and work to reduce developer friction at a  broader level.

How does this affect the JavaScript community?

JavaScript’s design has a huge effect on the future of software development. In the last two decades, people have learned programming by opening up the console in their web browsers and typing JavaScript into it. Over the last eight years, the browser has become a first class application development environment and application delivery tool. All kinds of sophisticated things are happening behind the scenes to show you streaming video, give you drag-and-droppable interfaces, and enable you to collaborate with teammates across the office and across the globe.

These innovations exist because JavaScript has improved significantly and browser implementers have gotten serious about implementing the TC39 standard. As a result, the web is in the middle of a renaissance.

Our mission is enabling JavaScript developers by removing friction. We can take that mission seriously by getting involved in the committee that structures the way JavaScript is written, working with the people who wrote the specification, and understanding their intentions. By joining TC39, we can do a better job of helping implement JavaScript and build better tooling to help developers build the coming decades’ amazing things.