Node.js 20 Release & It’s Promising Features

Published on May 02, 2023

Zignuts Technolab

Node.Js 20 Release & Its Promising Features New

Web Application Development

Node.js 20 is the most recent variant of the famous JavaScript runtime environment, and it is loaded with new promising elements. Node.js 20 is the primary significant arrival of the stage since the Node.js 12 LTS was delivered in 2019.

Numerous new features and fixes are being incorporated into current LTS releases as the project advances in numerous areas.

This multitude of promising highlights energies the dev community to use Node.js 20 in their projects and explore further.

Major Changes in Node.js 20

There have been billions of downloads of Node.js NVM, binaries, and containers in the past year, indicating a rapid rise in usage.

The most recent version of the well-known JavaScript runtime environment is Node.js 20. Thus, it is loaded with numerous brilliant elements. As a result, Node.js 20 is being considered by developers for their next Node.js development services.

  • A New Permission Model

The experimental Permission Model is one of the important features of Node.js 20. It has been developed over the past nine months to improve the Node.js application's security. It permits limitation of admittance to explicit assets during the program execution. The Node.js Permission Model is an experimental method of controlling execution-time access to particular resources. Rafael Gonzaga contributed to the permission model.

Following are the features in the permission model:

  • You can restrict access to the fs (read & write). Offers more control on the file system. You can use --experimental-permission to enable below two flags.
  • You can restrict access to child_process
  • You can restrict restrict access to worker_threads
    • Utilize --allow-worker
  • You can restrict access to native addons.

Other associated functionalities:

  • As a developer, you can specify a path also as mentioned below.
    • $ node --experimental-permission --allow-fs-write=/tmp/ --allow-fs-read=/home/index.js index.js
  • Use wildcards to access to multiple folders & files or folders simultaneously.
    • $ node --experimental-permission --allow-fs-read=/home/test* index.js
  • You can check new permissions, at runtime, through process permission object.
    • process.permission.has('fs.write'); // true process.permission.has('fs.write', '/home/nodejs/protected-folder'); // true
    • Any efforts to access files without permission will result in Error - ERR_ACCESS_DENIED.

You can view additional permissions through documentation of Permission Model.

  • Custom ESM Module Lifecycle Hooks

Custom ES module lifecycle hooks provided by loaders now operate in a separate thread that is separate from the main thread (--experimental-loader=./foo.mjs). By giving loaders their own scope, this prevents cross-contamination between loader code and application code.

Import.meta.resolve() now returns synchronously in order to be consistent with browser behaviour; however, resolve hooks can still be asynchronous if the loader author chooses, and import.meta.resolve will continue to return synchronously in application code.

  • Stable Test Runner

The test_runner module has seen significant changes since the most recent Node.js upgrade, version 20. Following this recent update, the module has been designated as stable. The stable test runner comes with the components needed to write and run tests, such as:

  • Structure test files & hooks through description, it/test.
  • Mocking feature.
  • Watch mode.
  • Run multiple test files alongside via node –test.

Ps: The test runner also has reporters and code coverage, two components that are not yet stable.

  • Single Executable Apps (Experimental)

Instead of injecting the raw JS code, Node.js 20 requires that you inject a blob that it has created from a JSON configuration when creating a single executable app.

This modification makes it possible to incorporate numerous coexisting resources into Single Executable Apps.

  • Performance

  • Improvement in EventTarget, URL & fetch().
  • You can have faster access to subsystems as EventTarget cost (for initializing) has been reduced by half.
  • You now have updated version Ads 2.0. It’s a spec-compliant & fast URL parser.

  • Web Crypto API

  • Focus Interoperability with other JS environments.
  • The arguments used by Web Crypto API functions are now validated & coerced & in accordance with their WebIDL definitions.

  • Web Assembly System Interface (WASI)

  • You don’t need a command line option to enable WASI. It’s experimental at present. You now have easier consumption.
  • When new WASI() is invoked, a version option is also added.
  • NodeJs 20 version requires mentioning of the version to avoid default value. This is crucial so that apps don't automatically use what could be an outdated version when new versions are supported.

    • New Version - V8 11.3

    • ARM64 Windows got Official support

    • To support native execution on the platform, Node.js now contains binaries for ARM64 Windows.
    • The Node.js download site offers the MSI, zip/7z packages, and executable along with all other platforms.
    • To ensure compatibility & prevent regressions, changes are completely tested on ARM64 Windows. For this, CI system was updated for testing.

    Important Node.js 20 Enhancements

    1. Enhanced Safety

    Improved security features include stronger cryptography for secure communications and improved support for TLS 1.3 in Node.js 20.

    2. Enhanced Efficiency

    With better support for modern JavaScript features and faster startup times, Node.js 20 is faster than previous versions.

    3. Enhanced Debugging Experience

    The new debugging experience included in Node.js 20 makes it simpler to debug and troubleshoot Node.js applications.

    4. Enhancements to TypeScript Support

    Improved TypeScript support in Node.js 20 makes it easier to use the well-known TypeScript programming language when creating Node.js applications.

    5. Enhanced Error Correction

    Error handling in Node.js 20 has been improved, making it for programmers to find and fix bugs in their applications.

    Conclusion

    Overall, the Node.js 20 release offers a wide range of new features and improvements that will benefit developers building high-performance, scalable applications. With improved performance, better compatibility, and new tools, Node.js 20 is a promising release that showcases the continued evolution of the platform.

    The release schedule for Node.js can also be found in the Node.js Release Schedule. For official update, please refer Node.js 20 release documentation.

    In any case, if you track down any issues while introducing Node.js 20 on your framework or, as an entrepreneur, on the off chance that you wish to move your Node.js venture to the most recent form, we take care of you. You can most likely get in touch with our Node.js developers and we would be glad to help.

    Download Node.js 20 from here.

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