Quick Summary: For all those who were eagerly waiting for your loved framework update release- your wait comes to an end now! Node.js v16 is here for you, and the best part is- it will stay for long-term support LTS. Get a fresh start with your upcoming project with this Node.js new version available and be future-ready.
This post gives you an insight into the new Node.js 16 features added to the framework’s characteristics. Learn about the difference between the last update and how to upgrade your current Node.js version shift for your existing project.
Table Of Contents
- Updated Platform support
- N-API Version 8
- The Promise APIs
- Async Local Storage APIs
The latest major release Node v16.0.0 is out recently, and this version will soon be moved to the LTS status. The official Node documentation states that every Node.js release is active in the current status for 6 months. Next, if it is an odd number release (V9, V11, etc.), it becomes unsupported, and if it is an even number release (V14, V16, etc.), then it goes into the active LTS mode. The LTS status assures that the critical bugs are solved within 30 months.
The NodeJS 16 release date was 20th April, 2021. So by October 2021, the Nodejs v16 will be promoted to LTS release, and then the maintenance will continue till 2024.
In this blog post, I’m going to take you to a brief overview of the latest Node js release v16. We will go through the new features added and some of the earlier retained features from Node Js 15
New Node.js 16 Features
We are going to talk about the Node 16 release notes and the new Node.js 16 feature enhancements in the upgrade Node version. They are as follows:
With V8 version 9, you get significant and unique features for regular expressions. With this, you can now request a set comprising the start and endpoints of every matched capture group. You can enable this by using the flag /d in regular expressions. Later, you can use the indices array through the indices property of the result object.
Updated Platform support
Like most recent releases, this recent release upgrades the least supported levels for the tools and platforms required to build Node.js. For instance, here are some examples that update or amend to the minimum support,
- GCC version for Linux
- AIX platforms to 8.3
- Xcode version to 11
Another intriguing stuff involves the work being carried out to build on support for the latest Apple M1 architecture. This change is entirely new in v16. It is a publication of builds for all the processors of Apple Silicon. Ideally, it is believed that this will improve the performance feature on the new Mac hardware.
Consequently, Node.js will run fundamentally on the Apple M1 rather than using the Rosetta emulation layer. Developers are active in configuring or installing the M1 machines to test or create the binaries that run natively and collate for M1. Additionally, Node.js 16 is the first-ever version to offer native M1 support.
N-API Version 8
Node.js 16 is consistent in stepping ahead to make it easy to build, generate and support native modules referred to as add-ons. Node.js 16 brings along the NODE-API v8 supports
- Sealing objects like- napi_object_seal
- Freezing objects like- napi_object_freeze
- Type tagging objects such as- napi_type_tag_object/napi_check_object_type_tag
The add ons in every version of NODE-API are generated by the use cases introduced to the team by the real-world use.
The Promise APIs
A strategic step is taking place inside the project to affix promise-based APIs. One such intriguing addition to this release involves the addition of Promise-based time APIs. On a good note, now you can do the following.
It is amazing to witness this ongoing method of attaching promise-based APIs.
In addition to it, when promises are combined with await/async, it makes the code even more readable. Awaiting for a timer is quite the same as a conventional sleep call in a synchronous language.
Additionally, Node.js introduced exclusive experimental support and assistance for the Web Crypto API. However, this particular W3C specification aims to provide web app access to an uncomplicated array of cryptographic functions. The API provides signature verification along with hash generating apart from encryption and decryption utilities.
Async Local Storage APIs
One of the main areas to focus on assisting the customers in identifying and managing the issues present in the production involves problem determination and observability.
Additionally, the concept of AsyncLocalStorage API turns out to be much easier, reliable, and rapid to turn stable as compared to the fundamental Async Hooks.
While the AsyncLocalStorage API stable is still not found for the 16 release, it is remarkable that the Node.js collaborators are working blood and sweat on this.
It is a major step to offer an inbuilt set of APIs used by several packages such as the OpenTelemetry to assist the tracing component of Observability in the applications of Node.js
Let us now delve into a few codes using the AsyncLocalStorage for seeing the advantages that it brings with it.
For a few executions, the output follows:
Well, after this some of you might be having queries.
Query 1: If one can use variable capture via closures, why is AsyncLocalStorage needed?
Well, the answer is simple. While it is possible in this example to come up with the value for the flow, it is however not possible to get the same in more realistic cases. Exactly the same applies for passing the flow value via each Async call occurring in the flow. It is not only hard and difficult, but it can actually cause a huge impact on several heaps of code. In addition, it is impractical for modules such as the OpenTelemetry that slides instrumentation into the existing code.
Query 2: “If const asyncLocal1 = new AsyncLocalStorage();” builds a global similar to “let sharedFlowId = “”;” then where lies the difference?
First and foremost, the example itself indicates that both are different.
You will observe that the sharedflow ld(second column) doesn’t really match with the value gained by the closure (first column). The reason for this is simple. It is because the last flow-id that relies on the order of execution and is written to the shared variable.
On the other side, even though asyncLocal1 is a shared global, an object is returned by asyncLocal1.getStore() that is distinctive for every asynchronous flow. This is the magic delivered by AsyncLocalStorage API that enables us to get the right flow-id notwithstanding the number of concurrent Async flows that are running the very same code. You will note that the “asyncLocal1.getStore()[‘flowid’])” (third column) is always similar to the first column so that we can get with the right flowid for every asynchronous flow.
If you are still dicey, you can explore more with the example to get to a conclusion that AsyncLocalStorage delivers nothing but the best!
Node 15 Feature Additions To Node.js 16 Features
The nature of these release processes denotes that the brand new features are introduced in the “present” release line around once every 2 weeks. This is a strong reason behind several recent additions that have been carried out and are available in the latest Node.js 15 releases. However, they are still new to the runtime.
As we have Node.js 16 available now, there are few latest released features present in Node v15, that will further be available with Node v16 as well. These involve,
- Stable Source Maps v3
- Experimental implementation of the standard web-crypto API
- Node-API version
- String encoding methods atob (buffer.atob(data)) and btoa (buffer.btoa(data)) for compatibility with the everlasting web platform APIs
- Support by stable AbortController
- Npm 7
We cannot be stuck with the old forever, we must change because it is the only constant evolving. Upgrade Node version and leverage the benefits of the Node.js 16 features. If you are eager to upgrade Node to the latest version, then hire Node.js developer from us to keep your node js application up-to-date with the latest Node 16 release. Share with us your feedback on experiencing the new release.
Why I should upgrade to Node v16.0.0?
How can I update Node.js with NPM on Linux OS?
There are three steps to update to the latest Node version:
1. The first step is to clear the cache for the node package manager:
npm cache clean -f
2. Next, install ‘n’, Node’s version manager:
npm install -g n
3. With the n module installed, you can use it for:
➢ Installing the stable Node version: n stable
➢ The latest Node 16 release: n latest
➢ And the version you want to install: n [version.no]
Which companies are using Node.js?
LinkedIn, Paypal, Netflix, NASA, and eBay, etc. are global companies using Node.js.