A Primer on Node.js v22.2.0: Latest Features, Enhancements, and Notable Changes

Node.js is an immensely popular JavaScript runtime environment used in high-traffic sites such as Netflix, Uber, and Walmart. Through Node.js, these websites achieved results like reducing startup time, scaling up site capabilities, and improving the performance of their mobile apps.

Notable Changes in the Latest Node.js Version

Released on May 15, 2024, this latest version of Node.js comes a few weeks after the release of Node.js 22.0.0, which was made officially available on April 24, 2024. The latter included key features and enhancements, such as better security features and enhanced native module support for C++ modules.

With the Node.js latest version comes a new set of features and improvements.

Integrated WebSocket Client

The most recent Node.js version now includes a built-in WebSocket client to allow for real-time data exchange. This simplifies the development of applications like chat apps, facilitating enhanced real-time communication.

Updated V8 Engine

The enhanced V8 engine (release 12.4) allows developers to write better code. This also gives Node.js 22.2.0 better performance and allows it to support new JavaScript features. To access the new node:V8 module, use this code:

const v8 = require(‘node:v8’);

Better Streaming Performance

This new version allows end users to enjoy better streaming, thanks to adjustments made to the default High Water Mark (from 16KB to 64KB). Note that the highWaterMark option should be seen as a threshold and doesn’t enforce strict memory limitations.

ESM Graphs Support

This new feature enables developers to mix different module systems, thus giving them more flexibility. Node.js currently has two module systems: CommonJS and ECMAScript.

Based on the documentation for the latest version of Node.js, it “fully supports ECMAScript modules as they are currently specified…” and the latest Node.js version is now capable of providing interoperability between ECMAScript modules and the original module format (CommonJS).

Improvements to the Command Line

Developers can now directly execute their scripts from package.json, which helps improve script management. This, in turn, enables developers to streamline their workflows. If you’re writing package.json files, then you may find this guide helpful.

Additional Enhancements Worth Looking Into

Node-API Enhancements

Node.js also introduced Node-API (formerly N-API) enhancements that ensure ABI stability across different versions of Node.js.

In addition to that, these allow modules compiled for other versions to run on later versions of Node.js without the need for recompilation. Lastly, these Node-API enhancements also improve the API used to create and manipulate JavaScript values.

Maglev Optimization

The Node.js latest version also comes with Maglev optimization for V8 to improve JavaScript execution speeds. Note that this only applies to supported architectures.

More Notable Changes:

  • Enhancement of the AbortSignal performance to improve applications’ responsiveness
  • Dropping of experimental features to further stabilize functionality
  • Improved handling of bad IPv6 configurations
  • The introduction of add-on APIs to improve core functionalities
  • With the experimental –run option, developers can now execute select package.json scripts from the command line, which helps streamline workflows
  • A more stable Watch Mode; the –watch flag was introduced during the release of Node.js 18.11.0. However, given that this was an experimental feature, users would typically encounter a warning whenever they used Watch Mode. With the release of the latest version, this feature has since become more stable.

Note that Node v22, which includes the newest Node.js version, will transition to long-term support (LTS) in October 2024. This means users will get guaranteed support and security updates until 2027. For Node.js 18 users, this version will reach its end of life in April 2025, so you may want to consider upgrading to versions like Node.js 20, which is already LTS, and Node.js 22.

For more information about these changes, check out the Node.js release blog.

Download Node.js v22.2.0 (Current) here. Alternatively, you can select older Node.js versions, as well as the tool you want to use to install and manage your preferred Node.js version on the operating system you’re using.

What These Changes Mean for Developers

Node.js v22.2.0 gives developers the tools they need to create better and more efficient solutions. Aside from ease of development, these updates help developers improve application performance, create streamlined workflows, and better app interoperability. Lastly, these give developers a more stable platform, as well as access to robust support.

With these updates, development teams must carry out additional testing. This ensures that your applications still work as expected. This also helps you address any potential compatibility issues with your older code or libraries.

When using the newest Node.js version, make sure that you:

  • Stay updated with its latest features or use the newest version to ensure that you get stability and security updates.
  • Follow security best practices, such as input validation, and update your dependencies. Node.js has a helpful guide on security best practices that cover threats such as DNS Rebinding and supply chain attacks.
  • Regardless of the version you’re using, you must have clear documentation for your code. JSDoc is a good documentation generator.

These tips will help you maximize the updates and benefits that come with Node.js v22.2.0. if you’re planning to transition to the latest version, check for deprecated APIs. This ensures you get a smoother transition and that your applications remain efficient and compatible.

Bring Your Vision to Life

Developing your own software solution requires you to stay on top of programs and runtime environments like Node.js. This also means considering how these changes apply to your project. Working with a reliable custom software development company allows you to harness cutting-edge technology while ensuring that your solution has a human-centric approach and design at its core.

A dependable software development company in the USA can provide you with a skilled team to assist you with end-to-end custom software development. Contact the experts at Taazaa if you want to leverage iterative development that focuses on crafting tailored solutions that put people first.

Gaurav Singh

Gaurav is the Director of Delivery at Taazaa. He has 15+ years of experience in delivering projects and building strong client relationships. Gaurav continuously evolves his leadership skills to deliver projects that make clients happy and our team proud.