Introduced April 19 and available from the Node.js website, Node.js 18 improves security with support for the OpenSSL 3.0 cryptography library, which includes open source implementations of SSL and TLS protocols for securing communications across networks. OpenSSL 3.0 has a FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standards) module that has been submitted for validation. FIPS is a set of US government requirements for governing cryptographic usage in the public sector.
Node.js 18’s experimental, browser-compatible global fetch API provides an interface for fetching resources across networks. Although available since Node.js 17, the API will be enabled by default in Node.js 18. While similar to
XMLHttpRequest, the API provides a more powerful, flexible feature set, Node.js project developers said. The API will remain experimental until more test coverage is added and contributors verify that the API implements as much of the specification as possible.
Node.js 18 is classified as a “Current” release, meaning it is geared for testing before being suitable for production use when it is promoted to long-term support (LTS) status in October 2022. The release is part of the Next-10 strategic initiative, an effort to forge a path for Node.js for the next 10 years.
Also new in Node.js 18:
- An experimental test runner module,
- Users can build a Node.js binary with a custom V8 startup using the
–-node-snapshot-mainflag of the configure script. This is an experimental capability.
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