GitHub acquires JavaScript developer platform npm

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GitHub, the developer platform acquired by Microsoft in 2018, is buying npm Inc. This is the company behind Node package manager, a JavaScript developer platform. The idea is that GitHub and npm will merge in the longer term.

GitHub CEO Nat Friedman says npm will always be available and will always be free. After the agreement is finalized, according to Friedman, GitHub will focus on investing in the registry infrastructure, among other things, as the JavaScript ecosystem is growing rapidly. These investments should ensure that npm is ‘fast, reliable and scalable’. In addition, GitHub wants to support the work that has already begun for npm v7 CLI; this remains open source.

Laurie Voss, co-founder of npm, says that keeping the registry running forever has been his main driver at npm over the past five years, and that this has now been ensured by the acquisition. According to Voss, GitHub is the most logical company to go with npm; he says he is happy that this has become possible.

On an npm blog, founder Isaac Z. Schlueter says that minimizing the friction in JavaScript software development has always been the company’s primary mission. He describes that running a company was difficult and that this acquisition should be seen as a victory, both for the employees of npm Inc. as for the JavaScript community.

According to Microsoft, npm now supports more than 1.3 million packages for about twelve million developers, who download these things about 75 billion times a month. It has not been disclosed how much money Microsoft will deposit for the acquisition.

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