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blog post for v0.8.0

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+title: Node v0.8.0
+date: Mon Jun 25 2012 09:00:00 GMT-0700 (PDT)
+version: 0.8.0
+category: release
+author: Isaac Z. Schlueter
+slug: node-v0-8-0
+status: publish
+
+I am thrilled to announce the arrival of a new stable version of
+Node.js.
+
+Compared with the v0.6 releases of Node, this release brings significant
+improvements in many key performance metrics, as well as
+cleanup in several core APIs, and the addition of new debugging
+features.
+
+## tl;dr
+
+With version 0.8.0:
+
+1. Node got a lot faster.
+2. Node got more stable.
+3. You can do stuff with file descriptors again.
+4. The [cluster module](http://nodejs.org/api/cluster.html) is much more
+ awesome.
+5. The [domain module](http://nodejs.org/api/domain.html) was added.
+6. The repl is better.
+7. The build system changed from waf to gyp.
+8. [Some other stuff changed,
+ too.](https://github.com/joyent/node/wiki/API-changes-between-v0.6-and-v0.8)
+9. Scroll to the bottom for the links to install it.
+
+## Performance
+
+This version brings a few key enhancements in V8 and libuv that result
+in significantly improved throughput.
+
+All of these benchmarks were run on my OS X laptop, but the results are
+typical of what we're seeing on SmartOS, Linux, and Windows.
+
+```
+# io.js
+
+# 0.6.19, writes
+Wrote 1024 byte buffers: 19.428793471925395 mB/s
+Wrote 4096 byte buffers: 59.737156511350065 mB/s
+Wrote 16384 byte buffers: 83.97010664203543 mB/s
+Wrote 65536 byte buffers: 97.4184120798831 mB/s
+
+# 0.8.0, writes
+Wrote 1024 byte buffers: 61.236987140232706 mB/s
+Wrote 4096 byte buffers: 109.05125408942203 mB/s
+Wrote 16384 byte buffers: 182.18254691200585 mB/s
+Wrote 65536 byte buffers: 181.91740949608877 mB/s
+
+# v0.6.19, reads
+Read 1024 byte buffers: 29.96883241428914 mB/s
+Read 4096 byte buffers: 62.34413965087282 mB/s
+Read 16384 byte buffers: 165.7550140891762 mB/s
+Read 65536 byte buffers: 266.73779674579885 mB/s
+
+# v0.8.0, reads
+Read 1024 byte buffers: 57.63688760806916 mB/s
+Read 4096 byte buffers: 136.7801942278758 mB/s
+Read 16384 byte buffers: 244.8579823702253 mB/s
+Read 65536 byte buffers: 302.2974607013301 mB/s
+```
+
+The difference is not small. If you are writing network programs with
+node, and pushing a lot of traffic, you will notice this improvement.
+
+The speed of reading files got quite a bit faster as well:
+
+```
+# v0.6.19
+read the file 110948 times (higher is better)
+90141.32 ns per read (lower is better)
+11093.69 reads per sec (higher is better)
+
+# v0.8.0
+read the file 158193 times (higher is better)
+63217.16 ns per read (lower is better)
+15818.48 reads per sec (higher is better)
+```
+
+And of course, the ubiquitous 'hello, world' http server benchmark got
+significantly faster, especially for large message sizes:
+
+```
+$ TYPE=bytes LENGTH=123 bash benchmark/http.sh 2>&1 | grep Req
+# 0.6.19
+Requests per second: 3317.24 [#/sec] (mean)
+# 0.8.0
+Requests per second: 3795.34 [#/sec] (mean)
+
+
+$ TYPE=bytes LENGTH=1024 bash benchmark/http.sh 2>&1 | grep Req
+# v0.6.19
+Requests per second: 3258.42 [#/sec] (mean)
+# 0.8.0
+Requests per second: 3585.62 [#/sec] (mean)
+
+
+$ TYPE=bytes LENGTH=123456 bash benchmark/http.sh 2>&1 | grep Req
+# v0.6.19
+Requests per second: 218.51 [#/sec] (mean)
+# 0.8.0
+Requests per second: 749.17 [#/sec] (mean)
+```
+
+The difference with Unicode responses is even more pronounced:
+
+```
+$ TYPE=unicode LENGTH=1024 bash benchmark/http.sh 2>&1 | grep Req
+# v0.6.19
+Requests per second: 3228.23 [#/sec] (mean)
+# v0.8.0
+Requests per second: 3317.60 [#/sec] (mean)
+
+$ TYPE=unicode LENGTH=12345 bash benchmark/http.sh 2>&1 | grep Req
+# v0.6.19
+Requests per second: 1703.96 [#/sec] (mean)
+# v0.8.0
+Requests per second: 2431.61 [#/sec] (mean)
+
+$ TYPE=unicode LENGTH=55555 bash benchmark/http.sh 2>&1 | grep Req
+#v0.6.19
+Requests per second: 161.65 [#/sec] (mean)
+#v0.8.0
+Requests per second: 980.38 [#/sec] (mean)
+
+$ TYPE=unicode LENGTH=99999 bash benchmark/http.sh 2>&1 | grep Req
+# v0.6.19
+^C # lost patience after a few hours
+# v0.8.0
+Requests per second: 252.69 [#/sec] (mean)
+```
+
+The more bytes you're pushing, and the more work you're doing, the more
+win you'll see with node 0.8 over 0.6.
+
+The vast majority of the performance boost is due to improvements in V8.
+They've been very responsive to the needs of the Node.js project. A lot
+of Node's success is due to being built on such a stellar VM.
+
+
+## Build System
+
+Since its inception Node has used the WAF build system which is a Python
+based system similar to SCons. The Chrome project recently changed to
+the GYP meta-build system from SCons. GYP generates Makefiles, Visual
+Studio project files, or XCode files depending on the target. V8, being
+part of the Chrome project, now defines its build in GYP. By using GYP,
+Node is able to:
+
+- integrate with the optimal build system on all platforms,
+- easily able to integrate V8's build process into its own, and
+- define its compilation declaratively for better manageability
+
+GYP was used already in Node v0.6 to build on Windows, but now it
+defines the build on all platforms. Node is still in the process of
+migrating external addon modules to GYP, and node-gyp is included with
+npm. In future releases, node-waf will be officially deprecated. If
+you are currently using a wscript in your addon, please migrate to gyp
+as soon as possible.
+
+
+## Stabler
+
+The transition from libev and libeio to libuv in 0.6 was somewhat
+destabilizing for many node internals. The gambit paid off: libuv is
+the obvious choice in cross-platform asynchronous IO libraries, and
+Node.js is impressively performant on both Windows and Unix. But it
+made the transition from 0.4 to 0.6 was very rocky for a lot of users.
+Libuv wasn't as mature as node, and it showed in those early releases.
+
+At this point, with very few exceptions, if your v0.6 program doesn't
+run on v0.8, it should be easy and obvious to make whatever changes are
+necessary. Libuv has come a very long way, and Node 0.8 is a simpler
+and more efficient machine as a result.
+
+See the [migration
+wiki](https://github.com/joyent/node/wiki/API-changes-between-v0.6-and-v0.8)
+for details on the specific APIs that changed.
+
+## The Return of File Descriptors
+
+In Node 0.4, there was a `listenFD` method that servers could use to
+listen on a specific file descriptor that was already bound to a socket
+or port. In 0.6, that functionality went away, largely because it was
+very Unix-specific, and couldn't be easily made to work with the new
+cross-platform libuv base.
+
+Since the most common use case for listenFD was as a method for having
+servers in multiple node processes share the same underlying handle, the
+`cluster` module was added in its place. However, this still left a lot
+of use cases unaddressed, and was a reason why some people could not use
+node 0.6 for their programs.
+
+In 0.8, we've replaced this functionality, as `server.listen({ fd:
+number })`.
+
+The other feature in node 0.4 that got dropped in 0.6 was the ability to
+pass arbitrary file descriptors as a child process's stdio, using the
+`customFds` array. In Node 0.6, `customFds` could be used to inherit
+the parent's stdio handles, but not to pass arbitrary handles or file
+descriptors to the child's stdio. Also, there was never a way to pass
+more than the standard `in, out, err` trio, so programs that expected
+FD 4 to be opened in some specific way were out of luck.
+
+In 0.8, we've added the `stdio` array on the `child_process.spawn`
+options. Pass as many file descriptors, handles, etc. as you like, and
+the child process will see them as already-opened FDs.
+
+## More Powerful Cluster
+
+The cluster module in 0.8 is so much improved over 0.6, it's basically a
+complete rewrite. The API is mostly backwards compatible, but not
+entirely. (See the [migration
+wiki](https://github.com/joyent/node/wiki/API-changes-between-v0.6-and-v0.8)
+for details.)
+
+Barring these very minor API changes, if you were using cluster in 0.6,
+then your program will still work, but it'll be faster and more
+well-behaved now. And if you aren't taking advantage of the new
+features in 0.8's cluster, you're really missing out.
+
+There's too much even to do it justice here. Go read [the API
+docs](http://nodejs.org/api/cluster.html).
+
+## Domains
+
+The original idea for Domains was a way to join multiple different IO
+actions, so that you can have some context when an error occurs.
+
+Since Ryan discussed the feature with node users at NodeConf Summer Camp
+last year, the domains feature has gone through many revisions. The
+problem is fairly well understood, but most attempts to solve it
+resulted in serious performance regressions, or uncovered difficult edge
+cases.
+
+What we ended up with in 0.8 is a very stripped-down version of this
+idea. It's entirely opt-in, with minimal performance impact when it's
+used (and none when it isn't). There are a lot of examples in [the API
+documentation](http://nodejs.org/api/domain.html), so check them out,
+and start handling your crashes smarter.
+
+The domain module is still experimental. We are looking forward to your
+feedback, so please use it and let us know what you think.
+
+## Repl, Readline, TTY
+
+The Repl, Readline, and TTY modules have all had a major facelift. The
+interfaces between these three modules are cleaned up and refactored,
+removing a lot of common pain points and making it easier to use for
+debugging your programs.
+
+It may seem minor at times, but a good repl dramatically increases the
+quality of the overall experience. My personal favorites are:
+
+1. Typing `fs` or `net` or `path` will automatically load the module.
+2. Typing `npm install ...` will give you a helpful message.
+3. It doesn't do that stupid thing where long lines wrap and then the
+ backspace makes it get all confused and crazy. Instead of that, it
+ does the right thing.
+
+## Looking Forward
+
+Like other even-numbered version families before it, v0.8 will maintain
+API and ABI stability throughout its lifetime.
+
+The v0.6 release family will continue to see releases for critical
+bugfixes and security issues through the end of 2012. However, it will
+not be the main focus of the core team's attention.
+
+The v0.9 releases will start in the next couple weeks. The main focus
+of v0.9 will be:
+
+* The HTTP implementation - It has seen a lot of real-world use now, but
+ the http module is in dire need of a cleanup and refactor. Special
+ attention will be paid to making the interfaces more consistent,
+ improve performance, and increase correctness in more edge cases.
+* The Streams API - The concept of the Stream API is very core to node.
+ However, it is also (like HTTP) a feature that grew up organically,
+ and is now in need of a cleanup. It is currently too hard to get
+ right, especially regarding error handling.
+* Libuv Streams - The handle interfaces in libuv are going to be
+ refactored for added consistency throughout the codebase and across
+ platforms.
+
+Looking past that, there are a few areas where Node.js still has room
+for improvement in terms of internal consistency, idiomatic JavaScript
+usage, and performance. None of these are fully-fleshed out ideas yet,
+but these are some of the items on our radar:
+
+* We ought to move to TypedArrays in favor of Buffers. Buffers will
+ continue to work, but since TypedArray is a JavaScript native, it
+ makes sense to move towards that as the preferred API.
+* SSL performance leaves much to be desired at the moment. Node's
+ interface with OpenSSL is somewhat naive and leaves a lot of potential
+ optimization on the table.
+* The VM module needs massive improvement. It lacks features required
+ to emulate a web browser JavaScript context, which means that it is
+ inadequate.
+* The Crypto module still uses some very dated APIs. In 0.8, it can
+ accept Buffers for many things (finally!) but it still does not
+ present a Node-like streaming interface.
+
+At this point, the scope of Node's feature set is pretty much locked
+down. We may move things around internally for these cleanup tasks, but
+as you can see, there are no major new features planned. We've drawn
+our boundaries, and now it's time to continue focusing on improving
+stability and performance of the core, so that more innovation can
+happen in **your** programs.
+
+And now, for those of you who may be wondering what was added since
+v0.7.12, your regularly scheduled release announcement:
+
+## 2012.06.25, Version 0.8.0 (stable)
+
+* V8: upgrade to v3.11.10.10
+
+* npm: Upgrade to 1.1.32
+
+* Deprecate iowatcher (Ben Noordhuis)
+
+* windows: update icon (Bert Belder)
+
+* http: Hush 'MUST NOT have a body' warnings to debug() (isaacs)
+
+* Move blog.nodejs.org content into repository (isaacs)
+
+* Fix #3503: stdin: resume() on pipe(dest) (isaacs)
+
+* crypto: fix error reporting in SetKey() (Fedor Indutny)
+
+* Add --no-deprecation and --trace-deprecation command-line flags (isaacs)
+
+* fs: fix fs.watchFile() (Ben Noordhuis)
+
+* fs: Fix fs.readfile() on pipes (isaacs)
+
+* Rename GYP variable node_use_system_openssl to be consistent (Ryan Dahl)
+
+
+Source Code: http://nodejs.org/dist/v0.8.0/node-v0.8.0.tar.gz
+
+Macintosh Installer (Universal): http://nodejs.org/dist/v0.8.0/node-v0.8.0.pkg
+
+Windows Installer: http://nodejs.org/dist/v0.8.0/node-v0.8.0-x86.msi
+
+Windows x64 Installer: http://nodejs.org/dist/v0.8.0/x64/node-v0.8.0-x64.msi
+
+Windows x64 Files: http://nodejs.org/dist/v0.8.0/x64/
+
+Other release files: http://nodejs.org/dist/v0.8.0/
+
+Website: http://nodejs.org/docs/v0.8.0/
+
+Documentation: http://nodejs.org/docs/v0.8.0/api/
+
+Shasums:
+
+```
+b92208b291ad420025c65661a7df51fc618e21ca license.rtf
+0786bcda79bd651b9981682527a1bbabe0250700 node-v0.8.0-x86.msi
+8f160a742a01fdfc1b1423b3fc742d184f1ab70c node-v0.8.0-x86.wixpdb
+6035d6d59304add21e462cd7eb89491570b4970d node-v0.8.0.pkg
+5171fb46fbfee5ac7129c4b17207a3f35a1f57e8 node-v0.8.0.tar.gz
+742100a4ee4cd4d190031a30d9b22b2b69b6872e node.exe
+52d20d285e9aec53043af0843f5ecc4153210693 node.exp
+6d67a64274d844548cc6099c76181a50feafc233 node.lib
+aa2af08d5ab869e6c8b67f01ed67129c1cad8bce node.pdb
+b92208b291ad420025c65661a7df51fc618e21ca x64/license.rtf
+c4d4164d4f78ea68e0e2a85b96f9b355f3b1df8b x64/node-v0.8.0-x64.msi
+df8bb178ee4cb9562d93fe80bbe59b2acf1b9e6b x64/node-v0.8.0-x64.wixpdb
+fc07b475d943f7681e1904d6d7d666b41874a6fa x64/node.exe
+895002806dfb6d5bb141ef0f43cad3b540a4ff6c x64/node.exp
+686c60d5ae5dad7fcffcdc88049c63b2cd23cffc x64/node.lib
+75549cffab0c11107348a66ab0d94d4897bd6a27 x64/node.pdb
+```

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