Facebook’s Meta Transfers “Most Used” JavaScript Testing Framework to OpenJS Foundation

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Meta transfers its popular open-source JavaScript testing framework, Jest, to the OpenJS Foundation.

Jest is one of Meta’s top open source projects and has proven to be a popular tool for testing JavaScript projects, especially those built in React, another popular JavaScript library created on Facebook, which opened it in 2013. .

Facebook introduced Jest as an open source project in 2014, but it was created in 2011 when Facebook’s chat function was rewritten in JavaScript.

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In 2017, Facebook gave in to concerns about licensing Jest and React under the BSD+ Patent license and moved them to an MIT license. Jest downloads from the npm JavaScript package repository exceed 16 million per week, surpassing React by 2 million per week.

Rick Hanlon, React core frontend engineer at Meta and Jest core contributor, notes in a blog post that Jest is the most widely used testing framework in the JavaScript ecosystem. It’s used by businesses of all sizes, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Stripe.

Hanlon says transferring ownership to the OpenJS Foundation was an “exciting and natural next step” for Jest as it matures as an open source project.

“This decision does not change how Jest is developed or released, and it does not directly affect developers using Jest to test their apps,” he adds.

The transfer of ownership to the OpenJS Foundation follows questions raised in February by Jest users about the project on Hacker News and Reddit. Some have noticed that no one from Facebook/Meta has contributed to Jest for several years.

After Facebook open-source Jest, Facebook employee Christopher Nakazawa in 2016 created a dedicated team for Jest that helped deliver features such as “watch mode” and “snapshot testing”.

After 2018, the open source community provided features such as “jest-each, online snapshots, interactive snapshot mode, watch mode plugins, better defaults, ESM support, and more,” according to Halon. (ESM refers to ECMAScript modules, the format for packaging JavaScript code for reuse in Node.js.)

“Today, Jest is primarily maintained by a core group of non-Meta contributors led by Simen Bekkhus. In fact, since 2018 almost all contributions to Jest have been made by open source contributors outside of Meta. Because the project is maintained by the community, we believe it is best for the community to own the project,” Hanlon writes.

Bekkhus recently announced Jest version 28, but also explained in a comment to a Jest pull request on GitHub in February that Facebook had had limited involvement for some time. “No one at FB (Meta?) has worked on Jest for years at this point, beyond a few PRs here and there like any other open source contributor,” he wrote.

But Bekker thinks moving Jest to the OpenJS Foundation, where he can be driven by the community, was a more natural fit for the project.

“We’ve been a community-driven project for quite some time. We believe in community-driven development and continuously building our community, and joining the OpenJS Foundation will help us strengthen and expand our community,” Bekkhus said in the OpenJS Foundation. Press release. “I see this as a very positive change and a way for the Jest community to grow.”

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Jest joins other key JavaScript projects run by the OpenJS Foundation, including jQuery, Node.js, Electron, AMP, and webpack. The foundation is backed by companies and end users including GoDaddy, Google, IBM, Intel, Joyent, and Microsoft.

Hanlon says the foundation supports the JavaScript ecosystem by “acting as a neutral organization to host and support projects and to collaboratively fund activities to benefit the community at large.”

Jest’s core team now includes Bekkhus, Nakazawa, Orta Therox, Pierzchalaand Hanlon. Meta will also transfer the Jest domain, repository, website, and other assets to OpenJS.

“We will publish a project charter and create new governance policies that will document the process for obtaining access to commitments, as well as our leadership selection process,” notes Hanlon.

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