JavaScript: Meta moves its Jest test framework to open source

Change of era within the very popular open source JavaScript test framework, Jest: Meta (ex-Facebook), its creator, has just sold it to the OpenJS Foundation, thus making it open source.

Back to open source

Jest is one of Meta’s main open source projects. It has proven to be a popular tool for testing JavaScript projects, especially those built in React, another popular JavaScript library created by Facebook, which previously made it open source in 2013. Facebook introduces Jest as a project open source in 2014, although this one was created in 2011 when Facebook’s chat functionality was rewritten in JavaScript.

In 2017, Facebook bowed 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. Jest is the most widely used testing framework in the JavaScript ecosystem these days, as Rick Hanlon, React core front-end engineer at Meta and core Jest contributor, argues in a recently published blog post. Jest is used by companies of all sizes, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Stripe.

For the latter, the passage of Jest under the bosom of the OpenJS foundation stands out as an “exciting and natural next step” for Jest, while the reflection of moving it to open source had been on the rails for some time. time already. “This transfer does not change the way Jest is developed or released, and does not directly affect developers who use Jest to test their apps,” he said.

A new era dawns

The transfer of ownership to the OpenJS Foundation follows questions raised in February by Jest users about the project on Hacker News and Reddit. The latter had then noticed that the Jest project seemed abandoned on the side of Meta, no employee of the teams of the American giant of social networks having fed it for several years. After Jest was launched by Facebook, Christoph Nakazawa, the project manager, had however set up a dedicated team, which helped to provide features such as “watch mode” and “snapshot testing”.

Yet past 2018 it was definitely the open source community that took over, providing Jest with features like jest-each, online snapshots, interactive snapshot mode, sleep mode plugins, better values default or ESM support. “Today, Jest is primarily maintained by a group of core contributors outside of Meta, led by Simen Bekkhus. In fact, since 2018 almost all of the contributions made to Jest have been made by open source contributors outside of Meta. As the project is maintained by the community, we believe it is best for the community to regain ownership of the project,” writes Rick Hanlon.

“We have been a community-driven project for some time. We believe in community-driven development and continuously strengthening our community, and joining the OpenJS Foundation will help us strengthen and expand our community,” Simen Bekkhus quotes 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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