The open-source JavaScript application platform Meteor announced its latest release: Meteor 1.3. This release is focused on helping teams with production applications manage, scale and test their Meteor codebases. It will also help the Meteor team to continue to align the Meteor platform with the innovations in JavaScript.

Meteor 1.3 includes better support for application testing. It also includes core support for both unit and integration tests. Meteor 1.3 supports a standards-compliant module system that integrates seamlessly with Node and npm. For mobile developers, Meteor 1.3 provides a more robust hot code push system for Cordova apps, according to Meteor’s blog.

Meteor’s Livedata system now supports tunable queries to help scale large apps. The Meteor team said it improved its Angular and React integrations as well.

This is the first time Meteor is publishing the Meteor Guide alongside the release. The guide contains specific recommendations about best practices for building Meteor apps. A full list of features is available here.

Databricks gives developers new APIs
Databricks is launching a new set of APIs to help developers automate their Spark infrastructure and accelerate the deployment of data-driven production applications. According to the company, the benefits of these APIs include faster release cycles for Spark apps, enhanced reliability in Spark infrastructure deployments and improved oversight and management of Apache Spark infrastructure expensive in the cloud.

“Agile data-driven application development requires data scientists to work in perfect sync with DevOps, but these teams lack a unified platform to connect their separate workflows,” said Ali Ghodsi, CEO of Databricks. “The addition of Databricks APIs will enable these constituents to work seamlessly in one platform, allowing them to act on hidden insights from their data and create unique competitive advantages for the business.”

Google Cloud Platform joins Node.js Foundation
Google has announced the Google Cloud Platform is joining the Node.js Foundation. The move follows the news of the Node.js runtime going into beta on Google App Engine.

“Node.js is emerging as the platform in the center of a broad full stack, consisting of front end, back end, devices and the cloud,” said Mikeal Rogers, community manager of the Node.js Foundation. “By joining the Node.js Foundation, Google is increasing its investment in Node.js and deepening its involvement in a vibrant community. Having more companies join the Node.js Foundation helps solidify Node.js as a leading universal development environment.”

In addition, Google’s V8 JavaScript engine team will be working on improving the Node.js development workflow.

Changes to npm’s unpublish policy
Last week, many npm users suffered a disruption when a package that many projects depend on was unpublished by its author as part of a dispute over a package name. The event raised some concerns by users, so npm decided to incorporate feedback from the community to change the unpublish policy.

When a user tries to unpublish a given package@version:

  • If the version is less than 24 hours old, a user can unpublish it. The package will be completely removed from the registry. No new packages can be published using the same name and version.
  • If the version is older than 24 hours, then the unpublish will fail, with a message to contact
  • If a user contacts support, they will check if removing that version of the package would break any other installs. If so, npm will not remove it. The user will either have to transfer ownership of the package or reach out to the owners of dependent packages to change their dependency.
  • If every version of a package is removed, it will be replaced with a security placeholder package, so that the formerly used name will not be susceptible to malicious squatting.
  • If another member of the community wishes to publish a package with the same name as a security placeholder, they’ll need to contact Npm will determine whether to grant this request.

More information on npm’s new policy is available on its blog.