The Node.js team has recently released version 20.6.0, which brings improvements in environment variable configuration, module resolution, module customization, and experimental support for C++ garbage collection.In this patch, developers gain a new feature: built-in support for `.env` files. These files, following the INI file format, offer a simplified approach to configuring environment variables. Developers can easily initialize their applications with predefined configurations using a straightforward CLI command, `node –env-file=config.env index.js`. This update streamlines the management of environment variables.
Another notable change involves the unflagged `import.meta.resolve(specifier)` function. This adjustment plays a crucial role in aligning Node.js with other server-side runtimes and browsers. The function now provides an absolute URL string for module resolution, enhancing cross-platform compatibility and simplifying module management across different environments.Node.js 20.6.0 also introduced a new API known as `register` within the `node:module` namespace. This API simplifies module customization hooks, enabling developers to specify a file that exports these hooks and facilitates communication channels between the main application thread and the hooks thread. Developers are encouraged to transition to an approach that uses `–import` alongside `register` for efficient hook registration.Node.js 20.6.0 enhanced the module customization load hook, allowing it to manage both ES module and CommonJS sources. This added flexibility streamlines the process of loading and customizing Node.js modules, eliminating the dependence on deprecated APIs.