Unhappy with how Joyent was controlling Node.js the top contributors of the framework, have forked the project into io.js. io.js contributions, releases, and contributions are under an open governance model. The project declares that it intends to continue being compatible with the Node ecosystem.
The schism doesn't come as a complete surprise. Tension had been building up for quite some time. The top contributors to the project were unhappy with Joyent - Node’s corporate lead. They expressed their disagreement with the direction where Node was headed, steered by Joyent.
Mikeal Rogers, a Node community organizer said, "We don’t want to have just one person who’s appointed by a company making decisions."
Joyent wasn't caught unaware, either. In fact, it had recently created a community advisory board for Node and offered positions to several unhappy contributors, including former project lead Isaac Schlueter. However, it was too little, too late.
Fear of fragmentation
This will certainly impact adoption of Node by software companies, who are now faced with a choice of version. Joyent is said to be in talks with the io.js leaders. The possiblity of the code being merged back into Node at some point in future can not be ruled out.