What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out

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2024-06-07 16:30:04

In November 2019, Denis Pushkarev, maintainer of the popular core-js library, lost an appeal to overturn an 18-month prison sentence imposed for driving his motorcycle into two pedestrians, killing one of them.

As a result, he's expected to be unavailable to update core-js, a situation that has project contributors and other developers concerned about the fate of his code library.

Core-js is "a modular standard library for JavaScript," meaning it provides a load of functions to perform common, useful operations. Often used for "polyfills" – implementing modern browser features in older, less capable browsers – it gets downloaded more than 26 million times every week via the npm registry, and is widely used by major companies including Apple. Now its future is uncertain.

Pushkarev, known as zloirock on GitHub, mentioned the possibility he may end up incarcerated in a thread last May discussing the addition of post-install ads to generate revenue for a project that so many use and so few pay for. He anticipated he may need to pay for legal or medical expenses related to his motorcycle accident.

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