Node.js 20.6.0: Built-in Support for .env Files

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The recent release of Node.js version 20.6.0 introduces built-in support for .env files, allowing developers to load environment variables into their Node.js applications without any external dependencies. This feature aligns with the Twelve-Factor App methodology, which recommends storing configuration variables in the environment rather than in application code or version control. By using a .env file, developers can manage their application configuration, including sensitive information like API credentials, in environments where it is not practical to set variables directly. Node.js's implementation of .env files has some advantages over third-party packages, such as the ability to configure Node.js itself using environment variables. However, it currently lacks some features present in other dotenv implementations. The release also includes bug fixes and improvements. Developers can start using this new feature by upgrading to Node.js version 20.6.0.