node.js vs Ruby on Rails is so stupid

By: Brian Cardarella

Let me start this by admitting a few things:

  1. I am a Ruby/Rails developer
  2. My consulatncy, DockYard specializes in Rails
  3. I organize The Boston Ruby Group

Ok, so now that we have established that a grieat argument can be made that I am not impartial I’m going to ask that read this as if I am. I know, crazy! This is not a “Rails” is better than node blog post. I’m hoping to show some hard data to prove my points. Please feel free to leave a comment as I’m sure some will disagree.

The Superficial Debate

A few months ago node.js passed Ruby on Rails for the #1 Watched Repo on Github!. Many took this as a changing of the guard, node was now the new king shit. But does the number of watchers on Github actually mean anything? If we are to believe that the mission of Github is “Social Coding” then I would argue that the number of contributors is a more significant number.

As of this writing Rails has 1,779 contributors while Node has 362. You can grab these numbers for yourself:

$ git shortlog -s | wc -l

Rails has been under development for over 8 years and node for over 3. That means Rails has averaged adding over 220 unique contributors per year and node has only averaged about 120. Keep in mind that Rails did not move to Github until 2008, don’t think that made much of a difference check this out this contributor visualization (Rails’ move to Github happens around 5:05)

Does this mean anything?

I don’t think so, but I just wanted to highlight how pointless the “Watcher” debate is. I do think within the context of Github contributions are more important but ultimately it comes down to code quality, more more difficult to measure.

Ok, let’s put that behind us. The next argument is comparing the performance in Rails to Node