Comparison of summary statistics of Node.js and Ruby On Rails

Ruby on Rails and Node.js are programming languages/environments used for the creation of back-end code for webservers. They both have their advantages, and I won’t go into that very much here. They are relatively rare in comparison to PHP, Java and even Perl. However, successors for webserver programming are regularly talked about and both of these are considered viable contenders for environments used for webservers. The question I like to ask is “what’s next”? Let’s first look at Google Trends graphs.

Search trends

As you can see, interest in Ruby on Rails has been decreasing with time. Meanwhile interest in Node.js has been increasing linearly. While these graphs may not indicate true absolute interest in both of these programming languages, it does indicate which way the trend is going. It’s looking good for Node.js but looks bad for Ruby on Rails.

Next I wanted to inspect programmer interest in the package as themselves. To do this I looked at the Git repositories of both of the Ruby on Rails and Node.js environments.

Commits

In addition to these figures, there are also over 2000 contributors to Ruby on Rails, and less than 500 for Node.js. With all these watchers, and not a whole heap of commits, what does this say about Node.js? Does this mean that node.js is making a lot of noise but not really being used that much? Or does it mean that Node.js has less issues and is easier to maintain?

My conclusion is that Node.js actually has less interest currently, but my prediction is that node.js will start to take off. The value of having front end and back end developers not having to context switch is too valuable, especially for smaller companies with constrained staff. Given that Javascript is the core of front end programming, Node.js will be a desirable choice, despite its shortcomings.

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