I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but after hours and hours of researching Node.js, all I hear is, “It’s fast.” Well, thats great, except that people are also saying it’s the “new Rails.” I’ve got a few questions regarding that claim and encourage any Node.js fan to send me answers to adam@mysterioustrousers.com and I will post the best answers below each question. Thanks.

  1. Can one reasonably argue that you could make an equally complex app in Node.js as fast as you could with Rails?

  2. In my opinion, the best thing about Rails is how structured it is. It almost makes it impossible for anyone to screw up a Rails app. They are all structured the same because of DHH’s quoting “A place for everything and everything in its place”. I can open any Rails app and instantly know where i can find almost anything. Rails apps almost force me to write well structured code. How is Node.js any better at this than PHP without the cake?

  3. Rails is full of time saving development goodness like generators, migrations, etc to help cut down on developer hassle and billing time. Is Node.js concerned with developer happiness and billing time at all (Hackers are usually oblivious to the business concerns of a project)?

  4. IF you cannot argue that 1) Node.js is just as fast to develop with as Rails, 2) Node.js makes it easy for developers to write clean code and 3) Node.js cuts down on dev hassle and billing time more than any PHP, then my last question is this: If the average programmer is $40/hr and the average server is $0.05/hr, why does it matter if Node.js can handle as much as a Rails app on half or even 1/10 as many servers, if it takes even a few hours more to develop/maintain with Node.js than Rails?

Rails is awesome only slightly because of the Ruby language, it’s the framework itself that makes working with it fun. Until there is a framework around Node.js that makes web development as fun and fast as Rails does…I just don’t get it.