Both Ruby and Node.js are gaining a lot of traction but for different reasons, and the ecosystem is a huge factor when comparing the two. That was one of the main points Brilliant.ly Will Nathan made in an article a couple months ago.
At the same time, one big consideration is the ecosystem. Rails has been around 4 years longer than Node which was created in 2009, and as a result the core languages had a lot more time to add polish. Rails comes with an entire line-up of tools that Node lacks or hasn’t matched entirely yet, and it’s been field tested much more. Nathan writes:
“Rails, on the other hand, has one of the most robust (and free) sources for libraries and tools. I love The Ruby Toolbox, which actually shows you the relative popularity of Rails tools broken out by function. Additionally, as I mentioned before, many modules that would have to be hand-picked in Node.js are integrated by default in Rails…ayered on top of the modules are more tutorials and examples than one can typically find with node.js. Case in point, Railscast‘s 300+ video tutorials.”
It’s also interested to look at the two frameworks from the adoption perspective. Recently a startup named Nodejitsu rolled out its Node cloud platform into public beta, but at the same time Rails is one of the most popular languages on Github. Last month the source code site, one of the largest ones if not largest of its kind in the world, raised a massive $100 million in funding.