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Things I miss from ruby on rails in node.js

Rails was designed to provide an opinionated way to solve common web application problems. Node has many of the same capabilities, and a couple frameworks have sprung up to apply the same patterns. Here's what I've missed from rails that I hope to find in a Node framework.

  1. agreed (“opinionated”) file structure
  2. conventions for file names
  3. data migrations (code files that make db schema changes)
  4. built in auto-compile for Coffeescript SASS/Stylus/LESS and HAML (no need to grunt)
  5. asset pipeline - versioning of JS and CSS resources, spriting images
  6. ORM (ActiveRecord): same/similar semantics for MySQL, Postgres, or MongoDB
  7. Capistrano (or other scripted deploy)

The good news is, with node...

  • Plenty of node packages to replace gems
  • Unit tests easy enough
  • Preparing your app for a PAAS provider (like heroku) enforces good code hygene (environment variables)
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