In his latest post today, Chris Shiflett takes a good look at Ruby on Rails from the perspective of a PHP developer to see what all of the fuss is about.
I'm glad to see all of the hype surrounding Ruby on Rails lately. I've always been an advocate of open source software, and Ruby (particularly Ruby on Rails) is yet another feather in the cap. I'm not afraid to say it - I'm glad Rails exists.
I do think it's good to maintain some perspective, and some Ruby fans are more than a bit overzealous. Ruby on Rails is a niche technology, and although all signs indicate that its popularity is growing rapidly, it's a bit premature to be thinking that it will dethrone existing technologies.
He goes on, mentioning that he doesn't see Rails as a direct competitor to PHP, rather two technologies that have the flexibility/power to do the same jobs well. There are "camps" for both sides, but really, as Chris puts it:
It's also important to realize that excitement is subtly different than popularity. Excitement is trendy.
He lists a few sites built in both, noting that, of the popular sites out there, things seem pretty equal. He also notes that, despite what language you're using, the real key is that it takes a good developer to write a good application, regardless of the language...