I’ll prefix all my comments below by saying that I am a professional
PHP programmer for both small and large-scale apps. I’m also doing
growing amounts of Rails programming. I use CakePHP from time-to-time
for several projects that are restricted to running on PHP4 servers.
How does Ruby scale to large-scale web applications? For example, if
YouTube were written in Ruby, would it be as fast as it is now?
Rails scales quite well. You will notice that “out the box” rails will
be a bit slower than any simple non-framework PHP scripts you have
written in the past. This slowdown is more than worth it in my opinion
because you are able to quickly bootstrap applications in Rails and
get them up and running. At that point Rails is ready to scale out and
be fine-tuned for performance. Also - say your PHP app is running
slowly - how will you profile it and figure out what is slowing down?
Rails has this built in.
Another question is how do you compare CakePHP with Ruby?
They are actually quite similar - CakePHP has pulled a good many ideas
and even names of methods from Rails.
That being said, you will quickly notice that Rails has much more
elegant syntax (thanks to Ruby) and that you can do quite a bit more
things with less work.
Lastly - one thing that you may think is cool coming from a PHP world
(I did) was that a Rails project includes its own web server built
into the code (look into the “ruby script/server” command). You won’t
have to fool with running a full web stack on your development
workstation or uploading files to a server to see how they run.
If nothing else, learning Ruby/Rails will no doubt help your PHP
programming - it will force you to think in new ways.
Got any more questions? Feel free to give me a shout back.