I know this is not exactly the right forum, but it seems like all the Ruby users on this site seem to hang out on this forum as opposed to the other languages forum (well when I search for Ruby 80% of the results point here as most Ruby coders here seem to be the rebellious PHP programmer type). Anyway if the admins wanna move this after a while, I won't be offended. i just thought I'd post here initially as it would be seen by more relevant people who use the language.
Anyway, I'm just curious to hear what other people's expereince with Ruby is. It seems a number of people here are starting to use it, and it would be nice to know how people find it compared to their expereince with PHP. How many people do find it more productive / enjoyable to use, and what gottchas have people found. I've been skimming over some Ruby sites recently, just to investigate what there is to offer in the Ruby communitity. One thing that concerns me is the what the support is for 3rd party extensions, such as GD, FTP, DOM/xPath, cURL, etc. PHP has a very mature set of binding to other libraries. What have other people's experiences been with needing to use 3rd party extensions in Ruby, as they are probably less mature than PHP.
How do a lot of projects like Wiki / CMS systems workout like. One things with PHP is that there is no way you can expect to take a package like Postnuke and expect to create a bespoke soltuion from it due to the amount of hacking involved. Have people found it easy to take existing Ruby solutions/packages and customise/tweak them so they meet the requirements of clients should they have specific requirements. There seem to a be a few nice little Rails apps developing out there, and ideally it would be nice to see how easy it to piece together existing projects to rapidly develop custom web apps.
In the last few days I've invested some time in skimming over Rubyforge and the rails site + Ruby docs to familarize myself with the language and projects. We are tempted to start using Ruby at work for new projects as I do find myself hitting the head against the wall with PHP a bit. I'm going to install a few apps/gems during the week and have a crack at doing some coding in Ruby too before I do anything serious. However, I also wanna know what other peoples experiences with the language have been beofre we rush into anything, and maybe see what advantages and gottchas other people have had.
Also, it would be interesting to see how many people are starting to use Ruby. Maybe if there are a number of people, it would be an idea to get a forum setup here for Ruby seeing as this is a popular web programming site. It might help develop a bigger Ruby community.