I'm new to web development (I'm familiar with C++), and I'm deciding between learning Ruby and PHP. I mainly want to make mid-sized websites with basic forum and form support. I know my web vocabulary isn't up to par, so let me try to explain.

I was recently advised to purchase the Agile Web Development on Rails book from this community. I started reading it, and then I looked over all the topics. All I see is how to develop complex applications such as a shopping cart (complex for what I'm trying to build). I'm not 100% sure that that's all that's in there, but it is what is definitely focused on.

Am I using the right languages (Ruby/Rails), or should I be learning PHP? I heard that PHP is more of a linear language than Ruby which seems to be quite object-oriented.

Perhaps I'm using the wrong book. I'd like to use Ruby/Rails, but it seems that it's not what I'm looking for. Maybe another book would fit my needs a little more adequately.

Please advise. Any help is appreciated.