Hey folks, I've only recently started researching on RoR as a possible framework for a large scale website - the initial candidate was PHP which I know my way around - but the project being quite complex and extensive made me wonder if RoR wouldn't be better? My main preoccupation is speed and control, can RoR handle heavy loads? and will it give me as much control over the website as PHP?
The framework/language of choice would have to be fast enough to handle many users (like a forum), work well with AJAX, be as low-level as PHP, easy to maintain and upgrade. Can RoR handle more than the typical CMS?
But maybe you should try out Django (build with Python). I think it's better for this kind of application.
For social networking sites? I think Rails is better there and Django is more suited to heavy-content sites.
As for whether Rails can handle a last.fm type load, why not take a look at http://mog.com/ which is almost exactly the same thing but written in Rails. Seems to handle its thousands of users and constantly updating data just fine.
you know how myspace gives user the ability to change layouts via css, is that possible through RoR?
It's possible for any site if you build in the functionality. http://mog.com/ is done in Rails and allows for custom layouts (but it can be a little more complex than typing CSS into some random field like Myspace).
Thanks for the replies! I'm seriously considering RoR, been trying out Ruby a bit, it seems like quite a nice language - mog.com seems like a good demonstration of RoR. I think I might try it out on a smaller but similar project first, just to see if it suits me.. I'm just a bit worried about losing too much control over the code..
Just to chime in www.43things.com (etc) is another large social site built with rails. The Robot Co-op guys put up a post last october about their server setup that you may find helpful for deciding how to attack your project: