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Can somebody explain to me the hype behind using Ruby on Rails to create web apps?

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#1 quenchly



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Posted 31 July 2014 - 07:51 PM

Hi all,
I'm looking to build an online marketplace that's similar to oDesk and Elance where users can post jobs and have freelancers bid on them. 
The current dilemma I'm in- which programming language do I go for? My decision lies between PHP and Ruby. It might help you to know that I already have the front-end of the web application already developed in HTML5/CSS3/Bootstrap. 
It seems that most web applications these days are being powered by Ruby on Rails. I've been advised multiple times again and again: "Go with Ruby on Rails. It's the new and best way to develop web applications." 
What I'm wondering is- is there any real siginficant advantage to developing my web application using the Ruby on Rails framework as opposed to good ol' PHP? 
Facebook, Pinterest, Flippa, 99Designs.com, Udemy, oDesk, and many other huge companies were all developed using PHP, right? And there seems to be more PHP developers available so if I were to hire a PHP developer to help me build this, I'd have access to a large pool of readily available talent. Further, RoR developers appear to be more expensive than PHP developers. If I could get my web application fully implemented and developed at a much cheaper cost by hiring a PHP developer over a Ruby developer- why not, right?
On the other hand, I keep hearing that Ruby on Rails is the way to go for web applications. Maybe it depends on the type of web application being built? In my case- do you think a freelance marketplace platform be better off built under PHP or Ruby? It might help you to know that I already have the front-end of the web application already developed in HTML5/CSS3/Bootstrap. 
What are your thoughts on this?


#2 Ohm



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Posted 31 July 2014 - 09:47 PM

If you don't care, then it doesn't matter. PHP, Ruby, C#, ASP.net - they're all the same in the end - programming languages, which render some form of HTML, Javascript and CSS.


You address the "money issue" yourself, so I'll give my 5 cents as well. The reason PHP developers are cheaper, is that there are more of them out there. The reason there are more of them out there it three-faced. PHP has existed 19 years, Ruby on Rails for 8. PHP is also more straight-forward to get started with. Everybody can write

echo "Hello, World!";

while Ruby on Rails have a bit steeper learning curve. Lastly PHP can run on everything. EVERYTHING. Many webhosts only support PHP, so PHP seems natural for most people.


Any way you choose, do remember that just because you can get the same work done cheaper, doesn't mean it's the same quality. I'd bet you that many PHP developers would do a cheap, but half-arsed job of it, whilst Ruby developers would do a midrange priced job, which would be fairly decent.

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#3 bardia_1



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Posted 09 August 2014 - 07:13 PM

@Ohm is spot on with his reply. On top of that, I'd like to add a few more things.


1. Companies pursuing ruby on rails tend to spend more money on the product, on well seasoned engineers, and as result a superior product does make it to market.

2. PHP developers feel inferior to Ruby developers.

3. There is no room to be a newbie RoR developer as Rails has a steep learning curve.


Also, go look at the job postings. Companies that have built their site with PHP look so 90's. Companies that have built their site with RoR - have spent the money - and have something beautiful to show for. All the hottest tech shops use RoR, and you can see the superiority of the product produced.

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