There’s a controversial title to start off with! I got thinking about this after a conversation with a friend of mine recently, and the gist of my thoughts wasn’t so much, ‘which is better?’, but more, why do I prefer Rails?

My friend is a big fan of PHP. I started off using PHP when I first began programming web apps, but had my eye on Rails from the beginning and switched to it pretty quickly. I think the thing that really attracted me to Rails was speed. I know it’s a cliche, but I’ve found it possible to develop at a speed in Rails that I’d never be able to achieve using PHP. Whether that’s because of my lack of skills with PHP, or because of something unique to Rails, I’m not sure. I really do suspect it’s mainly the later though. So much of the work of a web application is taken care of in Rails; database connections, modeling of attributes from database tables to Ruby code, default layouts, table columns, timestamps: the list really does seem to go on. I can understand why someone might not want this — to get down and dirty with some custom database interfaces, for example — but for me, Rails is the place to be at the moment. It does so much to make development easier, it’s unreal.