I wonder if this is one of the biggest project that will go down in history for having an application being rewritten from Ruby to PHP. Gravatar actually just did that. So far, I’ve only came across the reverse whereby developers jumps to Ruby on Rails and left PHP in the wild. I know, I know, RoR is a framework and PHP by itself is web scripting language and I’m not comparing apples to apples here bla bla bla. Oh well, anyway.
But even then, the people at Automatic (who acquired Gravatar) is convinced that they should be using PHP. And the reason is not whichever language is better then the other, but a matter of experience and culture, as stated in Gravatar’s blog:
The first thing we did, after stabilizing the service, was set out to rewrite Gravatar in PHP. Now before we launch into any holy wars I’d like to point out that our decision on this matter had nothing to do with Ruby, or Rails — in fact we have a great respect for both! The reason, the only reason, we switched is that PHP is our core competency at Automattic. As a PHP application we will be able to apply the sum total of our collective abilities to bear on any problems that Gravatar might face. The guys I work with are genuinely some of the most technically gifted people I know!
That sounds fair as long as it doesn’t hurt the user experience. And so far, Automatic had done a pretty good job in growing their WordPress user base.
If only they could provide more details of how they ported from Ruby to PHP, which is sure to get even more attention.