"Ruby is only good for web apps. "
You obviously don’t know the first thing about Ruby.
Ruby is great for web apps, it is great for sysadmin scripts, it is fantastic for developing security tools.
To the people complaining about how hard rails is to deploy I just deployed a web app last week
Make sure Ruby is installed, I installed it from source, but you certainly don’t have to if that is scary to you.
gem install passenger
Open the nginx config and point it to your rails public folder
install whatever db you are using
Do the normal rake tasks to set up your database
Took 15 minutes from start to finish.
It is also easy to deploy a rails app and any other kind of app including PHP on the same server.
To the people saying PHP is better because you can stick it on $5 hosts LOL and that will boot him off before he gets near even moderate traffic.
Python would have also been a good choice but IMO it is an inferior language compared to Ruby. Definitely lower on the blub scale than Ruby. Python makes obvious things explicit at the cost of more syntax with no benefit and the enforced whitespace weakens the language.
If you have to ask why it weakens the language you are not qualified to discuss languages.
If my only two choices were Python or Ruby the only thing I would use Python for would be for graphics and scientific and mathematical apps and maybe for desktop GUI’s. Everything else Ruby is better suited for