Twitter to Bite the PHP Bullet?

One of the big things you’ll hear about Ruby on Rails is that it’s hard to scale. In my opinion, that’s not really an issue that one should be addressing on the framework level. Scaling, in my opinion, should be something reserved for backend databases and servers. From what I’ve read, you should be able to slap on a MySQL proxy and an Apache load balancer in front of multiple mongrel servers, but I digress.

With all the Twitter Rails scaling issues, it’s funny to see this headline from TechCrunch. Guys over at Twitter have renounced this claim though.

Will this make me abandon my quest for learning Ruby on Rails? I highly doubt it. Scaling becomes an issue on extremely high traffic sites. And a lot of the issues that come into play with such a high traffic site, can be easily remedied by things like optimizing queries and caching.

Source: Twitter Said To Be Abandoning Ruby on Rails [TechCrunch]


  1. PHP versus Rails is a non-starter when it comes to web applications. The bottleneck is the database—or in Twitter’s case, the bottleneck is the sheer amount of communication that happens over Twitter. It’s like a clique graph; if all users just followed 100 followers, that would be fine. Unfortunately, some follow some thousands, and the number of updates Twitter must coordinate is immense.

    That’s the bottleneck. It’s massive and not easily solved—certainly not by switching languages.

    Whether they use Rails or PHP doesn’t come anywhere near it.

    Many people have no idea what it takes to scale truly large systems. Now I must count TechCrunch among them. Sigh.

  2. I just heard that the rumor twitter is abandoning rails is false. The real truth I was told is that twitter is partly on the rails platform and partly just in pure ruby. and the commentator ahead of me is right. It’s probably really about the database