Ruby Baby wrote:
> I run a website that's all PHP now, but was due for 
> a total re-write anyway.  (The old code is a mess.)
> 
> It's more MVC style - where the code comes first and
> outputs HTML from templates - NOT embedded code inside HTML.
> 
> I love Ruby so much that it's very tempting to write
> my new version in Ruby (mod_ruby + Apache).
> 
> But I wonder if anyone who has already done a whole
> interactive website in Ruby/modruby could share their
> experience with it?

Not sure what you mean by "interactive", but I have a number of sites 
built with Blogtari, a web log app written in Ruby.

I've recently added support for mod_ruby, with only a few surprises.

> 
> Were there any featured you really missed or any surprise
> problems?   Would you recommend it for someone else?

There are a number of Ruy tools for building web sites, from simple 
templating systems to "web application frameworks" (a fairly nebulous 
term).  There was a discussion here on ruby-talk recently about web 
frameworks;  search through Google groups to dig it up.

For myself, I wrote Blogtari to make frequent use of dynamic file and 
class loading. It's possible, for example, to write a blog entry 
preprocessor, drop it in a plugin directory, and have it automatically 
located, loaded, and run when rendering the site.  Blogtari also renders 
blog entry source files of various file types (plain 
text/pseudo-textile, email, xhtml, with support for oowriter/sxw 
planned);  the code loads entry rendering classes based on file 
extension, so there is minimum amount of hard-coded details.

In general, Ruby's dynamic nature makes it easy to write flexible 
rendering tools.

> 
> I know the question is vague, but I can't tell if I'd
> be making a big mistake by trying it this way, especially
> if I didn't realize until I was a month into it.

If you've already done sites in PHP, you'll likely find it easier to do 
things in Ruby, assuming you think in terms of The Ruby Way.

James Britt

ruby_powered_sites = %w{
    www.ruby-doc.org
    www.rubyxml.com
    www.jamesbritt.com
    www.blogtari.com
}