There is a lot of fluffy oratory swirling around comparisons between Ruby and Java and it seems to be one-sided. In fact they are two different tools and Java doesn’t pretend to be a loosely typed dynamic scripting language. There are also frameworks, galore, for Java. What needs to be compared are languages like Groovy and frameworks like Seam or [pick one of dozens available].
Ruby on Rails really hits the sweet spot for small dynamic web sites with a simple persitent back-end. You avoid a lot of learning and start doing quicker. There’s no magic in Ruby that prevents the same sort of MVC generator from being created using Java and s dynamic scripting language – Groovy in Grails comes to mind.
I think we need ROR. I think it’s extremely useful and fills a much needed space. I think you will see more MVC generators for C# and Java combined with declarative and dynamic languages. Then you have the benefits of ROR without the restrictions. I see ROR continuing to grow in popularity and having a positive effect on Java and C# based web frameworks. Ruby, the language, is a real yawner. It’s Rails and the MVC artifact generator that’s the real winner.