LAMP is good? You agree? I agree. My last 3 companies are all on LAMP. The LAMP combo (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Perl/Python) powered countless dotcoms (and many ISVs even now) and is accepted by most folks as a decent and cheap server setup. Good starting point?
Even Java folks are comfortable to acknowledge, "LAMP is an enabling, agile combo, but for enterprise systems [insert keywords of scalability, web services, BEPL]..." whatever.. so, bottom line is LAMP is not necessarily excellent, but good enough?
Also, agree with me that its kewl to replace the "P" with basically anything you like aye? Some people like Perl. Some people prefer Python. Agree? Whichever the case, LAMP is LAMP - its light, cheap (free!) and good. Oh! and some will add Tomcat, and use Java - LAM* bah! - still the same: light, cheap and good. Agree?
Why then, may I ask, that when I mention Rails does the weather look different? Can it scale? Does it support 2-phase commits? Transactions? Speed? Sheesh. Now when did those demeaning questions pop up in discussions of LAMP? I just changed the "P" didn't I? LAMP is still LAMP? Or is it now no more?
In fact, its a LAMP+ (read: plus a thought out development framework, out of the box, ready for use)
Now LAMP doesn't come with a framework - that missing last mile? - build your own, collect, assemble into what your team of developers can use to churn out web applications after web applications.. lemme see, where do we-the-new-startup begin? Ok, let's do... The Login framework! oh yes, we need some database wrappers that we can - check this out - reuse! DIY. BYO. Yay!
Now, I'd figure what the difference is - wrong fight. Any discussion on Rails leading to J2EE and scaling should be henceforth be halted, stopped - not a word spoken more. Instead, civil discussions should come from the angle of "Why choose LAMP and start with zero?" After you'd install LAMP you can't groovy yet.. but after you have installed Rails, it would've scaffolded you high enough to develop those apps, straightaway. Any new adopters to LAMP should be rescued from Web1.0 hazards, and nourished in Rails.
PS: It is often easier to scale up, than scale down. And when one tries to scale down its kitchen sink (i.e. become agile) - they gotta throw it all away. Now, why would you want to scale down? Go figure - only thing is, when you do, just don't start from zero.