I can relate to your experience, James. I tried moving to other frameworks, even to better option you mentioned.
But rails has one big upside, which is hard to ignore -- maturity of libraries (gems). With a big probability I can find a library that satisfies my picky requirements.
With Phoenix and Elixir I still find myself spending too much time on very trivial things. Since I'm an indie dev -- this is a luxury I can't afford.
But I can afford rewriting some components in languages that performs better, if there is a bottleneck in Ruby itself. But in a lot of cases, I just know how to make Ruby performant :)
Yep, as a one-man-show, it's tough to argue there are a lot of better options that allow for more productivity/hour than RoR.
If I find myself in a situation working on something that has 1mm connections simultaneously, sure, I'll use Elixir. But to spin up a CRUD app, which honestly, are still to this day, most online web apps, Rails and Ruby are tough to beat.
I agree that Rubygems is one of the main reasons that people stick with Ruby and it is an amazing resource. I've written my fair share of gems over the years and I hope that they helped people in some way. Working with Phoenix can be pretty annoying when you can just get a hex package that just handles user authentication the way that devise does - you have to wire up a lot of code to get it to work. I think this is mostly about maturity but I think it will get there. I once joked that Elixir is powered by thousands of angry Rubyists and like all jokes I think there's more than a grain of truth in it.
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