There is a discussion going on TSS, about a comment made by Tim Bray about how Php, RoR is more scalable then Java.
Even before RoR(Ruby on Rails), the simple websites were build over Php then on Java. This is because trying to build a small dynamic website on Java is more complex and time consuming, not to mention that to host Jsp website is more expensive then PHP. Thus its right, when we try to compare PHP and RoR and Java with respect to small websites and say, Php and RoR are better choices then Java/JSP.
But still when it comes to bigger applications, where authentication, Security, better architecture, is required Java is still way ahead of both RoR and Php. Now with Portal applications coming up in Java, I guess Java web-application development for bigger applications have taken a big lead. Portal provides the authentication, integration, security, personalization, customization facilities to the web-application with not a big effort. RoR success is because it automate many things and time to develop websites is greatly reduced. Portal also does similar thing for bigger web-applications. It provides SSO, Authentication…etc which are heart of any big application with lesser efforts.
But yes in near future we are about to see much development in RoR for small dynamic websites. So isn’t portal is the edge, that can keep Java a step ahead of all others. :)