I have run an application in Rails for 6 years. We are getting ready to design a new version from the ground up. This is a very data intensive application, and there are always lots and lots of operations going on in the background. There are two issues I have with Ruby on Rails:
1) I don't think the performance is quite what it could be.
2) There seems to be such a major effort to abstract the database to AREL. I like AREL, but we are always going to use MySQL. This application will never point at another data source. Therefore, writing SQL will be much simpler, and will allow much more flexibility.
There are several things that I do like about Rails, and I will continue to use it for other applications that I have. I love the separation of concerns. I think the best part of Rails is the awesome community and all the gems that allow me to stand on the shoulders of people smarter than me.
I am looking for a resource that can tell me about switching to PHP from Rails. Among the initial questions I have are:
1) Is there a PHP framework that provides an MVC separation of concerns similar to Rails?
2) Is there anything analogous to gems or plugins?
Thanks for any guidance you can offer!