Lisp has a mystic aura as the "programming language to rule them all," so most hard-core geeks nurture a fascination with it. Paul Graham has written several essays extolling the virtues of Lisp, and indeed he's got reason to talk: he built what is now Yahoo! Shopping with Lisp. His famous Beating the Averages essay describes the experience.
I was curious how Ruby stacked up with the power-user features of Lisp, so I went digging for the inevitable "Ruby vs. Lisp" debate. I use Ruby these days (thanks to Rails) and I've used Lisp before (thanks to Emacs), but I haven't used either extensively enough to call myself an expert. Thus, I was curious to see the experts weigh in.
I must say upfront that my focus is narrow: I'm looking at each for the purpose of building web-based applications. Thus the discussion is not language vs. language, but language + frameworks vs. language + frameworks suited for my purpose.
Following is partly a summary of my research, but mostly a commentary on the debate itself. There's an interesting rift between the two camps, "interesting" not just for their opinions but for their perspectives.
[Update 2006-01-21] Please note this disclaimer I posted in the comments below.
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