Newer languages aren't? Every linux distro that matters (including BSD, Gentoo, and others with a ports system), heck even Windows, has a full Rails stack that's about two commands away from being fully set up.
Yes thats the way to create great new products. Make it easy for non-techies to get them up and running and make sure they run on shared hosting and are created in a language that beginners use to learn about programming.
I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, so I'll just assume the worst.
Yes, it is - there's a lot more non-techies than there are of the other kind, so it makes sense that you focus your efforts on the larger market.
As for the whole "language that beginners use to learn about programming", do you mean Python or Java? PHP is everywhere but the last I checked, Python and Java are the teaching and taught languages.
PHP itself is designed to get things done, not necessarily elegantly. For all it's problems, it is a workhorse and blaming the language for what the users have done is just wrong. Programming languages are like hammers and should not prevent one from doing something stupid or irresponsible. Doing the smart or right thing is the responsibility of the user.
Back in the 1900's and even before that electric cars were invented by several people. In 1916 some inventor called 'Woods' created the frist hybrid car.
One reason for the decline of the electric car market was that the infrastructure eventually could not facilitate them. Read; hosting providers didn't support them.
Another reason was they were slightly more expensive, especially when Herny Ford came along. Read; shared hosting is cheap.
Another reason I have heard told is that electric cars had less parts that you could tinker with. It was more interesting to have a fuel car because you could use other car's parts and combine them, you could spend your weekend working on them. Electric cars just worked, or people didn't have the technical know-how to toy around with them. Read; non-techies don't know how to setup a Rails app.
Assuming 'Ghost' is the new best thing, making the underlying technologie easy for non-techies is NOT the way to make it happen. The whole goal seems to be to make the UI easy and useful.
You make the point that non-techies need to be able to set it up. You make the wrong assumption that they would need to touch code/servers to do this.
I don't want to spark some sort of war on what language beats up your language. So I wont. Besides I don't think something 'being everywhere' makes it good. By that standard lots of things in this world are good.
PHP is exactly what you say it is with regards to being similar to a workhorse. It is a tool for programmers who like to work very hard to achieve something that a harvester could do a lot quicker and more efficiently.
"easily deployable" for Clojure or Node isn't even on the radar for 99% of people.
I go to any $5/month host, check "install wordpress", and it's done. When Clojure CMS/blog apps have even 1% of the installability (as in, ability to be installed) by non-developers, perhaps they'll have a fighting chance.
I say this as someone who develops Grails apps all day long.
Granted I don't know the state of Clojure, but I thought running on the JVM would make it easily deployable most anywhere. Of course then having a blog engine or cms built in Clojure that's easy to install is another problem, but this thread is exactly discussing such a solution.
>I go to any $5/month host, check "install wordpress", and it's done.
That is a function of popularity, not language. If some blogging app had a userbase the size of wordpress's, it wouldn't matter if it were written in PHP or brainfuck, shared hosting providers will set it up. This is why appealing to techies makes sense. They will be the ones setting it up in the initial "its not popular yet" phase, and if they don't use it, it will never get off the ground. Once they start setting it up for their friends/family/etc, a few companies start offering it as an option for their hosting. Then a few more, and it snowballs as the app gets more and more popular. Trying to start from "use PHP so end users will use it" doesn't work, because installing a PHP app is just as hard for them as installing anything else.
"easily deployable" is part of the equation, but even assuming a clojure app was 'easily deployable', the architecture of JVM apps runs against the interests of shared hosting providers - anyone looking to get more functionality from less hardware.
Keeping JVM engines going, and keeping a lot of compiled apps in RAM, on the offchance that someone makes a request, means fewer apps/sites can coexist on the same hardware. My $5/month PHP plan (hypothetical - I don't have one) - only compiles/executes the PHP when the request is made. If no one requests my site for 3 days, it's all just sitting there, not using any resources.
Until there's another technology that follows a similar model (or something else which provides good economies of scale for hosting providers), PHP will continue to dominate large segments of certain problem spaces.
That's not sufficient to serve a Rails site though.
Rails is a great platform for building a custom web app, but it's a terrible platform for building an open-source blogging platform. It simply moves too quickly and breaks things too often to be useful for the demographic that uses WordPress.
When you're talking about web code with such an astronomical deployment to developer ratio, the advantages of PHP are magnified by several orders of magnitude. Even the perfect WordPress replacement written in Rails with elegant, featureful and performant Ruby code digitized by God's own hand is by definition a niche product that can never hope to compete meaningfully with WordPress.