I'm glad to see this thread here. I'm speaking here as one of the first ten Americans to learn Ruby.
At that time, many things in Ruby were explained to newbies "in terms of" Perl or Python (neither
of which I have ever learned, even today).
Certainly parts of Ruby are similar to those languages (probably even "inspired" or "borrowed").
But Ruby needed to be its own language with its own culture.
Likewise, Elixir needs to be its own language.
I think it's acceptable to describe Elixir in terms of Ruby... IF the speaker and the listener are
both Rubyists. That doesn't bother me.
I even think it's OK to use Rails as an analogy for Phoenix, so long as (again) the speaker and
listener are on the same page.
What does bother me more (and has been an annoyance for a decade) is the conflation of
Ruby with Ruby on Rails. The language isn't the framework, and the framework isn't the
language. I have wasted countless hours explaining to recruiters (and sometimes even people
who should know better) that while I am an expert in Ruby, I don't know Ruby on Rails.
Naming, of course, is a big part of the issue. No one confuses Django with Python. And no one
will confuse Elixir with Phoenix. Though in a larger sense, Phoenix is "just more Elixir code",
far more faithful (as I understand it) to Elixir than Rails is to Ruby.
In short: Comparing Elixir to Ruby is not so bad, depending on audience.
Comparing Phoenix to Rails is not so bad, depending on audience.
Comparing Elixir to Rails... Please don't. I won't flame you, and we can still be friends, but