I learned Ruby several years ago but then later dropped it in favour of python. Of course me being familiar with python at the outset was a big factor for me.
However I admit that Ruby has a nicer syntax for learning OOP compared to PHP and python. I found that Ruby adopted a lot of Perlish conventions in syntax which I dont think is helpful for a beginner.
Years ago one of the main reasons why I abandoned Ruby is because it tended to work well on Linux but poorly on Windows. (No doubt the situation has improved over the years.) Wheras python had a lot of support for windows from the beginning.
So in conclusion, if learning best OOP syntax then Ruby is probably better. For general beginner programming principles (apart from OOP) I would suggest python. PHP is getting better these days but I think it suffers from trying to maintain backward compatibility to the "bad old days". There are too many possible ways to do bad practice coding that is not even recommended by the PHP community. However its still possible to do it that way to maintain backward compatibility with old scripts and libraries.
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