Just got through watching Yehuda Katz's talk about Rails 3.0 he gave at MountainWest RubyConf 2009. Lots of good stuff about where Rails is headed, as well as the ORM-abstraction that Yehuda is working on, ActionORM. ActionORM is a layer built to make any ORM look just like it is ActiveRecord, to Rails. Yehuda also talks a little bit about how he is working to change rails so that it will be easier to do things such as changing out ORMs, or even something like replacing ActionController with your own Controller code.
Towards the end he talks about how some people have said that by Merb merging with Rails, there will be less competition, and there will be less competition. Yehuda points out that by making rails modular, competition will be more between different parts of the framework(ActiveRecord vs. Datamapper). I agree with him and think that this will be a huge benefit to the community as a whole. Heres the video:
This video brought to you by ConFreaks. Lots of great videos at the website from many other Ruby-related conferences.