John Esposito edits Refcardz at DZone, while writing a dissertation on ancient Greek philosophy and raising two cats. In a previous life he was a database developer and network administrator. John is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 320 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Social Comparison of PHP Frameworks

12.22.2011
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What's the best way to compare frameworks? Probably not just by feature-set -- unless you're already quite sure what features you need, and, coincidentally, only one framework has them all.

Besides, manually trundling to every framework's website, and finding each framework's feature-set (not all of which are presented in the same format), takes some time; and you're never quite sure whether you missed something important to you, just because the framework creators didn't think it important enough to highlight outside the formal documentation.

Ideally, perhaps, the Great Guru of PHP would write a nuanced, lucid, and battle-tested comparison article -- every time a framework updates -- which could then be applied to your needs by way of sufficiently robust semantics, like an idealized expert system for comparative ratings. So many frameworks update so quickly, however, that this isn't going to happen any time soon; and the semantic web isn't there yet anyway.

Meanwhile, though, there's this wiki-ish comparison of PHP frameworks from socialcompare.com -- presently incomplete, but already containing quite a few frameworks and interesting details of each. You can add comparison criteria (rows; folksonomically) or update existing criteria -- which currently include, among other details, ORM specifics, cache storage, template system, and testing libraries. 

One of the neatest criteria already present: the 'notable project using it' row. Now you know that Yahoo Answers is powered by Symfony (impressive!), for example.

The comparison site already contains a good chunk of info, but looks like it could become a voluminous and ever-updated repository for user-generated evaluation, if the user-base grows sufficiently. Definitely worth checking out, and maybe contributing some insights of your own.

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Comments

Ash Mughal replied on Thu, 2011/12/22 - 1:38pm

Its hard to compare frameworks specially PHP frameworks. I think now even we can not count the no of frameworks that are in market and in use these days.

Also there is wide range of requirements by the clients. So the best way is to get a good understanding of basics of any language and then you would be able to work with any framework easily.

John Esposito replied on Thu, 2011/12/22 - 2:26pm in response to: Ash Mughal

That makes sense -- you should be able to use any framework you choose, and then actually choose the framework suited to the project (say, to meet the client's requirements). So maybe rating a framework isn't as useful as comparing and contrasting it with other frameworks (like Socialmention tries to do). 

All else being equal, though, don't some frameworks fit individual developers' coding styles better than others? (Not everyone likes ORM, for instance.)

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