What's happening with Codeigniter?

December 3, 2013, 9:10 pm
Author: James Griffiths

As far as MVC frameworks go we still think codeigniter punches above its weight, even with more powerful alternatives such as Laravel and Symfony. Its low learning curve and extensive libraries/helpers make coding an MVC application so much easier, faster and enjoyable compared to some alternatives. The conventions for writing code and their implementation allow for rapid development against tight deadlines which we haven't found to the same degree with other frameworks such as Symfony (then again that might just be down to personal preference and what feels right - some frameworks just don't 'do it' no matter how lauded they might be).

Granted there are limitations with CodeIgniter such as Doctrine/ORM integration, the absence of a package management solution such as composer and the difficulty in implementing more advanced PHP5 features such as Interfaces and Abstract Classes - to name but a few. For the more hardcore developer or those looking to hone their PHP skills to a finer edge these limitations might just be enough to make you look elsewhere and that's understandable.

Given the evolution of PHP over the last few years and the rapid adoption of object oriented programming techniques, particularly with regards to architectural patterns such as MVC, it makes sense that developers would want something more in line with this evolution. For some Codeigniter has simply not evolved and that argument carries a lot of weight BUT we still don't think it diminishes its usefulness as another asset in the web development toolbox.

Despite working with Laravel and pure OOP we still find ourselves using Codeigniter for certain projects where we need to leverage its wide range of built-in libraries to quickly write MVC code. No other framework allows us to work as quickly or reliably. The online documentation is second to none and for all of Laravel's popularity (which is well deserved) their documentation doesn't even begin to compare.

Personally we're not prepared to abandon Codeigniter yet and think there's more than enough mileage in its future now that the open source community have adopted the project. Yes, we acknowledge its limitations and would love to see those resolved but despite developing with other frameworks Codeigniter still has a special place in our heart regardless of recent announcements regarding its status.


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