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What's going on with Phalcon ?

Hi there,

I'm just wondering what's happening at the moment with Phalcon as there haven't been any news on the blog for a while: there have been small releases but no blog post with a changelog or anything and v2.1.0 was supposed to be released several weeks ago but there are no news regarding that either...

Did I miss something ? Don't get me wrong I understand the devs have a life and stuff going and I'm not blaming anyone, I'm just worried because I've started building some quite big projects using it and it worries me that Phalcon isn't getting that much attention and could disappear any day... Am I going paranoid ? :)

Thank you for your insights

edited May '16

Just check the repo. Lately there were many commits with more php 7 support. It's not fully supported yet but it's really close. Phalcon 2.1.0 will be released as soon as full php 7 support.

Yes you are getting panaroid for me https://github.com/phalcon/cphalcon/commits/2.1.x

edited May '16

I have to agree with jonathan that phalcon doesn't give the impression like someone cares enough anymore. The team is working hard and I see that we are on v2.0.12, but no blog post has been written since v2.0.10. There should be a blog post on every minor release with the changes made. On my workplace we had a discussion about the posibility of using phalcon on future projects and unfortunatelly it can't be considered trully realiabile.

Main points where:

  • no semantic versioning

  • on each minor version something gets broken because things change and there is no backwards compatibility

  • mongo, oracle, prostgre orm implementation are bugged

  • is more like a fan project (mostly because the community is kind of small and there is no marketing or a company behind it to ensure future development)

The discussion was a few months ago, but nothing really changed since then anyway.

You just forgetting that phalcon was never meant to be as big as symfony or laravel. Most of the time if you finish some project on some version there is like no reason to update the framework(espiecially one like phalcon) to next versions.

Community is small beacause not everyone is running it on vps etc, many people host their websites on shared hostings where you can't install php extensions.

A dev not doing communication or documentation is often working hard on code...

edited May '16

Just imagine - behind Phalcon there's an intermediate language - Zephyr which compiles into native C -> binary machine code. One of the greatest things which happened to the PHP community was Zephyr and Phalcon IMHO.

The benefit of this? Well, just take a look at this simple diagram.

Right click -> view image since this forum scaled it too much

(note: ICE is Phalcon's derivative, so it should not be taken into account)

When someone asks me what do I think about Laravel or Symfony, I show them such comparation graph. I'm working on Magento2 project now, and boy, I can't tell you how I wish I was using Phalcon again instead of bunch of slow garbage from Zend version 1 (!!!) and Symfony ver. 2. The God damn thing is so slow and broken that I cannot believe how they did it so bad.

Every good project takes time, effort and energy. I deeply believe Phalcon is here to stay on a solid ground. It just needs some time to support latest trends in PHP community (PHP7 at present).



7.8k

@stamster I gree with you. I have a new project with phalcon and php7. I believe in phalcon 2 and LTS version. I still use phalcon in my project.

@Wojciech since phalcon can't be used on shared hosting, the only target should be enterprise where an application is usually used and being continuously developed for the next 5+ years. The only thing being updated is the minor version because of possible bug fixes and security fixes. With phalcon you can't do such updates since it will break the whole application.

@graphmatic very true, but if the work is not advertised most people won't know. That's why keeping the blog up to date with what's going on is important.

@stamster while projects like zephir and phalcon push php forward, that diagram doesn't mean so much in most real world application where your application is behind a varnish server and everything is being cached. With PHP7 being released are lots of people that no longer believe of such a big difference between phalcon and other frameworks. About zf1 and symfony2 I agree that are damn slow and magento2 gives me the impression that is made by kids that just learned to code (total garbage), but still are used as industry standard; mostly because of marketing and making companies feel like are reliable on long term

Something to look in to http://symfony.com/blog/push-it-to-the-limits-symfony2-for-high-performance-needs

@xeleniumz LTS version will mean nothing if the devs don't start using SemVer and keep going on with this mess.

Right now phalcon is mostly suitable for small or medium projects while the target should be enterprise, but for small projects you can use any framework since won't matter too much.

Lately on forum are keep popping questions about what's happening with phalcon which gets downvoted and answered with blind fan like answers. Those questions should be a signal that things might not look like they go entirely in the right direction.

To get phalcon to the next level, where it should be, we should take in to consideration:

  • SemVer (since is an industry standard and make phalcon look more reliable)
  • make sure it plays nice with mongo, oracle, postgre, redis
  • enterprise ready
  • keep the blog up to date with latest updates
  • performance and architectural posts to push phalcon to the limits
  • showcase of big websites and companies using phalcon as part of phalcon website and not as a side project

But you don't understand a problem. To be used as enterprise ready and in big websites there is need for developers. There are much less people knowing phalcon than symfony or laravel. That's why it will never be used in big websites. Even if we do the rest of the things you mention. As far as i know g2a is using phalcon on some part of it.

edited May '16

I'm not saying that we should do all these tomorrow; of course it takes time to implement everything I'm saying, but some things are just ignored even are important. For example, SemVer has been requested since 1.x series and the answer is always "Phalcon is not using SemVer" which causes lots of backwards compatibility problems and frustration for devs.

g2a is big and we know that is using phalcon. We should advertise such companies on frontpage to show people what can be done and that some big "fish" trust this framework to use it for their products. The idea is, if someone big uses the framework already, it attracts more developers and make people see that it can be reliable for long term

edited May '16

There are much less people knowing phalcon than symfony or laravel. That's why it will never be used in big websites.

IMHO, this assumption is false. Number of 'well known' people is worth nothing when it comes to quality or stability for enterprise use case. MicroFocus COBOL is considered totally out of date and deprecated, but even today many enterprises still rely on it.

Even in local market, you can find job postings such as:

To do your magic you’ll need to:

Have experience in PHP (Phalcon, Zend or other enterprise frameworks)
Appreciate software design patterns and OO principles
Have experience with source control systems (git)
Want to write beautiful, testable code
edited May '16

Well i will try to contact g2a head of IT and ask some questions about phalcon on g2a, beacause well g2a is polish thing and im from polish too so maybe someone from them will answer it. If they will answer i guess it will be posted on phalcon blog.

the diagrams is really attractive, but does it takes in consideration the performance of the Orm or only server request?

(I found the orm sometimes unsuitable for complex query, returning result after 1 or 2 second where a raw query take 50ms (I know that the orm do a lot of side operation, but having something like a "performance mode" for the orm, keeping the easy of coding/use of models, but bypassing not-critical logicals, would be very nice..)

Just imagine - behind Phalcon there's an intermediate language - Zephyr which compiles into native C -> binary machine code. One of the greatest things which happened to the PHP community was Zephyr and Phalcon IMHO.

The benefit of this? Well, just take a look at this simple diagram.

Right click -> view image since this forum scaled it too much

(note: ICE is Phalcon's derivative, so it should not be taken into account)

When someone asks me what do I think about Laravel or Symfony, I show them such comparation graph. I'm working on Magento2 project now, and boy, I can't tell you how I wish I was using Phalcon again instead of bunch of slow garbage from Zend version 1 (!!!) and Symfony ver. 2. The God damn thing is so slow and broken that I cannot believe how they did it so bad.

Every good project takes time, effort and energy. I deeply believe Phalcon is here to stay on a solid ground. It just needs some time to support latest trends in PHP community (PHP7 at present).

I don't think they even interact with a database in such tests.

The thing is, every ORM out there is slappy. That's why I built my own ORM on top of Phalcon's adapter classes. Works like a charm and you can do anything you like, simple or complex.

Thank you for your replies, I see I am not the only one concerned by this but on the other hand it's very encouraging to hear news from more involved people.

@stamster while projects like zephir and phalcon push php forward, that diagram doesn't mean so much in most real world application where your application is behind a varnish server and everything is being cached. With PHP7 being released are lots of people that no longer believe of such a big difference between phalcon and other frameworks.

I have to agree with this, I've stumbled upon more and more discussions where people think PHP7 is closing the gap between Phalcon and regular frameworks.

I really think the key is to show that Phalcon is an alive, active project, and if possible I really wish there were more news on the blog in the future. There is work to be done on the site and the documentation, unclear explanations, incomplete translations... And also the site went down for a few hours recently making the documentation unreachable...

How can one contribute to improve all of this ?

Just check repositories:

https://github.com/phalcon?tab=repositories

And contrubute where you want.

Well created an "issue" here:

https://github.com/phalcon/cphalcon/issues/11814

On forum maybe not everyone will open this thread etc. Semantic versioning is first thing we can do about phalcon being more reliable etc.

This is what is really annoying and which makes Phalcon feel deprecated: https://forum.phalconphp.com/category/10/di-ioc

1/3 of forum does not work, it generates 500 http errors.

Many people will ask - if their own forum / software does not work - what to expect from our apps :/

and sidely, a little work on the search function would be great too...i.e. allowing use of operators...

This is what is really annoying and which makes Phalcon feel deprecated: https://forum.phalconphp.com/category/10/di-ioc

1/3 of forum does not work, it generates 500 http errors.

Many people will ask - if their own forum / software does not work - what to expect from our apps :/