Symfony2, PhpBB4 and Drupal8

The last week I attended Drupal Latino conference. It was an interesting experience and I met really nice people, however a question arose in my head after attend the first session about Drupal architecture. They started talking about Drupal 7. I’m not pretty much informed about the Drupal releases and its features, but I thought they would say something like Drupal 7 will be based on a new generation framework. They said nothing about that. After the session I started to talk with some guys who know a lot more from Drupal than me. Then I asked them if maybe the next Drupal release will be based on a framework. They told me that the central idea for Drupal 8 was to create a better separation between framework and product and I was wondering if maybe instead of reinventing the wheel they would use and stable and rock solid framework. They said this was not in the plans yet.

PhpBB
Symfony2
Drupal

As you may know sometime ago the PhpBB team decided to base the new major release on Symfony2. They had a lot of reasons to do that. As they said: “It is absolutely amazing how Symfony2 matches exactly what we described as requirements for phpBB4”. Some of this requirements were to use PHP 5.3, follow the autoloading standard for PHP5.3, clean modular extensible object oriented code with decoupled clases, scalability, consistent use of Dependency Injection. Obviously PhpBB is moving on the future of PHP development.

The path PhpBB4 is following when adopting Symfony2 as a base structure development will bring them a lot of benefits like reduce the amount of work spent on backend details, faster development and hence faster releasing of new features, attract more experienced PHP developers, etc. The idea behind this first step from PhpBB is that every similar PHP product would benefit from a seasoned framework, in this case, a product like Drupal. Just imagine major PHP products like Drupal, PhpBB, Wordpress, Joomla, etc being developed based on a new generation framework like Symfony2. Everyone would see benefits from this fruitful relationship like now is going to see PhpBB4 and Symfony2. PHP as a development language would be stronger because almost everyone would be using the best practices and methodologies that imposes the new generation 2.0 frameworks.

The future is still uncertain and in the hands of each of these product’s teams is the decision to stop reinventing the wheel and embrace a new generation framework for its core development.

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