But most of our code is not just plain PHP. It's framework-locked PHP. How is framework adoption?
If you look at the PHP Framework Trends table and see Symfony with 595 mils. downloads last year, what will it tell us? What if 90 % of that is just legacy Symfony 2.8?
When I talked with my friends Marek and Honza about PHP downloads trends last week, they came with an idea that stats should include downloads numbers for each version and the release date of that version. That would help us separate long-tail dinosaurs from actively adopted packages.
So I closed myself in a closet for 3 days and put together framework downloads grouped by version (see PR). I won't lie, few numbers really surprised me.
They say it's best practice to use LTS version - now Symfony 3.4. I personally prefer living on the edge with the 4.x version, but after feedback from the community, I lowered requirements to Symfony 3.4 as well.
Let's look at a base stone for Symfony applications - symfony/http-kernel.
- v4.2 - 1 838 593 downloads monthly - 54 % of all downloads
- v4.1 - 230 975
- v4.0 - 45 539
- v3.4 - 891 778
It's that Symfony community doesn't wait on another LTS. It grabs the new features as soon as they're out. Amazing job!
I don't follow Laravel releases much. There is no clear release plan like PHP or Symfony has and they seemed somewhat random to me. So when I looked at stats of laravel/framework, I was surprised there are basically 2 release/year every ~6 months.
It's also interesting, that people stick with various versions:
- v5.8 - 623 534 - 30 % adoption
- v5.7 - 532 232
- v5.6 - 240 762
- v5.5 - 317 489
- v5.4 - 146 119
Other versions have less than 70 k downloads.
It's also notable that 89,5 % downloads are for Laravel 5.x.
This week was Matthew announced moving Zend to Laminas project. For users, it technically means just change of
Zend namespace to
Laminas, but potentially growth of Zend features thanks Linux Foundation funding. Great news!
How is the Zend adoption doing now?
- 27 of 91 packages has an adoption rate of 80 %+
- 51 of 91 packages has an adoption rate of 60 %+
The Zend community is clearly interested in new features, far from "Zend is Dead".
- The most downloaded package is
cakephp/chronos- with 290 045 downloads/month. Next packages have only 60-70 000 downloads.
- The backbone for applications -
nette/application- has only 4 % adoption. No surprise there, since Nette 3.0 was released only on April 2nd, 2019. Keep updating!
Here are data to this day, I wonder how they change in 6 months.
This is just the tip of the iceberg that caught my eyes.
Check the full table and discover more interesting details about your favorite framework.