Symfony 4.2 is used Twice More than Symfony 3.4

PHP itself is very quickly adopted. Last Packagist stats from 2018/11 report 32,6 % people are using PHP 7.2. That's a very nice number, great job y' all!

But most of our code is not just plain PHP. It's framework-locked PHP. How is framework adoption?

This post was inspired by very active reactions to Trends of PHP Frameworks in Numbers

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.

Symfony on Bleeding Edge

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!

Laravel wide Spread and Stable

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.

Zend Injection along with Adoption

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".

CakePHP with Peak

  • The most downloaded package is cakephp/chronos - with 290 045 downloads/month. Next packages have only 60-70 000 downloads.

Nette slowly Adopting

  • 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.

Happy coding!