CodeIgniter Review - OpenVULab PHP Framework

FatalRemedy fatalremedy at
Mon Nov 3 21:57:57 UTC 2008

OpenVULab is going to be undergoing some heavy reworking after the All- 
We are going to be moving to a real open source mvc framework to  
facilitate a few things:

	- plugins (survey tools as well as simple inclusion of fluid  
	- data models (handle projects, surveys, etc, in a generic way that  
is easy to integrate with a new design)
	- proper page controllers (handle data outside of layouts)
	- logic / view separation

Why are we switching to a framework?

Currently there is no framework behind phpESP, and as we are trying to  
incorporate dynamic and complex things such as the ones listed above.

Any framework will have already written functionality and code to  
provide these things in a clean and easy manor.

What Framework then?
I've selected 2 popular open source frameworks and I've outlined some  
of the pros and cons below: and

I've collected a basic "plus" and minus' below:

PHP Cake:


    1. Stricter framework, better compliance with MVC.
    2. Bigger amount of modules
    3. Lots of examples and snipets
    4. VERY popular.


    1. Much heavier than Igniter, more configuring to do.
    2. Its template system and smarty integration is kinda strange.
    3. The overall templates (display schemes) implementation has its  
own limits.
    4. You are committed to do things the cakePHP way
    5. Very poor documentation.

Code Igniter


    1. Looser - more ways to do things.
    2. Easy configuration, nice loging capabilities
    3. MUCH Lighter - their goal is to be light and powerful.
    4. Template engine or (optionally) native php for views. Very  
light. (more control over views)
    5. AMAZING documentation (very easy to get others to help)


    1. Less modules. (which is growing every day)
    2. Loose system has its own good and bad sides - less order in the  
source files.

I prefer CodeIgniter, as I always want more control then more built-in  
features. Also, CodeIgniter is MUCH lighter and the documentation is  
leagues ahead of phpCake. Two things that I think are very much in  
line with the fluidproject. By choosing CodeIgniter we'd have less pre- 
made modules to choose from, but given that we have high standards in  
terms of UI and code, I think building out own modules is a better  
route anyway.

Here is a blog post that breaks down the CodeIgniter License:

phpCake uses the standard MIT Open Source License.

Any questions? Comments? Personal Experiences?

- Blake (the infamous FatalRemedy)

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