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[jfw] Re: Packages - Keep or Dump?

On Monday, 25 May 2015 05:30:43 UTC+10, Johan Janssens wrote:
Instead of slimming down, I think time has come to throw in the towel. The framework/platform was created with the idea that developers could create standalone Joomla applications.

The reasons were a little more complex than that.
Lets be honest, this didn't happen.

Actually it did, it just depends on your point of view as to whether the impact was worth it or not. Did the instigators of the Framework overcome the political argie-bargie that in part motivated the Framework to be born? Not entirely, and that is a problem that remains today be there a Framework Team or not.
To date, we haven't seen any major uptake in the Joomla community, nor the wider PHP community. Developers looking for web application frameworks, are choosing for Laravel, Symfony, ... or others.

One might ask why isn't all of Joomla following Drupal's lead and moving to Symphony. At least that would position the two projects to at least have a chance of interoperability.

A little look at packagist shows that the Joomla Framework was only installed 5000+ times, compared to the more then 5 milion installs for Laravel, or more then 6 milion installs for Symfony.

- Joomla   : https://packagist.org/search/?q=joomla%2Fframework
- Symfony : https://packagist.org/search/?q=symfony
- Laravel   : https://packagist.org/search/?q=laravel

I don't think the metrics for entire framework packages of any of those projects are remotely meaningful. You need to see the distribution of the individual packages. Granted, it will reveal that Joomla is still the underdog - but so what. It's not like other developers in our community don't choose to build and use their own frameworks rather than contribute to Joomla's core :P 
Contributions to the framework have also stalled completely. There hasn't been any serious commit activity since the latest 1.1.0 release in Feb 2014. See : https://github.com/joomla/joomla-framework/graphs/contributors

One could also argue there hasn't been any serious innovation added to the CMS in that time either ...
As for the separate packages released at https://github.com/joomla-framework, those are not getting installed a lot either, see https://packagist.org/search/?q=joomla Very likely because there are a lot better PHP libraries available today. 

This is a good point. And if it's true, another option we have to steering the CMS to use those better PHP libraries.
Think it's more then fair to conclude that the framework/platform effort has failed. Nothing wrong with that. I know it's not easy to let go, but lets not waist time and energy on something that developers are not looking for. Instead lets bundle efforts and focus in moving Joomla forward as a content management system.

That doesn't really solve the underlying problem, it just shifts it to a different mailing list. The CMS code is still old and irrelevant and by and large untested by today's standards. It doesn't obviate the need to think modular. Regardless whether the Framework Team in it's current form lives or dies, since (I hope) Joomla's leadership is leaning towards a more "product focused" project (as indicated by the corporate flavour in the recently adopted organisational structure), it makes sense that there will be a team laser focused on library code that higher functions of the CMS might use. 

It doesn't mean that you suddenly stop using Composer to maintain our own packages. There are very good reasons for doing so even if only the Joomla CMS is using any single package. And if that's the case, I would expect to see a Team handling that grunt work one way or the other.

So while it's easy to be very dismissive of where the Framework Team has ended up (and the reasons for that are both complex and nuanced), it doesn't mean that the Joomla CMS product doesn't need some leadership in significant code reform, and that should most certainly happen in a modular way.

Andrew Eddie

Framework source code: https://github.com/joomla-framework
Visit http://developer.joomla.org for more information about developing with Joomla!
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