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Why the hate for CI still

#1
I must admit I haven't posted in a while.

I successfully developed a project using CI last year and I was happy with the outcome.  I'm a vanilla PHP kind of person but some clients get twitchy about this because if you end up under a bus they worry nobody else will understand or want to take on your code.  For me a framework is a good half-way house between completely vanilla PHP and an off-the-shelf system.

I did look at one of the other very popular frameworks alongside CI, and at the time it took so long to setup, configure and learn CI seemed like the obvious choice.

I hear a lot of people bashing CI, often complaining it doesn't have features, which to be honest, I don't need or have never heard off.  I must admit I have a broad range of skills so I'm probably not as "heavy weight" as some PHP developers out there.

I'm about to undertake another couple of projects and I'm on the verge of using CI.  My only hesitation is all the stuff I read bashing CI, saying it's dead and shouldn't be used on new projects.  My clients don't really know which is the "best" framework, nor care too much.  But obviously I don't want to go back to them in a couple of years time and told them I picked the wrong thing.

However, CI does everything I need it to do.  Really it just helps to structure my code better and throws in a few extra useful things such as form validation, etc, rather than cobbling such things together from scratch.

I know when EllisLabs gave up CI a lot of people said it was dead, but this line of thought still seems to be prevalent in 2017 even though it's clearly not dead and CI4 is on the horizon.  Why is this?  I am drawn to it because I understand it and can develop in it quickly - surely that's the important thing?
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#2
It really depends what you're comfortable with and what you need.

There's nothing wrong with CI as it stands today, but compared to some other frameworks, it doesn't have as many "built-in" features. Frameworks like Symfony and Laravel seem to have a module/library for everything under the sun which can benefit you if you're building a very complex application or are trying to prototype something quickly.

CI on the other hand is small and pretty darn fast. The bashing you hear is just because other frameworks have risen tremendously in popularity and are seen as standards in a lot of ways between a lot of the new PHP devs.

Whatever floats your boat I guess.
Codeigniter is simply one of the tools you need to learn to be a successful developer. Always add more tools to your coding arsenal!
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#3
(05-18-2017, 11:02 AM)CINewb Wrote: I must admit I haven't posted in a while.
Welcome back :-)

(05-18-2017, 11:02 AM)CINewb Wrote: I hear a lot of people bashing CI, often complaining it doesn't have features, which to be honest, I don't need or have never heard off.  I must admit I have a broad range of skills so I'm probably not as "heavy weight" as some PHP developers out there.
Really? Still? CI felt abandoned for a while and when Ellis lab said they were looking for a new owner, me (and I am sure lots of others) started investing time in other frameworks. But CI was fixed, debugged and brought back to life with CI3. And the direction and commitment of the team behind CI is literally almost perfect (IMHO) and this forum surely proves it is most certainly alive and kicking and growing.


(05-18-2017, 11:02 AM)CINewb Wrote: I'm about to undertake another couple of projects and I'm on the verge of using CI.  My only hesitation is all the stuff I read bashing CI, saying it's dead and shouldn't be used on new projects. 
Are you sure this is not old posts and old info about CI2. CI3 is stable, fast, powerful and non-descriptive. It is simply brilliant.

(05-18-2017, 11:02 AM)CINewb Wrote: My clients don't really know which is the "best" framework, nor care too much.  But obviously I don't want to go back to them in a couple of years time and told them I picked the wrong thing.
Use it. CI3 will be supported for a long time to come and it has some clever committed people in the core team as well as BCIT behind it as the owner.

(05-18-2017, 11:02 AM)CINewb Wrote: However, CI does everything I need it to do.  Really it just helps to structure my code better and throws in a few extra useful things such as form validation, etc, rather than cobbling such things together from scratch.
For me it is the query builder, csrf, session management, form validation, email library and of course the power of libraries and models.

(05-18-2017, 11:02 AM)CINewb Wrote: I know when EllisLabs gave up CI a lot of people said it was dead, but this line of thought still seems to be prevalent in 2017 even though it's clearly not dead and CI4 is on the horizon.  Why is this?  I am drawn to it because I understand it and can develop in it quickly - surely that's the important thing?
I have not read these comments recently, and if you have they are simply wrong. And yes, for me, I install CI in about five minutes, convert my HTML design to a few views I use as my building blocks, copy over a few handy libraries and am almost immediately into coding the really interesting bits - the actual workings of the site. So fast, so lightweight and so useful, a true framework that has virtually no bloat. Some people want a default auth system (I most certainly do not), or a default shopping cart (not me), or a blog (again - why?), etc etc. Some people want a CMS etc. If you want these go use the many that are available. With CI you can build all of these, to work how you want them to, to do the things and in the way you choose. It is a toolbox, a brilliant, free, open source, reliable, blazingly fast toolbox.

Don't let the children that are yapping in the background about "my framework is better than yours" change your opinion. You know you love it, you know it makes your life easier, you know you can trust it. What more could you possible want?

Personally, the customer tells me what they want and I build it. The framework it is built with as almost never been an issue, except when they insist they want WordPress - then I double the price and take twice as long with it. I hate using WP (which is a CMS, not a framework).

Good luck with your next project!

Best wishes,

Paul
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#4
CodeIgniter, in it's wisdom, has been a very stable framework and not necessarily following trends in other frameworks. I think that as Laravel became so popular, many devs decided that PHP should not be done any other way. It's the hipster framework, and if you're not a hipster, then you can't be cool. These are the same types that must ride a motorcycle and grow a beard to feel like they're superior to us lowly coding peasants. So, if you must fit in and be cool, then that may change what framework you decide to use. If you want to get stuff done and CI is comfortable for you, then I think you should keep using CI. I've found no real downsides to using CI3, and may keep using it even after CI4 is launched.
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#5
(05-18-2017, 12:58 PM)skunkbad Wrote: I've found no real downsides to using CI3, and may keep using it even after CI4 is launched.

Same here.

Although I am looking forward to what learning CI4 will teach me about PHP, because I learned so much from using CI2 and CI3. Although I fully expect to use CI3 for quite some time after CI4 releases, I am sure CI4 will actually be much better, and am so confident about the CI team and direction of travel, that CI4 will probably be the driver for me to learn all those unknown unknowns that lurk unnoticed by me in PHP. (I am self taught, no formal training, and as such still find gaps in my knowledge that surprise even me).
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#6
PaulD Wrote:Really? Still? CI felt abandoned for a while and when Ellis lab said they were looking for a new owner, me (and I am sure lots of others) started investing time in other frameworks. But CI was fixed, debugged and brought back to life with CI3. And the direction and commitment of the team behind CI is literally almost perfect (IMHO) and this forum surely proves it is most certainly alive and kicking and growing.

Are you sure this is not old posts and old info about CI2. CI3 is stable, fast, powerful and non-descriptive. It is simply brilliant.

You're right, some of the comments are years old (that's what you get when all you wear are "Google Goggles") however there are some comments saying these things only 4 and 6 months ago.

PaulD Wrote:Use it. CI3 will be supported for a long time to come and it has some clever committed people in the core team as well as BCIT behind it as the owner.

Thanks, I used it on a previous project and I enjoyed it. This time around it took me about 2 minutes to get it set up for a new project and 20 minutes to get back into. Compare that with another system I've tried recently (not a framework as such) which took me around 2 hours to setup and configure (lots of dependencies) and it still doesn't work correctly at the end of it. That's not saving time, it's wasting it.

PaulD Wrote:I have not read these comments recently, and if you have they are simply wrong. And yes, for me, I install CI in about five minutes, convert my HTML design to a few views I use as my building blocks, copy over a few handy libraries and am almost immediately into coding the really interesting bits - the actual workings of the site. So fast, so lightweight and so useful, a true framework that has virtually no bloat. Some people want a default auth system (I most certainly do not), or a default shopping cart (not me), or a blog (again - why?), etc etc. Some people want a CMS etc. If you want these go use the many that are available. With CI you can build all of these, to work how you want them to, to do the things and in the way you choose. It is a toolbox, a brilliant, free, open source, reliable, blazingly fast toolbox.

You're getting me excited now. You're right though, I don't want out of the box auth systems and blogs. If I'm perfectly honest I am happy writing vanilla PHP, but when you start replicating CI's form validation (but less successfully) amongst other things, CI makes perfect sense.

PaulD Wrote:Personally, the customer tells me what they want and I build it. The framework it is built with as almost never been an issue, except when they insist they want WordPress - then I double the price and take twice as long with it. I hate using WP (which is a CMS, not a framework).

As it happens I do a lot of work with WordPress now. You're right, first and foremost it is a CMS but you can extend it nicely once you learn how, and it does then become a sort of framework.

The difference though - how many database queries does WordPress make for a single page view? I can't tell you the answer, but I do know it's more than 4 or 5. How many does CI make? None, unless you tell it to.

The other thing is if I remember correctly the CI download was around 10mb. When I download another framework which is 40mb+ in size you start to wonder what is going on behind the scenes.

Anyway, thank you all for your replies, you have inspired me to get on with things and I think CI is a good choice.

From the very outset I was impressed with how easy it is to learn, the documentation is second to none and the help and support on this forum is also very good.
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#7
Why I use CI (and have for a long time):

1. Dead easy to setup and use.
2. The separation of the MVC is brilliant, straight forward and works efficiently.
3. The flexibility to code custom solutions because the framework isn't in the way is huge.
4. I don't need to learn a slew of other tools, methods, syntax in order to create even the simplest of tasks (not that learning is bad, but learning a bunch of things for the sake of saving a few seconds to setup a framework seems stupid)
5. Limited dependencies. I never know where the client's server is going to be and the condition of it, virtually every time, however, CI just works.
6. It doesn't try to do everything for me. I write LOTS of custom code for the business needs of my clients, I don't need a framework that has a pre-defined way to accomplish something that I either need to re-do/over-write or create from scratch that will cause issues with the rest of the pre-made modules (and, also, causes other developers who only do it the 'normal' way to have issues)
7. Very few things I Want to do in CI that I can't.

CI isn't perfect (no framework is the best for every situation every time anyway) and could have some segments and OOP principals supported better, but - so far - no matter what the issue is, we're able to either use CI directly or code with CI, along side it, to get what we want done.

Since I deal with a team of people and several jr. coders, ramp up time is minimal, they spend time learning our system and not the framework which saves us considerable money.
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#8
Just a quick comment on this topic from someone who isn't as good of a programmer in php and for my first application build in php I was looking for a good and solid base. I found many frameworks on the web and after reading through the many installation docs of those frameworks, i stumbled upon CI. in just a mere 2 weeks of programming in my spare time, i have a working application and now after just over 6 months i am still extending that base i build in 2 weeks time. CI3 was such a good and solid base for me that i keep on using it and haven't regretted it a single moment.

Just use it because you already have the experience using it. so why not keep using it.
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#9
Time for me to weigh in Smile
  • Every framework is perfect for some group of developers, and CodeIgniter has a core set of those Smile There is no single framework perfect for every situation.
  • Much of the criticism directed towards CodeIgniter a few years ago was justified ... it was in limbo, with an unclear direction.
  • Much of the criticism directed towards CodeIgniter these days feels like sour grapes, in much part because CodeIgniter doesn't bundle the same addins as many (most?) of the others, but also because of the history a few years ago.
  • Some of the criticism feels like "hipsters" complaining that CI is not jumping on the latest (good or bad) bandwagon, like PSR compatibility or your favorite authentication package. We're not trying to be hipsters!
  • Some of the CI community use different frameworks for different projects, based on suitability ... smart choice.
My personal feeling is that CodeIgniter4 is going to be an eye opener for many of the CI detractors, with its flexibility at the same time as its leanness, remaining true to the CI core values. Time will tell, of course, but to paraphrase a North American advertising slogan from some time ago, "I liked it so much I adopted the project" Smile
James Parry
Project Lead
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