The future of CodeIgniter is anything but clear. As rival frameworks, especially Laraval, grew, many were sounding the death bells for CodeIgniter. However, CodeIgniter is back with a new version. Before we consider the future of CodeIgniter, let’s consider the background of this framework.
CodeIgniter is an MVC-based framework introduced by EllisLab in February 2006. Used by many developers, it has grown in popularity due to its easy implementation and low learning curve for beginners. In mid-2013, EllisLab decided to no longer support the framework and research began for the prospect who would maintain it. Questions have poured into the open-source industry. What did the future hold for us? Would it be better or worse?
For CI lovers, EllisLab leaving CodeIgniter seemed to be the end of the open framework world. However, after a year of research, EllisLab found the team that could maintain CodeIgniter – the BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology). The community appreciated this end result.
Since then, BCIT has launched a new version, CI 3.0, under the MIT license. A lot has changed in the third version. For a more detailed list of what has changed between CI version 2 and CI version 3, read our blog. But what has changed in the third version is pale compared to what will happen with CI 4.
It wasn’t long after the release of CI 3 that the developers started to discuss the possibility of further upgrades. Maybe a CodeIgniter 4.0? Given the requests of the communities, the CodeIgniter council of BCIT decided to upgrade the framework to compete with the other frameworks.
The future version of CodeIgniter would include functionality to form a rich framework in terms of automatic loading, security, routing, caching and better exception handling. The development process is divided into three phases, the first phase is complete. The second, in progress.
The most important thing is that CodeIgniter will now use PHP 7. PHP 7 was released last year, and PHP 5.6 is currently in maintenance mode and will no longer be supported. This made the transition to the new framework a natural transition.
The future version of CodeIgniter will not provide backward compatibility, due to basic changes in the framework. This won’t be good for people using older versions, but it will provide a rich set of features for new developers that will help them make quality apps faster.
- Controllers and Models will be able to use namespaced classes.
- Developers can define the routes inside the routes file.
- Addition of Unit Testing.
- PSR-4 Autoloading implementation.
- Integration with Composer.
The open source community can post any thoughts or questions on the support and discussion forums that BCIT has launched for CI4. Read some of these forums here.
Why CodeIgniter Won’t Die
Weak learning curve
CI has less learning curve than many frameworks and is very easy for a beginner. Its simple documentation helps developers understand the concept of MVC. It also has no complex configuration to define before use.
Extended Libraries / Assistants
CI has an excellent set of libraries and helpers that accelerate development. A developer can use existing library functions or create personal assistants and use them anywhere in the application.
Rapid build capacity for MVC application
MVC has an architectural model widely used by the development community. It is an application development standard. CodeIgniter has made it simple for the developer to create an MVC application quickly and in a few easy steps.
Upgrade to the latest standards
CI 4 will publish the standards for automatic loading and recording PSR 4 as well as the implementation of the routing functionality. With these changes, it will be easy to stay up to date with the latest standards.
IT Hands CodeIgniter Experience
At IT Hands, we have been working with the CodeIgniter framework for many years (approximately 7-8) on a variety of projects. Our experiences have focused on small and medium web applications, the implementation of web services and the web portal supporting mobile applications. In our experience, CI is an excellent framework. Its design is simple and easy to use.