You can get a competitive edge in web applications from the foundation language you use to make them.
Facebook, WordPress and now much of Yahoo is built on the PHP computer language, now the fourth most popular in the world. Pretty good for something that has been a community initiative from the word go.
CodeIgniter’s big benefit is that it is light to run and simple to learn. As a Facebook app developer, I love using it because it means I can deliver top quality Facebook apps quicker and faster than my competitors (apart from those that use CI too!)
It was interesting for me to see the other frameworks (Zend and Symfony) which looked heavy, complex and slow in comparison to the super sleek CI.
In the debate, CodeIgniter fared pretty well – it’s main downsides noted by delegates were that it was PHP4 rather than PHP5, and that there was a fractured community around it (many former CodeIgniter developers left the CI community last year to create a “fork” of the main code called KohanaPHP).
The former turned out to be a non-issue as you can make CI a PHP5 only framework, while the latter is a niggle that needs addressing. Perhaps after a few summit meetings the two communities (CI and Kohana) might be persuaded to join forces for CodeIgniter 2.0. It would also be good to see a couple more big web names back CI as their framework.
Personally I didn’t see anything ‘better’ in the other frameworks, so I’m sticking to CodeIgniter for now. Each of the 300 developers at the conference will no doubt make up their own mind.