When comparing Play Framework vs CodeIgniter, the Slant community recommends Play Framework for most people. In the question“What are the best backend web frameworks?” Play Framework is ranked 8th while CodeIgniter is ranked 13th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Asynchronous Core
Pro Interoperable with Java
It's like Java, but more Haskell-y.
Pro Good documentation and a great community
Play has quite a large community which provides numerous tutorials and videos related to developing with Play.
The Play official documentation covers many things, such as the framework itself but also specific stuff such as Akka, SBT and Netty.
There are also many big companies that base their main sites around Play, one of them is LinkedIn which provides third-party documentation on a regular basis.
Pro Simple for beginners
Play is very simple to get started. The documentation is very helpful for beginners and advanced users alike and the official website has a great "Getting Started" tutorial to begin developing with Play.
Pro Play is an extensive ecosystem
Play uses Akka for concurrency, Scala for a templating engine, Netty as a client-server framework and SBT (Simple Build Tool) for building. And they all come out of the box.
Play also comes with the option to scaffold your applications. Play is an all-embracing ecosystem designed to increase developer productivity and shorten development times.
Pro Readable code
Play framework's convention over configuration methodology makes most Play projects have a very similar structure. This means that the code written for the framework is very readable. This enables a developer to switch between applications without having to relearn the ecosystem for every project. The built-in templating system also helps with code and makes it possible to have a very low count of lines of code.
Pro Good Websocket Support
Pro Can use Java, one of the most widely known languages
Java is one of the most widely known languages, so people coming from that background can jump right in and not have to learn a new language syntax.
Setting up CodeIgniter is quick and easy. You can download the version you want from the CI homepage or directly pull the latest version from GitHub. After that, you unzip the contents to the directory that's required. The final step is to edit the
config.php to suit your needs and it's set up and ready for development.
There are also a lot of guides and tutorials from developers who have been using CI for a long time. This is because of the relative old age of the framework and the large community behind it.
Pro Well documented
The documentation is clear, structured and thorough. It explains both commonly used and CodeIgniter specific concepts and always with clear examples.
CodeIgniter has a small footprint, just 3MB and that's including the user guide.
Pro Active community
Because it's relatively old and well-liked, it has an active community of developers behind it. It's used by a lot of websites in production.
CodeIgniter is tested by hundreds of thousand of developers that use it in production. This means that it's very hard for any bugs or problems to go unnoticed. Even when a new version is out, bugs are quickly found and patched up.
Pro Open source
The MIT License (MIT)
CodeIgniter is open source and is distributed under the MIT license.
Pro Easy to use templating engine
CodeIgniter has it's own templating engine built-in. It's based on a mustache-like templating language which is easy to learn for new developers who have never seen it. While experienced developers will feel very comfortable using it.
Pro Output caching
CodeIgniter lets you cache the web pages in order to decrease loading times and increase efficiency and performance.
Con Backward incompatibility
The jump from Play 1 to Play 2.x caused a lot of confusion. While it is important to have some kind of evolution, sometimes it causes backward incompatibility which can create some problems. It makes tutorials or modules made for the old version obsolete. This can make it hard for beginners to find useful resources. The template engine which used Groovy now uses Scala.
Con Not as many resources to learn
Other languages and frameworks have countless tutorials, books, moocs, etc. Java and Play does not have nearly as much.
CodeIgniter was first released during the times of PHP 4. This means that a lot of features that were added later to PHP are not available. Some of these features are:
- Support for namespaces
- Modular separation by default
- Procedural function helpers
While nowadays CodeIgniter can be used along the latest version of PHP, these features were not added so as not to mess with backward compatibility. They can still be used with CI, but it requires extending core files to make it work which is a waste of time and energy and requires advanced knowloedge of both PHP and CI.
Con It does not have basic functions
Some of the missing features include controller security, filters in forms and modoles, rules of validation, among others.