When comparing Play Framework vs Phalcon, the Slant community recommends Play Framework for most people. In the question“What are the best backend web frameworks?” Play Framework is ranked 9th while Phalcon is ranked 10th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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 Asynchronous Core
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 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 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.
Pro Extremely fast
Since the framework is and extension built in C it's extremely fast and efficient. It's actually one of the fastest PHP frameworks, and according to some benchmarks it's the fastest framework out there.
Pro Open source
Phalcon is open source and is available under the BSD License.
Pro Uses Volt template engine
The Volt template engine, which is embedded into Phalcon itself takes it's inspiration from the Jinja template engine and as such it's nice to look at, with a clear and understandable syntax.
Volt also compiles very fast, like Phalcon itself, so it avoids being a bottleneck for the framework's overall speed.
Pro Loosely coupled components
Some components can be used as standalone packages like models, views, etc..
Pro Customizable with Zephir
Zephir is a high-level language designed to create PHP extensions easily by PHP programmers with no knowledge in C.
Zephir does this by compiling directly to C and then the C program is in turn compiled to be run as a PHP extension. This, coupled with the fact that Zephir's syntax is very similar to PHP makes it a perfect way for PHP developers to use it for customizing Phalcon.
Pro Very flexible project structure
You can set up the base project as you want. It's very flexible
Pro Clean and light project code
Since the framework code is not in the project directory, the code is light and clean.
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.
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 Require good programming skills
Not so easy to use if you want to gain the best from it.
Con Debugging requires knowledge of C
You need to be a C programmer to debug Zephir or C code. Or if Phalcon is not maintained anymore and you have a problem and don't have much skills in C, you will be hard-pressed to find a C programmer to fix it.
Con Not for shared hosting
Phalcon needs root access to install the PHP extension which is written in C. Developers who plan on using Phalcon must use VPS or Cloud Hosting with root access available.