When comparing web2py vs Symfony, the Slant community recommends Symfony for most people. In the question“What are the best backend web frameworks?” Symfony is ranked 18th while web2py is ranked 22nd. The most important reason people chose Symfony is:
Symfony is open source and released under the MIT license.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Documentation is written in form of a book which is good for beginners
web2py documentation does not follow the common pattern of using Sphinx, MkDocs or ReadTheDocs which is goos for exeperienced developers. Although documentation in form of a book is very easy and good for beginners. Turning web2py the most easy and comprehensive framework to learn and also to teach.
Pro Web2py apps run on GAE, AWS, VPNs, PythonAnywhere, etc
Web2py apps are designed to be portable. With some minor restrictions web2py apps can run on any VPS on SQL databases and/or Mongo, as well as on Google App Engine with the Google Datastore. It is truly code ones and run everywhere. For example at Camio.com we use web2py internally to access a GAE datastore which contains more images than Instagram.
Pro User support
The web2py community is open and friendly and it gives concrete support to newbies and old timers. It's not difficult to get answers from the BDFL Massimo Di Pierro himself.
Pro Maintainable over time
One really positive aspect of web2py application is their maintainability over the years. Old code works even if the framework is updated to the latest version. Not only that, if code is written well it is very short and a new team can pick it up over in little time.
Pro PyCharm supports web2py
While web2py has its own web based IDE which is convenient, it works with WinIDE, PyCharm, and Eclipse. The first two explicitly support web2py. The latter requires some configuration.
Pro Easy to learn without losing any power
web2py is very easy to learn for beginners, yet it has a great deal of power and flexibility as application needs become more complex. It includes an impressively comprehensive set of features, making development very productive without the need to integrate a lot of third-party libraries.
Pro Can be tuned to be really fast in production
The framework is really fast in production after some optimization and fine tuning which can minimize the memory footprint in order to make it run on a really small VPS or slice.
Pro Easily extendable
Allows users to easily extend functionality by using external libraries.
Pro No need to import the API to access the models and controllers context at every request
Models and controllers live in the context of the HTTP request. So the developer does not have to import the API to access this context at every request.
In other words, the models, controllers and templates in web2py use a domain specific language which uses pure web2py syntax and allows to import any module but exposes a few additional objects.
Pro Includes a web-based IDE for creating and managing applications
web2py includes an "admin" app that serves as a web-based IDE for web2py applications. It includes many features, such as application creation, compiling, and packaging; an error ticketing system; a code editor; a debugger; a controller doctest runner; Git and Mercurial integration; and one-click deployment to PythonAnywhere, Google App Engine, and OpenShift.
It is not intended as a full desktop IDE replacement, but it includes some helpful web2py specific functionality and can be convenient for basic editing and debugging tasks and quick prototyping, even for those who primarily work with a more full-featured desktop IDE or editor.
Pro web2py supports the classic editor Vim
Pro Open Source
Symfony is open source and released under the MIT license.
Pro Great plugin ecosystem
One of the greatest strengths of Symfony is it's amazing and large plugin ecosystem, which comes as a result of it's large and dedicated community. Having a large number of plugins means less development time and more productivity.
Pro Highly active community
Symfony has one of the most active communities out of all the PHP frameworks. This is shown by the high number of commits made every day in the GitHub repo.
Pro Easy debugging with a built-in debug toolbar
Symfony comes with a built-in toolbar that helps developers debug their applications during the development phase.
The toolbar is also extendable and new components, called panels can be added if needed to help with the debugging process.
Pro Teaches you good practices
Symfony makes you be a better programmer. You have to deal with the latest object-oriented design patterns such as service-oriented architecture, dependency injection, interface abstraction, and so on.
Pro Uses YAML/XML/PHP/Annotation
Symfony makes use of XML, YAML or PHP annotations to create configurations in order to tell Doctrine on how properties of a certain class should be.
Pro Powerful event system
Symfony has a powerful built-in event system that allows you to add flexibility to applications and makes it easier to maintain the codebase down the road.
Pro Great templating engine
Uses Twig, which is a simple and easy to learn templating language that can also be used as a standalone engine, outside the framework.
Pro Uses Doctrine ORM
Symfony makes use of the Doctrine ORM to add an abstraction layer over the database in order to maintain flexibility without having unnecessary code duplication.
Con The web IDE is not a full-featured IDE
web2py includes an "admin" app that serves as a web-based IDE for web2py applications. It includes many features, such as application creation, compiling, and packaging; an error ticketing system; a code editor; a debugger; a controller doctest runner; Git and Mercurial integration; and one-click deployment to PythonAnywhere, Google App Engine, and OpenShift. However, particularly with regard to code editing and debugging and version control integration, it is not as full-featured as some of the more popular desktop IDEs such as PyCharm. So, developers expecting a PyCharm-like experience may be somewhat disappointed. In any case, use of the web-based IDE is completely optional.
Too many configurations.
Con Very hard to install
Setting it up on webhost without a console is difficult.
Con Promotes bad development practices
Such as annotations via comments.
Con Doctrine ORM
Symfony Standard Edition, which is the most widely used distribution, comes integrated with Doctrine, the most resource hogging ORM library.
Con You need a lot of files to display a single page
For a simple hello world page you need about 5 files.