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Choosing to finish a Symfony 1.4 site rather than rebuilding it in Symfony2

Written by: Peter Fisher on May 10, 2013
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symfonyLast week I went against the grain and put a Symfony 1.4 site live.  Not a Symfony2 site!

So whats my reasoning?

Well, I built a website for a client about a year ago and due to reasons out of my control, the site never got finished and therefore was left to collect svn dust in my file server. The site was about 75% complete and it contained a couple of hand rolled Symfony 1.4 plugins.  After getting a call from the client requesting the site to be finished and for it to go live I found myself asking the following question:

I have a Symfony 1.4 site which is about 3 quarters baked and needs to be finished pretty quickly.  Do I:

a) Rebuild the site in Symfony2 or

b) Finish the site using legacy Symfony 1.4?

This is a common dilemma amongst Symfony developers as no one wants to develop a site using legacy code. However as a freelance web developer your job is also split into two roles.  1) A project manager and 2)  a web developer.

Its times like this that you have to think about the clients needs more than your personal preferences.  Most of the time a client doesn’t care what version of PHP, Symfony or what ORM you are using.  Most of the time a client just cares about getting the site up and running in the quickest possible time. I go back to my previous post ‘The Lost Art Of Simplicity a talk by Josh Holmes’ which states that as software developers, we are very clever at over complicating things. If I was to tweak the question above too:

I have a Symfony 1.4 which is 3 quarters baked which needs to be finished. What is the simplest and quickest way to finish it. Do I

a) Rebuild the site in Symfony2 or

b) Finish the site using legacy Symfony 1.4?

I quickly worked out that it would take me a weekend to finish the site in Symfony 1.4 and at least 3 weeks to rebuild it in Symfony2.   The answer is now pretty straight forward, I would finish the site using the old Symfony framework and keep the client happy.

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Peter Fisher is a web developer working in Gloucester UK. Founder of the digital agency Websomatic, author of this blog and the HowToCodeWell Youtube channel. Peter has over ten years of web development experience under his belt

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