Running The Symfony 2 Benchmarks

Fabien Potencier released Symfony 2.0.0alpha1 last week, along with some benchmarks showing its performance. I am glad to see that Fabien used my benchmarking system and methodology, and am happy to see that he is paying attention to the performance of his framework. I take this as an acceptance on his part that my methodology is legitimate and valid, and that it has value when comparing framework responsiveness.

However, in attempting to reproduce the published Symfony 2 benchmarking results, I found Fabien’s reporting to be inaccurate (or at least incomplete). Read on for a very, very long post detailing my attempt to replicate his results for the “hello world” basic framework overhead comparison, and my conclusions.

For the impatient, here are my conclusions in advance:

  1. Fabien’s benchmark report, as shown at, is inaccurate for the setup he describes. Lithium and Flow3 do not work in Fabien’s benchmark codebase at Github. Also, Symfony 2 is faster than Solar beta 3 by 5%, not 20%, on a “c1.xlarge” instance; to get a relative difference like Fabien describes, one has to use an “m1.large” instance. (It is entirely possible that the process Fabien used for benchmarking is incompletely described, and that the codebase is not fully updated, thus contributing to this disparity in results.)

  2. We should use Siege 2.69, not 2.66, for more accurate benchmarking of baseline responsiveness. If we notice that HTML is slower than PHP, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

  3. Symfony 2 preloads its foundation and application classes, something no other framework does in the benchmarked code. When we treat Solar and Symfony 2 the same way, by preloading the foundation classes for each, we find that Solar is roughly 28% faster than Symfony 2.

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Drucker on Quitting

In my regular calls with my dad, he mentioned that it seems Baby Boomers, when unhappy with their jobs, tend to do little but whine about it, whereas Gen-Xers tend to quit. I thought that observation meshed well with this insight from Peter Drucker (“The Essential Drucker“, p. 314):

But increasingly also, knowledge workers, and especially people of advanced knowledge, see the organization as the tool for the accomplishment of their own purposes and, therefore, resent … any attempt to subject them to the organization as a community, that is, to the control of the organization; to the demand of the organization that they commit themselves to lifetime membership and to the demand that they subordinate their own aspirations to the goals and values of the organization. This is inevitable because the possessor of knowledge … owns his or her “tools of production” and has the freedom to move wherever opportunities for effectiveness, for accomplishment, and for advancement seem greatest.

Managers in IT organizations might do well to remember this.

Solar 1.0.0beta4 released, with new manual chapters

Yesterday I released the beta4 version of the Solar Framework for PHP. You can see the change notes here.

We have also added three new chapters to the manual:

Take Solar for a quick test-drive with the blog demo and see if it suits you.

(Cross-posted from the Solar blog.)

Solar 1.0.0beta3 Released

Yesterday, I released Solar 1.0.0beta3. You can see the very short change log here. Special thanks to “kalkin” for committing a series of fixes and improvements.

These days I’m concentrating more on documentation. Previously, we had only the ubiquitous quick-start blog demo. This release includes a new chapter on Solar’s dynamic dispatch cycle; i.e., the bootstrap, front controller, page controller, action method, and view. (I’m starting a chapter on the DataMapper-style model system today.)

Incidentally, I’ve been writing the docs in DocBook 5 and building them with xsltproc. You can see the whole build system in the Solar docs repository. I tried using the new PhD build system, but it required more effort and energy than I could spare. PhD is screamingly fast, but it’s not doing everything that xsltproc does just yet, and I barely have enough time to work on my own projects as it is.

(This announcement is cross-posted from the Solar framework blog).