An article posted on nettuts called “What’s PyroCMS?” has caused some debate.
In my opinion PyroCMS has no future as a serious CMS (Content Management System) or CMF (Content Management Framework) for a number of simple reasons:
PyroCMS is built on Codeigniter, which for me is a brilliant PHP set of libraries. You can put together (and I have a number of large commercial sites) a website/application with ease. Now Codeigniter is not Cake or Symphony but a very loosely coupled MVC framework which has a nice set of helpers and classes to take out the tedious part of putting an app together. Phil Sturgeon, the original author of PyroCMS, was (but no longer thankfully) lead on Codeigniter Reactor. Phil wanted to take Codeigniter forward but in a direction that not everyone wanted it to go – Codeigniter is not and will never be a CMS or CMF out of the box.PyroCMS has a number of podcasts and here Phil talks about PyroCMS. However he mentions in a few places that PyroCMS does not use the current stable version of Codeigniter but version 3 (That’s the one that he was trying to push forward and Ellis Lab has not accepted). So currently PyroCMS is running on a Fork of Codeigniter and he mentions that they are going to be changing to Laravel in an upcoming version.
So who is going to maintain this Fork?
Will we all have to rewrite our modules when we change to Laravel?
Maintaining the Fork I suspect will be “Security patching and adding the odd function that PyroCMS needs only”, by a few dedicated people.
The switch to Laravel according to Phil will be done on PycoCMS version 2.3 + with backward compatibility. Version 3+ will drop Codeigniter. Although he says that version 2 will be maintained.
Lets added up the figures; the PyroCMS team will maintain a Forked Version of Codeigniter, two versions of PyroCMS, PyroCMS Pro (did I mention you need to pay for that one) and probably a Forked version of Laravel. Then you have to look to the upcoming dev version ? I don’t believe they have enough volunteers to do this.
I build sites on Codeigniter, Drupal and WordPress – which ever is the most appropriate for that client.
Now I love using Codeigniter as a PHP helper library and I have a quite a few large sites that I built out with Codeigniter. My first thoughts were alone the lines that “Hey PyroCMS could be just the backend I need” and so I started to build a client’s site on PyroCMS instead on WordPress. However is soon became clear that PyroCMS’s lack of of modules would mean building quite a few extra modules. But what was more concerning was when I heard about PyroCMS’s roadmap. Would I be having to rebuild this client’s website (probably for free) next year because 1; PyroCMS has gone or 2; PyroCMS codebase has changed and I wouldn’t be able to update this site.
For me the, the commercial decision was easy – WordPress.
I can’t see what PyroCMS is hoping to achieve – It will never catch-up with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal etc. It dosen’t offer anything over these main stream CMS/CMF’s.
I can here the Purists charging the gate about design patterns etc – Get a life.
PyroCMS could succeed if it went with being just an admin overlay for Codeigniter.