Lumen happened. It’s a shiny new micro-framework from Taylor Otwell, and it joins the Laravel family today. It looks to be a pretty nice framework, and it shares many of the same features and goals as Slim 3.0. I’m sure this raises a few question about Slim’s future roadmap.
UPDATE: April 18, 2015
Slim 3 (not yet released) has received substantial performance improvements since Lumen’s initial release. We are benchmarking Slim 3 throughput performance as equal to or greater than Lumen using a Homestead virtual machine with Apache Bench and Siege. We’ll post more updates as they become available.
First, Slim is not going anywhere. We are hard at work pushing toward the 3.0 release. Version 3 introduces PSR-7 support, a streamlined middleware architecture, an improved router (the same router used by Lumen), and an overall simpler codebase. We are thrilled that Slim 3.0 is nearly ready for public consumption. We hope to release a beta version very soon.
Is there overlap between Slim and Lumen? Of course. They both have similar goals and solve similar problems. There are also differences. Slim has fewer dependencies and, therefore, less surface area. Is this a huge win? Probably not, but there is value there. Second, Slim is an early proponent of the PHP-FIG’s PSR-7 standard (approaching acceptance vote). This allows you to quickly swap in alternative, interoperable HTTP message implementations for your Slim applications. We also believe Slim is a better solution for those seeking a tiny and nimble codebase with which you can integrate third-party PHP components to build powerful APIs and applications.
Lumen is a nice alternative micro-framework if you need a smoother transition from micro-framework service to full-stack Laravel application. Lumen and Laravel are made for each other. That being said, you can still integrate Laravel components with your Slim Framework applications just like you could yesterday and you can tomorrow. The Illuminate database component, for example, is one of my “go to” PHP components for my own Slim applications.
I want to end by saying that I welcome alternative frameworks. More options are better for the PHP community. Slim has and will continue to be a fun hobby of mine. Unfortunately, I can’t work on Slim full-time like Taylor does with Laravel and Lumen. I don’t have the time or the marketing budget. This is why it’s important that the Slim Framework community help make the Slim Framework even better. Spread the word on Twitter. Talk about Slim at your local PHP meetup. Submit pull requests to improve the framework codebase. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Keep an eye on our blog and our Twitter account for more details about the upcoming 3.0 release.