Results of all kinds of polls organised by various portals are only subjective views of their readers. Organising a poll on a site mostly read by WordPress users will yield different results than a poll popular among Laravel artisans. Voting is also limited to readers who actually decided to participate in a poll, so it's hardly a representative view.
Although statistics I gathered here reflect actual choices people made when working on open source projects, they need to be put in a context just as well as the poll results.
These statistics are by no means an indicator of popularity among the end users.
We can't learn from them how popular a framework is on commercial projects. What we can learn, however, is how popular it is among developers who create libraries or other frameworks. Especially now, when composer is the de facto standard for PHP package management (a year ago there were voices it's still not well adopted by some).
Recently I dusted off the old scripts and repeated the experiment. This time I also included Doctrine and Laravel (Illuminate) next to Symfony and Zend Framework. Just out of curiosity and to put it in a wider context.
As a reminder, I looked for dependencies defined in the require, require-dev and suggest sections.
There's over 53000 packages registered on packagist at the moment of writing. This number is over twice as big as last year.
Number of packages depending on Symfony has almost doubled too. Out of 9265 packages that depend on Symfony, there's 2942 that depend on the symfony/framework-bundle and 1857 that depend on symfony/symfony. These are most likely bundles or applications.
The chart on the right and the table below present Symfony in a context of other popular libraries and frameworks.
However, since a single package might depend on multiple vendors these numbers are not exclusive. For example, out of 3751 packages depending on Doctrine, 2299 depends on Symfony, 431 depends on Zend Framework, and 68 on Illuminate.
In other words packages depending on both Doctrine and Symfony are included in these numbers twice, so summing them up wouldn't make much sense.
|Feb 2014||Mar 2015|
|Total number of packages on packagist.org||24317||53101|
|Depends on Symfony||4994||9265|
|Depends on Illuminate||1355||4160|
|Depends on Doctrine||-||3751|
|Depends on Zend Framework||1356||2289|
Looking at components alone is less biased.
The chart below shows component adoption alone. These are only direct dependencies as given in composer.json. Numbers don't include indirect dependencies. For example, since Laravel depends on Symfony, a package which depends on Laravel won't be included in numbers below. Unless it also indicates a dependency on one of the Symfony components.
As you can see the console component has outrun yaml in the past year. I'm not surprised, as it saves a lot of effort while building command line tools and applications.
Detailed numbers can be found in the table below and here are the results of crawling: results.csv.
|Feb 2014||Mar 2015|
These are numbers of packages depending on bridges from the Symfony organisation.
Here are numbers of packages depending on bundles from the Symfony organisation.
Bonus: Testing Tools
As a bonus, I also included some popular testing tools.
Bare in mind that these are very often not specified in composer.json, as many projects rely on them being installed globally (especially PHPUnit users).
|Total number of packages on packagist.org||53101|