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We are in the process of moving over to the PHP framework Symfony 2 for much of our web application development.

At the time of writing Symfony 2 is the most active (most watchers and most forked) open source PHP project on github. It has a great community behind it contributing to both the framework and reusable packages many of which can be found at http://knpbundles.com/ or Github. We are also looking forward to an increased presence of Sensiolabs (the company behind Symfony2) in the UK.

Symfony ships with the highly flexible Twig templating engine and Doctrine – a powerful object relational mapper which is powering some of our past projects and we have already written a little bit about working with it

Moving forward to Symfony 2.1 brings us the Composer package management tool as the default dependancy management, backed by the Packagist PHP package repository – making managing dependancies and installing open source packages a cinch.

What does this mean for us?

Symfony’s extensible bundle structure allows us to create reusable packages to solve some of the common problems faced when building websites – which means we can tackle these tasks more quickly and spend more time (and have more fun) working on the more complex and bespoke aspects of web development.

In conjunction with our pals over at Browser London we are working on a collection of packages that together will form JellyBean CMS, but individually will provide flexible and powerful chunks of functionality. Our new website has been built from the ground up using these components and takes full advantage of edge side includes along side the HTTP accelerator Varnish, which is made really easy in Symfony2  (check out the Symfony2 cookbook entry on HTTP caching for more information).

We’ll start to blog more about our JellyBean CMS as it matures and the aim is to release a public version on Github sometime this year once we’ve fine-tuned some of the features we are currently working on. In parallel we’ll continue to use Symfony 2 within our core part of our development stack

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