"Simplifying the Life of Developers" Fabien Potencier on Symfony & the Expression Language Component.

Following his keynote at Symfony Live London 2013, we were able to grab some time with Fabien Potencier, creator of Symfony, to ask for his thoughts on the Expression Language components.


Fabien’s ideas on the Expression Language component in Symfony 2.4

When talking about Symfony 2.4, I think that the new Expression Language component is probably one of the best aspects of Symfony 2.4. Why is it so? Because it solves so many problems that were not solvable before. So basically Expression Language, the components, allows you to introduce some dynamic concepts to static configuration - that’s a bit technical really! But basically when you have a configuration in yaml or xml or even PHP if you’re configuring your routing stuff or the dependency injection container there is a big limitation right now, the fact that you can’t really add some dynamic stuff. You can’t call methods or you can’t get values outside of static configuration and Expression Language component allows you to do that and it opens up a lot of opportunities and I think it’s going to simplify the life of developers when working on Symfony and I think they are going to find a lot of ways to leverage these new components in various ways. I’m very excited about this new feature.

So the Expression Language components was merged yesterday actually, and it’s going to be available in Symfony 2.4 which is going to be released in November this year. So, if you want to try it out, you can do so right now. If not you can wait another two months or so and you will be able to get the stable version. If you want to learn more, you could read the documentation, but it does not exist yet or you can have a look at my session that I gave during the Symfony Live conference if it is available as a video. Yes, it’s going to be available, so that’s one way you can learn about the components.

We asked our Symfony developers what they thought…

“The Expression Language component looks to solve some common issues people have with config in Symfony2. I think in small doses it could help alleviate some problems however it does look like it has the potential for misuse in the wrong hands.” - Richard Miller, Symfony Guru

“Symfony Expression will be handy at the configuration level. I wouldn't use it anywhere near my domain objects or to hide stuff that should be expressed in the code. Like any powerful tool it will need to be used wisely.” - Marcello Duarte, Head of Training

“With great Expressions, comes great responsibility” - Christopher Hamilton, Support Manager

Over to you…

If you’ve got an opinion on the Expression Language component, join the debate in the comments below.