2017 - A PHP year in review

Published on – 3 minute read

It's this time of the year again - the end of the year is coming up fast, so why not step back and take a look at what we, as a PHP community, have achieved this year?

For these statistics, I used the free GitHub Archive data in combination with Google BigQuery, which lets you process 1TB of data per month free of charge.

So let's take a look at some numbers

Most starred PHP repositories in 2017

First, I wanted to take a look at the PHP repositories that received the most number of stars this year. This list contains the top 200 most starred repositories that have their main language on GitHub set to "PHP". Unsurprisingly, Laravel heads this list with an enormous lead.

In fact, Laravel is on this list seven times with a total of more than 19,000 GitHub stars this year. This definitely shows in which direction Laravel as a framework is heading for 2018 (Spoiler alert: Up)

I am also extremely happy to see my BotMan project on rank 26, even though the project is just roughly one year old!

Most starred new PHP repositories in 2017

The other statistics I was interest in, where the amount of GitHub stars given to new repositories, that where either created or made public in 2017.

As you can see, Spatie - a company doing a ton of open source projects - is on this list 16 times. Well done 👏 !

Most contributed PHP repositories in 2017

This is also a very interesting statistic. Even though Magento is not that high up on the repository stars, it has the most number of contributors - be it commits, issues, issue comments or pull requests. Up second we have Laravel once again - so not only is it the most popular PHP framework of 2017, based on the GitHub stars, but it's also the PHP framework that had the highest number of contributors this year.

Digging deeper - PHP framework dependencies

Another statistic, that I wanted to look at was the popularity of PHP frameworks among these lists. To detect this, I used a simple PHP script that crawls every PHP repository on packagist and takes a look at the main dependencies, not the dev dependencies, to see which frameworks were used.

So this table shows you the most used package dependencies from the top 600 PHP projects above.

To keep this a bit more readable and remove some of the noise, I only added the dependencies that were at least required 10 times.

So to split this up into the PHP frameworks, here is the result for the top framework dependencies of these 600 repositories:

Do you want to play around with the GitHub Archive data too? Take a look at the GitHub Archive instructions to get started!