Blog: Propel Has A New Leader

The Propel Team – 03 August 2011

A month and a half ago, I announced that I wished to pass the lead of the Propel project. Many people inquired about the workload that charge implied, and most of them were frightened by my answer. Between 4 and 16 hours a week, that’s a lot of time, but I suppose that’s what it takes to maintain such a large library as Propel.

Propel is a very promising project, and even more now than ever. With version 1.6, Propel gets on par with all other ActiveRecord implementations featurewise, and is still way ahead performancewise. The initial choice of code generation for runtime speed still pays, and adapts well to most development workflows. The lack of migrations kept some developers away from Propel, but with Propel 1.6 they have no more reason not to try it.

And Propel is also a very viable alternative to DataMapper implementations in PHP – read Doctrine2 here. Talk with developers actually using Doctrine2, most of them regret the ease of use of the ActiveQuery, the robustness of behaviors, the ability to debug problems in no time, the IDE integration, and the speed you can find in Propel. Doctrine2 is not (yet?) a RAD ORM.

So there was no reason Propel wouldn’t get a new leader. It would take some courage, a clear vision, and great experience to carry on with the development. It would mean a personal investment of importance. But the library is worth it. And sure enough, one man volunteered that is a good fit for the job.

His name is William Durand. You may know him as @couac from twitter or @willdurand from GitHub. He is French like me ; actually, we’ve been working 15 meters away from each other for the past months, since I hired him to work on prospective projects at eTF1. He is the developer who created and maintained the PropelBundle, which is the bridge between Propel and Symfony2. He also contributes to many other projects, including open-source ones. His understanding of the Propel design, of the open-source philosophy, and of the ORM landscape, would be enough to let him lead the project. But he is also an excellent developer, an extremely fast learner, and someone who is able to share his opinions and convince his coworkers. Let’s stop the introduction there, I’m sure William will soon introduce himself in this very blog.

From this day on, William is the leader of the Propel project, of the sfPropel15Plugin, in addition to the PropelBundle. He has all the necessary access, and will be your primary contact regarding tickets, milestones, commit right, etc.

As for me, I’m still leading a team using Propel on a day-to-day basis, with more than 250 Propel models actively running in production across various projects. No doubt that I’ll still be around, suggesting patches in code or documentation. But it will be up to William to commit them to the trunk!

I am very happy for Propel, which won’t be abandoned at all. I’m also very happy for me – this will give me some time for other activities. And most of all, I’m very happy for William, who deserves a warm welcome from you guys!