PHP Frameworks get weird

I was getting the itch to write a small web application and started looking around. I had played with Laravel a while back, but it's just a little too large. I wanted to deploy cheaply on my slow server.

The features I wanted were: REST API support, OAuth (client), Routes, User Auth

Phalcon was the most interesting. It's written in C as an extension, and is fast. It does mostly traditional, Laravel style MVC. It can do REST APIs as well, but the example isn't good. It needs some more code to do REST right. Being compiled it is fast. The features resemble Laravel and Twig. It has a nice SQL-like query language.

Fat Free Framework was in PHP, but it's really fast. Partly, I think they have ignored some of the PHP conventions to come up with their own versions of things like autoloaders, an object mapper, and MVC. The code looks like "old php" or at least "not enterprise from Zend", and I don't mind that. The curation of classes is odd because it feels like they're throwing in a bunch of unrelated but useful features, like a quickie REST API class.

Ice is another compiled-in extension, and is very fast. The ORM and other features feel like a throwback to the 2000s and Cake. It includes an Auth system, with Roles! It lacks anything to help create REST APIs.

Tipsy is a new framework inspired by Angular JS, which is odd because Angular is a front-end system. It has something called $Scope and does two-way data binding... which seems pointless to me because data shouldn't change in the view. It's use of globals to make singletons also feels like Codeigniter to me. It's use of functional-style code is refreshing.

Feature Matrix

Framework REST API User Auth OAuth Routes
Phalcon Y Y N Y
FatFree Y Y N Y
Ice N Y N Y
Tipsy N N N Y

After reviewing some of these options, that itch to make the little application faded away.