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Yahoo! Answers powered by symfony
by Dustin Whittle – May 08, 2008 – 23 comments

Yahoo! AnswersYahoo! used symfony to redevelop another project. This time symfony was used as part of the foundation for Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo! Answers is the largest collection of human knowledge on the Web with more than 135 million users and 515 million answers worldwide. Yahoo! Answers is the 2nd ranked education & reference site on the web and is available in 26 markets and 12 languages.

Why did Yahoo! choose symfony for another large web application project?


  • Full-stack framework for building complex web applications
  • Adopt best ideas from anywhere, using existing code if available (Mojavi, Prado, Rails, Django)


  • Clean separation between Model, View, and Controller
  • Controller using modules and actions
  • Views using templates in straight PHP with helpers
  • Easy to reuse view modules to compose a page (Layouts, Components, Partials, Slots)

Configurability / Flexibility

  • Features we do not want are easily disabled
  • Use of factories for easy customization

Documentation / Support Community

  • The Definitive Guide to symfony (free online)
  • Excellent tutorials and example applications - Askeet
  • Active community with wiki, mailing lists, forums, irc channel

Once again symfony fits the requirements of an enterprise web application. Dustin Whittle of Yahoo! presented a case study on redeveloping Y! Answers. The focus was how to work with open source tools to create a complete framework (PHP, JS, CSS) for the enterprise. He used his experience redeveloping Yahoo! Answers with symfony and Yahoo! User Interface libraries as a case study. Download the presentation from slideshare.


Comments RSS

  • gravatar
    #1 tsb said on the 2008/05/08 at 01:14
    Whoa, nice! Congratulations! :)
  • gravatar
    #2 tsb said on the 2008/05/08 at 01:15
    By the way, would be interesting to know what they used and didn't use. I'm guessing the model is still custom?
  • gravatar
    #3 Rob said on the 2008/05/08 at 03:17
    I wonder why they went with the weird URLs:;_ylt=ArdgGze7i8O0kLqAyNbm1Cnpy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20080507180734AABxNPn

    Semicolons and then the question mark at the end only for the qid.
  • gravatar
    #4 [MA]Pascal said on the 2008/05/08 at 11:01
    Really nice, ysfR3Plugin looks rly promising :p
  • gravatar
    #5 Brad said on the 2008/05/08 at 14:21
    The weird URLs are for internal tracking.

    And I can confirm that the model is somewhat customised.
  • gravatar
    #6 test said on the 2008/05/09 at 07:26
    wow! good~
  • gravatar
    #7 vinilios said on the 2008/05/09 at 08:55
    Great news for symfony....

    now its time for yahoo to support the community with their precious plugins :)
  • gravatar
    #8 Christopher Brunsdon said on the 2008/05/09 at 10:21
    Awesome. Projects like this give Symfony the exposure it needs.
  • gravatar
    #9 paolovas said on the 2008/05/09 at 17:01
    Great news !
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    #10 Mohammad said on the 2008/05/10 at 06:16
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    #11 mozey said on the 2008/05/11 at 19:18
    congratulations :)
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