Yii is one of the long-living PHP frameworks out there that is constantly evolving with time as PHP is enhanced more and more. It’s interesting explore the history of Yii.
In June 2004, Qiang Xue released the first version of PRADO framework. Prado was inspired by Apache Tapestry, Borland Delphi and Microsoft ASP.NET.
Roughly at the same time, Zend conducted a competition called “gophp5” to promote the newly released PHP 5.0. Qiang re-implemented Prado to PHP 5 and it won the competition.
At the time, the project was hosted on SourceForge. In the mid-2005, Wei Zhuo joined and helped to add i18n and l10n. Prado 2.0 was released.
In May 2005, Prado was again rewritten to include new features inspired by Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0. In April 2006, version 3.0 was released. Since then then Prado team has mostly focused on code quality and stability.
PRADO is still alive and used.
In October 2006, Qiang announced an alpha version of Yii at the PRADO forums.
On the 3rd of December 2008, Yii version 1.0.0 was released. Many ideas and some code were taken from PRADO, including: ActiveRecord, i18n, l10n, etc. Yii also drew more inspirations from RoR (convention over configuration, some AR features), symfony1 (filters, plugins) and Joomla (modules, message translation).
Yii 1.0.0 was significantly faster than other frameworks of similar functionality, so community grew fast.
In January 2010, Yii 1.1 was released. It included new features such as form builder, relational queries in AR, ready to use unit-testing framework and more.
I’ve joined Yii team in 2010. By the end of the year, we were discussing Yii 1.2 while developing version 1.1. In May 2011, the Yii team decided to use a newer PHP versions and address legacy architectural challenges. That is, to start work on new major version 2.0. The first commits were on a private intenal repository.
In May 2013, Yii 2.0 and its source code was presented to public. In October 2014, the first stable version we released.