I have spent the last few months learning the Symfony framework and building a few web applications with it. My interest was sparked by the Drupal community's decision to use Symfony components in Drupal 8. (I have used and contributed to Drupal for a few years.) I have been quite pleased by the relative ease in picking up the Symfony framework, but it's hard to leave Drupal 7 behind, and I can't wait for Drupal 8 to stabilize. So I decided to try porting Drupal 7 to Symfony.
Symfony is very different from Drupal. While Drupal offers functionality for almost any user just by installing it, Symfony is a framework that offers nothing to most users. Symfony is for developers who write PHP code. The most popular and feature rich bundles (which are roughly analogous to modules in Drupal) like Sonata Project or Symfony CMF are very much for developers, too.
Drupal on the other hand is a system I understand well, and it solves several common content management problems well-enough. As far as I know, there is nothing like Drupal's Field API or Views for Symfony.
On the other side, it's very easy to write REST web services with Symfony. Symfony bundles that support tools such as Elasticsearch, RabbitMQ, and CouchDB are straightforward integrations with reliable PHP libraries. Symfony's web profiler -- an interface for viewing detailed information about individual web requests handled by Symfony -- is a fantastic tool that makes debugging a pleasure. (Check out these screenshots of the Symfony web profiler working with Drupal.)
Backdrop is another Drupal fork that was announced in Summer 2013. Backdrop describes its goals this way:
The goal of the project is to provide shiny new features built on an iteration of the existing Drupal 7 APIs: before Symfony, PSR-0, and the "Drupal Kernel".
My goals for Drufony are precisely the opposite. For me, "Drupalisms" and "The Drupal Way" are big barriers in my own projects, and I would like to adopt as many standards and conventions from the larger PHP community as possible in Drupal 7.
Drufony is an experimental fork. I am merely a freelance web developer, and I cannot make any promises about the future of this project. However, I am using Drufony in my own projects, and it is open source software that you are welcome to contribute to.
Drufony is a friendly fork. I am eager to see Drupal 8 released, and I have no intention of breaking compatibility with Drupal 7's core database schema or file structures.
I have tried to make it very easy for you to install Drufony so you can test drive it yourself.