I know Yii 2.0 is still on Beta, but for those how started to use the earlier version of Yii, and has started just using Yii, or who just started using an MVC framework for that matter.
Can you please explain to newbies like us, how exactly 2.0 is different from the earlier versions of yii? and the major benefits/features of Yii 2.0 that we could not imagine using in the earlier versions?
In my oppinion I would not recommend using Yii 2.0 for productive applications cause it’s still beta right now.
If you are new and learn Yii I would recommend to start with Yii 1 and if you understand the basic concepts of the framework you can also e.g. try to do the same application you did with Yii 1 with Yii 2. For this see the Upgrading from Yii 1 to Yii 2.
Well,If your project was done under Yii 1.x then keep maintaining the version and start thinking of migrating. Yii 1.x is supported to at least 2017 so no need for rush. However, new projects, IMHO, should be in 2.x
Alot have changed but significantly and is well documented here. Better support for Rest API (Excellent IMHO), better names (zapping Cxxx is nice that is CActiveRecord is now ActiveRecord) and use of PHP5 features as well is big stuff.
That adds few troubles like need for PHP >= 5.4 and of course unfinished documentation.
i would appreciate any additional information about 2.0, any specifics on how to maximize the benefits and features of Yii 2.0, if one tries to switch from Yii 1.1.15. Are there any immediate difference you notice when you started using Yii 2.0, performance or usage wise?
Short answer to your question is that Yii 2 should be modern,up to date, framework. What do I mean by that ? The world of web development is changing very fast. PHP 5.3 and 5.4 brought us some things that are considerably changing the way of coding compared on what we was doing few years ago, when yii 1 was "modern" framework. Namespaces, traits, and expansion of web services and testing driven development simply forced us to "need" modern tools to make our life easyier. Yii 2 should be that tool. Of course yii 2 is still in beta and documentation is not ready. Even if you are familiar with yii 1 you may still have a problems understanding yii 2, but it is still very usefull to know how yii 1 works.