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Just curious - why does 3.4.3 have so many files compared to 2.10.19?

I recently updated from 2.10.19 to 3.4.3 (and thank you, team - it actually worked!)

But I notice that now there are 16,000+ files in the installation, compared to about 2,400 in the older version…

And what is Symfony (which seems to have a zillion files associated with it)?

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Great that it worked well for you. Symfony is a sophisticated PHP framework. The file count increase is due to the inclusion of a new REST API which uses phpList 4, which in turn uses Symfony. phpList 4 is an in-progress rewrite of phpList 3 using more modern PHP libraries and techniques.

Can’t that framework be trimmed down to the essential libraries? It does seem like excessive bloat…

Basically no, but you can remove phpList 4 (and the rest API) altogether if you want to, at least for the time being. There are other forum topics discussing this from around the time of the 3.4.0 release.