There's always been all sorts of hype in the php community surrounding the dozens of latest and greatest frameworks sprouting up all over the place. Not that I'm cynical about the framework methodology or anything but, aside from the fun, academic, part, I didn't really see much use for of them. Over the years, I've taken a look at CakePHP, Symphony, CodeIgniter, to name a couple, but I've always found the frameworks to be a little... uninspiring.
Plus, like most developers, I've developed quite the little tool kit over the years that helps me develop applications far faster than I felt I would using a framework. I know my tool kit inside and out and I've spent a great deal of time and love making sure it's simple, deep, extensible, logical and, most of all functional. My tool kit works very well; to me, this is the killer issue.
How can the developers of all the various frameworks hope to compete for my attention when at best, I'll have to rewrite tons of code and at worst, I'll have a horrible time doing it? I have shit to do; unless the quality of my life improves, I'm out.
Well, sad to say, but I've since incorporated my tool kit into the StreetWise code base we call CAT. Not to go into too much detail, but we at StreetWise needed to make a tough choice regarding our internal application and absorbing my tool kit made the most sense. I'm actually a little honored that I could provide a solution (though this is tempered by the fact that I wrote the first version of the SW code 4 years earlier and it's become unmaintainable since).
Cool? Yes, but this leaves me with an empty toolbox.
So, I've been looking for a new start and now that I'm starting with nothing I'm all over the whole framework thing. After looking at all of the above I've finally decided on Zend Framework. I chose the Zend Framework because it's a pretty complete, component based system. I like components. I don't care so much about the MVC architecture, I like Smarty, but I can get over this.
I've only been playing with it for a couple weeks and there really are a couple bummers about it;
- You can't use Zend Framework on IIS without a lot of pain. There's a tutorial on how to do it but it's complicated and I couldn't get it working right.
The whole zf.bat thing is a crock; no matter what I did I couldn't get it to work on either Windows or Linux. Weak.
- Configuration is complicated, bothersome and awkward.
I do like that it's;
- As said above, the Zend Framework is component based. I love that there's a whole library of code available to be exploited and used. Reminds me of what I loved about my tool kit.
- Object oriented. I'm ready to accept that OOP is a good thing; the limitations of functions and includes is pretty obvious at this point.
- The Zend Framework Manual; this is an awesome resource. Every class in the Zend Framework is documented in the manual.
I'm excited. I've already got a couple personal projects in the works using the Zend Framework and I'm sure there'll be more posts discussing it.