[UPHPU] PHP Framework Project Launch - Coders welcome to attend

Mac Newbold mac at macnewbold.com
Thu Jun 2 11:44:54 MDT 2005

Today at 9:29am, John David Anderson said:

> On Jun 2, 2005, at 9:06 AM, Mac Newbold wrote:
>> <snip>
>> How many systems out there do you know of that target that market? If you 
>> can name even one, let me know, cause I'd like to check it out. Right now 
>> I'm stuck using all my own home-grown stuff, and so far, I can only afford 
>> to develop it as much as a client is willing to pay for, which often stops 
>> at the same place their need for features and generality stops.

Thank you! I'm taking a look at each of these. My thoughts on each of them 
as it relates to our project are below.

> Blueshoes
> http://www.blueshoes.org/en/framework/

Too big, huge learning curve, way too complex. Our project would be much 
smaller, much simpler, and much easier to learn and use.

I also think they've gone way overboard on their object orienting and made 
way too many classes, but that's a debate for another day.

> Horde:
> http://www.horde.org/

Many of the same things apply here. Additionally, it seems like nobody 
uses the framework except for their own apps. It seems to be all about the 
apps. And as I mentioned in another email, most of the sites I build don't 
use any of those apps. Horde's great, I use it on my server, but I see it 
as an application (webmail+++), not as something I'd build a site on.

> BinaryCloud:
> http://www.binarycloud.com/index.php/Main/HomePage

This is closer to what I'm interested in. Once I found the docs for the 
guts of it, it looks like it suffers from some of the same problems that 
blueshoues does, though that may be mitigated by being really easy to use.
I'm not sure if I like how it forces me to use Smarty and follow it's 
version of separating logic and display. It may not be flexible enough for 
what I'm looking for. It would be nice to see a list of some sites using 
the system. Ah, found it. I'm encouraged by the diversity of the sites 
that people have done with it.

So far, I think it's the best one on the list.

> Seagull:
> http://seagull.phpkitchen.com/

I think this one has many of the same weaknesses of blueshoes and binary 
cloud, like forcing me to do things their way. I think this framework 
would make development take _longer_ on every project than I currently 
spend, even after I've done a few sites with it. I dislike the size, and 
the things that it forces me into. I'm not too keen on it.

> php.MVC:
> http://www.phpmvc.net/

Anything that forces me to use MVC on every site and is anything close to 
Struts is not for me. Too big, too complex, too much learning curve, too 
much baggage to use on every site.

> InterJinn:
> http://www.interjinn.com/about/index.phtml

Seems better in terms of the complexity and size, but for some reason, 
doen't look all that interesting. I may need ot look at this one more at
a later time.

> rwfPHP:
> http://rwfphp.multispan.com/

Not only forces me into MVC and Smarty, but into an Event-Driven model 
too. No thanks.

> Phrame:
> http://phrame.sourceforge.net/

Yet another MVC struts-like thing for use with Smarty or something like 
it. All the same too-big, too-complex, forces-me-into-things, 
big-learning-curve, issues as everything else.

I'm interested to see what others think about these. I honestly think that 
only BinaryCloud is even worth taking a second look at, for my purposes. 
It's the only one that appears simple enough and flexible enough and 
general enough to accomplish the widely varied things I need to do on the 
sites I build.

After going through this list, I realized how to describe one of the key 
things I'm after: a framework should make it much faster to develop a 
quality site. Some of these are so big, so complex, and would add so much 
development time overhead that the time savings might not ever appear, 
even after I've done a few sites with it. When I think of learning curve, 
I think of something that may have some slope at the beginning, but after 
I've done two or three projects, should be basically flat. The 
"development time overhead/savings" of a framework has a curve too... on 
the first few projects, it's higher, as the learning curve is steep, but 
by the time the learning curve flattens out, there should be a dramatic 
and consistent time savings from using the framework. With a lot of these 
systems, I'm far from convinced that this is the case.

This may be a somewhat irrational concern, but I don't like being forced 
into object orienting everything, using MVC, using template systems like 
Smarty, using systems that are similar to Struts, or heaven forbid, using 
an Event-Driven model for designing web pages. Some of those things have 
their time and place, but it's definitely not on every site I build.

I guess I'm just really pragmatic... [technology X or feature Y] is only 
good as far as it is useful and productive and accomplishes a goal I care 
about. In almost every case, my goal is to keep the quality of my work 
high while accomplishing the goal as fast as possible, with as little 
tedium and repetition as possible. I think the right framework could 
really help with that.

If I'm out in left field here, and the view I've got isn't the one that 
most of the interested people share, then I need to take a few steps back 
so that I don't try to coerce this into something _I_ want to see instead 
of something _we_all_ want to build. And I'll stick to developing my own 
stuff on my own time if it doesn't coincide with the group plan.


Mac Newbold		MNE - Mac Newbold Enterprises, LLC
mac at macnewbold.com	http://www.macnewbold.com/

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