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Php Frameworks - Leaner, More Efficient Coding. A quick overview of what they are and where you can find some.

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PHP Frameworks

What do you guys think of coding websites using framworks like Zend or CakePHP? I used to code my applications from scratch but it does get tedious and because PHP is not as structured as other languages it's very easy to create redundant, unmaintainable code.

I think a framework should be more than just a bunch of libraries. It's true that having libraries for functions specific to what you are trying to do might help alot but it takes more than that to create some maintainable code. What I' m talking about is MVC and Front Controllers. The Model, View, Controller (MVC) way of coding seperates the data from the functions and the functions from the display. It is much easier at this point to implement site-wide modifications and fixes. Frameworks allow you to do this easily by already having an engine to do the communication between these 3 layers. Read more on the MVC method by googling it :)

Here are some available Frameworks. Read up on them and their documentation and find out which one is right for you're website. Frameworks, by the way, can be difficult to learn at first, but once you get down, will greatly improve your efficiency, speed and maintainability.

https://ellislab.com/codeigniter (Very fast and light weight)
https://framework.zend.com/ (Only runs on PHP5 but is apparently very extensive)
http://www.xisc.com/ (Prado: Not MVC oriented)

There are plenty more out there that you can find, list your favorite, post questions etc. I'm currently learning how to use CodeIgniter, my new record label website will be built on it. (Hoping to turn this into a portable CMS which I can use in developpement of other websites, as clients don't like mucking around in HTML source and I'm tired of using other people's bloated CMS software when all I need is something simple.)

Hope this helps all you programmers out there!

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I'm using CakePHP which seems to be pretty good. It acts like Ruby on Rails. The thing I don't like about PHP in general is how it handles HTML formatting. The tags are out of place when PHP parses the views. I have to use a lot of

echo "\n";
to clean it up a bit. Right now I'm new to it so I can't say that it is efficient as of now. However, with the ORM implemented into this framework I don't have to worry much about SQL writing and using the (mysql) functions at all, which is a lighter load for me. I haven't checked out the others that are on your list but I'm moving to Ruby on Rails as soon as I finish this project that I'm working on right now.

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I think any seriously web developer would want to know how to use a PHP Framework. The learning curve is pretty steep and would require you to learn not just the framework but about software development practices too if you do not already know about them but the benefits are well worth it. I have struggle in the past to pick up zend framework on my own because of lack of knowledge in the area and unable to find help when I hit road blocks along the way. There were many setbacks such as tutorials being out of date and not working for my specific version etc. There are great tutorials now available on video networks such as youtube or even specific sites dedicated to the framework. The best way to learn would be to do tutorials and work with people who also are doing the same thing. If you have a problem you can also ask someone else who is working on it. Two heads are better than one right? I have spent the last two weeks picking up Zend Framework again and I now have a much better understanding of it but I am no way near utilizing it to its full capacity. I have rebuilt my personal portfolio website using the framework and can see it offers a much more structured approach to developing applications allowing modification and changes to be done with minimal effort and lower risk of breaking something in the process. I know a few of the senior members here would have been using these or other variants of PHP frameworks in their projects.I know there is also arguments about PHP frameworks being too over bloated and over kill for smaller tasks but thats where you have to decide when you will use it. PHP frameworks are great for larger applications as it offers many benefits allowing you to create more maintainable and flexible code. You also have the choice to use which components to use and can mix and match them to suit your needs. I understand not everyone is as serious as some when it comes to creating websites in PHP so just writing procedure style code is enough for them but I'm just hoping to encourage those who seek something better to look into them. I also should like to network with anyone else here who works with frameworks as we can share knowledge and progress further as a web developer to a more professional stage in our career path.I have been looking for active communities but sadly I have not yet find one where members are actively contributing and helping new members. I have also been looking into IRC channels while there are usually 100-200 members in them at any given time only 1-3 members seem to be active or respond. The ones that do respond are either new as well or are looking for help also. I think to succeed in this field one requires a lot of ability to self learn because most of the time help is no going to be there. If anyone is looking for networking hit me up I would be happy to discuss any topics relating to web development and PHP frameworks.

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