PHP Frameworks Are Ready to Square Off

In a debate of sorts advocates of different PHP web development frameworks squared off with each touting the merits of their individual entrant.

At the Zend/PHP conference during a panel discussion in San Jose there were the following represented frameworks: Zend Framework, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Symfoni and Agavi.

As David Zulke, Agavi lead developer of the framework and managing director of the Bitextender consulting firm that started out as a fork of the Mojave framework. It provides such capabilities as font-handling and validation but it doesn’t have scaffolding for creating a data model for an application. Programmers may take an existing Web app and put a SOAP or REST layer on it. Zulke underlined the importance of structure for development, stating that it is the responsibility of the framework to provide us with structure for projects.

CakePHP may be utilized by people who are limited with development experience, according to Nate Abele, the lead developer of the project.

Abele said that he would tell about CakePHP that they have succeeded by being very context-aware. They have always prided themselves on presenting high-level programming concepts in too accessible way.

The similar sentiments were shared by the advocate for CodeIgniter. Web developer and security researcher at Purdue University, Ed Finkler said that he feels that CodeIgniter presents something that is very easy to pick up. CodeIgniter gives a good base that is easy to use, and it tends to be quick thanks to dynamic loading. However, CodeIgniter can not be the best choice for building a large, complex application, he added. That is better suited for midgrade and small projects.

Meanwhile, Symfony is a French-developed MVC framework increasing security capabilities according to lead developer of CEO and Symfony of Sensio, Fabien Potencier, a web development firm focused on open source technologies.

Potencier said that they have a mighty focus on security. They try to be as secure as possible by default, he said noting that protection is offered against cross-site scripting issues.

He also added that Symfony is deployed to create the largest Web sites in the World such as Yahoo.

The project lead for Zend Framework Matthew Weier said that Zend Framework differs from options because programmers do not have to utilize MVC. He stated that they encourage unit testing, and they encourage documentation of their code.

Zend Technologies that develops Zend Framework, is studying the addition of 5.3 backing for the planned 2.0 framework release. According to Zend CEO Andi Gutmans this release could go out at the end of the next year.

A year ago there was a complete rewrite of CakePHP that was based on PHP 5.3, accomplishing naming conventions. Abele said that they all have these mutual naming conventions and they are practically the first ones to implement it.

Potencier said that Symfony 2.0 will not feature PHP 5.3, citing concerns over when users will be ready for it. He said that Symfony is utilized by great number of great companies and many of them can not afford to upgrade to the latest PHP version.

Potencier said that it will take them a lot of time to upgrade to PHP 5.3.

Zulke disagreed with approach of Potencier. First of all PHP 5.3 is a big milestone according to Zulke. It provides actual benefits, and he supposes the rate of adoption will be higher than with version 5.1 and 5.2.


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