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- Framework or not?
- Sir Galahad
December 20, 2006, 10:18 am
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This is the first message here...
I'have a question for you.
I never played with php frameworks and surfing the web I discovered
- P4A (PHP For Applications)
- Cake Php
In these holidays days, I have to start to think about a new project.
We have to develop a front-end web site with peculiar navigation
(hierarchic, pattern-guided, related items, and so on..) and late a
back-end web site to administer all the contents.
So, why a framework is useful in my situation? What the benefits and
what the cons? How can I structure my work?
I'm planning to have some features:
- languages (also for the content, not only labels)
- public front-end
- templating (graphic layout)
- customization of menus (like Joomla, e.g.)
Thank you all!
Re: Framework or not?
Wikipedia (List of web application frameworks) has a good listing. Not
all frameworks are equal by a very long chalk.
A software framework is like a computer controlled machine tool in a
factory. With any luck you can give it a drawing and you get widgets
out. But think for a moment, do you want such a thing in your factory?
It will need a lot of getting used to and it will only be part of the
manufacturing process and only produce a certain sort of widget.
Furthermore if more or modified widgets are required and you don't have
the machine any more than you're a bit stuck - so you have to keep a
large machine in perfect working order for all the time the finished
application is deployed in the field.
OK but as we know a lot of factories do make good use of expensive and
complex machine tools so it looks like it works for some...
There are certainly some clever things going on but IMHO I'm not sure if
there is anything mature
"Works" is the first problem. I've had another go at frameworks
recently and they don't work out of the box, documentation is poor to
non-existent, support is patchy and there is still a lot of development
"Does what you want" is the second problem. Even if you can get the
framework to take your spec and spit out something, is it really what
you want or close enough to make a start hacking by hand.
"Hackable" is the third problem. Is it possible to tweak the results to
achieve your goals? Does it require weeks of study (without
documentation) to work out how to make changes in the right place.
In my view now is not the time to bet everything on a particular
framework unless it happens to do exactly what you want at almost first
attempt. There isn't enough maturity to justify the considerable effort
learning how to get them to work and how to get them to do what you want
them to do.
But now is the time to have a dabble for experimental purposes
(providing you understand many are doomed to frustrating failure.) You
might consider knocking up a prototype of a system using a framework
which will teach you the limitations of a particular framework and give
you something useful to discuss with users.
The spectrum of frameworks shade off into code component libraries which
don't go on about MVC and don't generate code from DB specs. These tend
to get forgotten because they don't have the fashionable 'framework'
Unless you have dozens of tables all needing CRUD then standard MVC
style framework is not for you, but the Content management style ones
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