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- Please recommend a framework
April 10, 2007, 4:02 pm
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I'm writing a web portal for an EMR (electronic medical record) system.
The main functionalities include displaying/editing patient info,
viewing/editing patient charts, viewing/making appointment,
viewing/editing billing info.
I'm thinking of using some framework to bootstrap development. I need
something that'll display/browse SQL results and I need extensive and
flexible form handling. So far, I found CodeIgniter. Its form handling
is good, but it's a bit cumbersome as you have to do a lot of setting
variables, like $field['Username']=... $field['Password']=.... It does
support pagination, but not much beside that for browsing SQL results.
I also looked at smarty. But it seems more concentrated on separating
business and presentation logic, which is good but not my foremost
concern. Also, it requires learning another syntax that I'm not sure is
that much easier than php itself for would-be web designers. But maybe
it's worth it if there's an extensive plugin library that does what I
What other frameworks do you recommend that I look at? thanks.
PS: My boss will not open source the app, and he doesn't want to pay for
the framework either. And of course he wants it done yesterday.
PPS: I'm lousy at page designing, so a pointer to good source of simple
(CSS, standard compliant, no whiz bang Flash stuff) but attractive
templates is appreciated.
Re: Please recommend a framework
>I need extensive and flexible form handling
What do you mean:
1. How the form looks visually
2. what names are used for the entryfields and how they are mapped to
the fields of the records or objects that are edited or searched for
3. wheather the mapping is automatically based on meta data or to be
programmed by the application developer
4. what widget types are supported (do you need relation widgets that
pop up dialogs so the the user can search for a value?)
5. does the programer has to define for each form what widget types are
used for the entryfields and how they are mapped to the datatypes of the
fields of the records or objects that are edited or searched for, or is
it done automatically based on meta data
7. how values entered by the user are converted and validated,
8. wheather conversion and validation is chosen automatically based on
the metadata or to be programmed by the application developer
In general, the more is automated by the framework the faster you can
develop if the automation suits you. But if it doesn't, in the best case
you can override what you need to be different, an still use the
framework for the rest. In the worst case you have to develop a lot
But even if you can override, you have to find out how to do that. That
can be a demanding task in itself. PhpPeanuts for example automates very
much, and allmost anything can be overridden, but when i need to
override something, i often need the hypercode browsers to search and
browse framework code to figure out how the specific behavior can be
overriden. And i developed the thing, so i know quite well what to look
for. If you need flexibilty rather then automation, you are probaby
better off with a simpler framework.
phpPeanuts does not require learning another syntax, applications as
well as the framework itself are entirely written in php. However, it
does contain a lot of concepts that are not present in php, learning
what they mean and how to use them may prove harder then learning php
With phpPeanuts you don't have to open souce your apps. However, if you
do not open source new framework components and templates, the framework
development is slower and les suited to your needs.