Please recommend a framework

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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

Hi darius,

 >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.


Henk Verhoeven,

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.

darius wrote:
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