Hungry for Cake Posted on April 20, 2005 by brichard I’ve been waiting for something just like this to come along. A [url=http://www.rubyonrails.com/]Rails[/url]-inspired PHP framework: [url=http://sputnik.pl/cake/]Cake[/url]. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Related
Honestly, I have seen so many of these types of things it makes my head spin. Everybody is always trying to change the way we build web applications. I see talks, tutorials, and articles on using Smarty or the hundreds of other template engines that are supposedly going to help me maintain my applications better. And there is stuff like HTML_Quickform and all kinds of other pear libraries. Then there is stuff like PRADO, Cake, etc that drastically change things.
Honestly, every single time I start a new project I think to myself “I should be using one of these new things,” so I start to do research into the different frameworks, template engines, etc. I feel like I’m SUPPOSED to be using these things. But which one? How and why is each one specifically going to help? I always have a hard time figuring out the answer to those two questions. Eventually I get lost and just resort to my old style of development to finish the project.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
If somebody uses these types of things for all their development projects, I would LOVE to get a talk from you that explains not only WHY you chose the one you did, but also specifically HOW it helps you. I’m tired of hearing only theoretical advantages. Stuff like “It helps separate business logic from presentation.” I’d rather hear hard details about how the process of development was improved over your previous style and how it could help me too.
Or am I asking too much?
Over the past year or two that I have been using PHP, I have not found one engine that I could actually put to use. I hear the same thing from people.. saying that I should use PEAR, as it has awesome librarys, but why use it if you are only going to use some of the functions. Then you have to worry about how PEAR can “cramp your coding style”, etc.
I have pretty much given up on trying to find the right one, and write one myself. That way I can easily control what I want, and what I don’t want, or what I don’t really need.
You are so right Doug. Many of us (ok, I) have gotten a bit distracted with all the cool new things out there. And few of them (even the ones I really love) rarely get used to actually get my work done. Yes, PRADO is coming to mind. So is WACT, SMARTY and all the other “sexy things” I’ve gotten excited about in the last few years.
However, what I can’t deny is that my coding style has changed radically over the years. And I think that is the point. PRADO is cool because I never even thought to apply such an event-driven model to the web. Am I using it? No. But that doesn’t change that it got me thinking about how I develop software, what I can improve, what I can streamline.
One thing about these php libraries though, they aren’t being developed by top-heavy organizations. They are usually coders just like us…trying to do something better for the job at hand. Sometimes it applies; sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s just Java wrapped in tags. 😉
Whatever the case…I think you are right on. I would love to see talks from people who actually use the sexy tech and can tell us real benefits. And I think that’s one of the things that makes conferences like O’reilly’s OSCON so cool: You can hear about these things from the people actually developing on them…not just some local coder who crammed and wrote the presentation the night before. 😉
In any case, I too would love to see a nice comparison of several of the coolest new toys–err, I mean potentially useful tools–by someone who actually knows what they are doing. Actually, that’s a great idea Doug. You might even find some of the bright people in Sitepoint’s [url=http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=147]Advanced PHP Programming[/url] forum able to better respond to your comment.
I certainly wasn’t trying to call you out. I like these talks a lot. The big problem that I have is trying to translate them to the real world. I would absolutely love to find 1 cool new tool like PRADO or SMARTY that will drastically change the way I build web apps and help me to build them 10x faster than before, but I just haven’t figured out how to do that yet. And it seems like every month I wait something new comes along. Surely these things are being built for a reason, but what is the reason? Is it to win programming contests, or is it to make developers jobs easier? If it is the latter, why do I have so much trouble with them, and why are there so many of them?
It sounds like OSCON might be a fun event to attend. Anyone planning on going this year?
It’s a good question.
My experience with frameworks and the PHP community is that they don’t really go together. We had a framework talk at the first PHPCon and majority of the time was spent answering the “why don’t I just build this myself” question. Zend, or any other company, faces this same problem when they try to market an editor or debugger (vi/emacs, print statements).
The PHP crowd is very DIY. And I don’t think this is a bad thing.
The reason that I would use Cake (and submitted this news post) is because it is based on Rails. Ruby on Rails grew out of the Basecamp project led by Jason Fried. Basecamp is brilliant and Jason, based on my conversations with him, is a business guy I very much respect.
I’m really to the point in my career that I don’t want to write anything from scratch. I want to see an established code base that I can count on but I don’t want to wade through the mess that is PEAR. I want to shift some of the accountablility for every odd bit of a web app to someone or something else and find ways to levereage the output of programmers that aren’t necessarily on my project.
You use frameworks for the same reason that you don’t write an entire language yourself. Which, I’ve unfortuantely been in the position of having to do. Having the HR department call you to ask for new functions is not a fun gig. 😉