The framework shootout session was very interesting. It was nice to see Toby jumping into CodeIgniter with such ease – it contrasted markedly with my own difficult initiation into CakePHP! There was mention of Kohana which I’d only seen a couple of weeks previously, but looks pretty good – I had always been put off CI by its support for PHP4, so a PHP5-clean version is very appealing. This article spells out the differences.
The shootout was, um, augmented by a heckler who had decided that all frameworks were “criminal” because they didn’t conform to the letter of the “rules of MVC” (though MVC is really a pretty loose term AFAIAC). He wouldn’t name his mystery preferred framework, but I later found out it was Agavi when I saw it demo’d by its creator. It is indeed very nice, and has distant ancestry in Mojavi (as used by Symfony). One of the things that I was impressed by is that it uses (of all things) HTML for marking up templates. This is an elegant reversal of what I’ve seen before, where form elements are typically generated by helpers (requiring syntax that you don’t know). Why mark up a form input like this (vaguely CakePHP style):
<?php echo $htmlhelper->textinput(‘name’, ‘name’, 20, 50); ?>
when you could do:
<input type=”text” id=”name” name=”name” size=”20″ maxsize=”50″ />
and still get automatic server and client-side validation and ajaxy feedback goodness, but also have it play nicely with HTML editors like Dreamweaver? It also makes for a great deal of sense when generating non-HTML output. I can’t think why other frameworks have not done this before.
Agavi also has very elegant routing so that a single controller function is available across all access methods, whether HTML, JSON, SOAP, XML-RPC or whatever. Makes CakePHP look very dumb.
Anyway, so maybe this heckler had a point of sorts.
I have to say a big thank you for the compliments I’ve received about my talk. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all! I’ll get on with doing the remaining audio ASAP…