[nycphp-talk] Frameworks - Which best fits my development style?

Kenneth Downs ken at
Fri Aug 24 10:09:55 EDT 2007

Keith Casey wrote:
> On 8/22/07, David Merryweather <dlmerryweather at> wrote:
>> It takes some practice for many programmers because it isn't a natural
>> transition, but if you can take off the programmer hat and look at your
>> projects from the problem and solution domain instead, you will find that
>> these frameworks begin to fit your new thinking.  This is what I have found
>> watching our programmers and outsource groups make the change over.
> I would challenge this point... as I've seen the opposite happening
> more and more.  There is a budding school of thought among new PHP'ers
> that says "you do it this way or it's wrong".  Yes, the developers are
> to blame, not the framework, but it concerns me a bit that they're
> seeing everything in relation to how it doesn't match their framework
> of choice.

Methinks this is not so much PHP as plain human nature, programmers are 
by nature rules-bound, thinking in terms of the problem domain is not 
necessarily our first reflex, but when we learn it it it is what makes 
computers really do the magic they do.

PHP is still penetrating the enterprise space and has such the community 
has not "grown up" enough yet.  Both behaviors mentioned above can be 
seen, it depends upon where you look.

Frameworks are a result of a breakthrough in thinking -- there is not 
necessarily a perfect way to do anything, but if you pick a way and do 
it consistently, the consistency itself will bring real productivity 
gains.  You leave behind the headaches of having to work out a solution 
to every problem, only to find out later what the weaknesses of your 
answer were.  You join a group that are all doing things the same way 
and can teach each other and help each other out.

You also leave behind that naive rules-based thinking that there is only 
one perfect way to do anything.  But ironically it doesn't look this 
way.  The framework becomes the new accepted way to do things for the 
sake of consistency, and sometimes people mistake that for new 
rules-bound inflexibility.

> That's originally why I picked up the Zend Framework.  Instead of a
> fixed structure for my applications, it felt more like a tool box.  I
> can reach in and pull out Logging, PDF creation, DB access, whatever
> and only use the pieces I need.  It hasn't required a
> re-write/re-structuring of my applications, so it's been more
> evolutionary as opposed to scorched earth.  In fact, while working on
> site for a major news network, I added logging using Zend_Log in about
> 45 minutes.

I would argue that that makes it what you called it - a toolbox, and not 
a framework.  A toolbox gives you ways to do whatever you want, while a 
framework tends to give you more of an assembly line.

Kenneth Downs
Secure Data Software, Inc.
631-689-7200   Fax: 631-689-0527
cell: 631-379-0010

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