[nycphp-talk] Philosophy of Frameworks (Was: CAKE Ain't Soup!)

Kenneth Downs ken at
Tue Jan 9 16:54:37 EST 2007

Jeff Loiselle wrote:
> To insert a purely technical explanation...
> CakePHP is the shit. It may be a little unwieldy at first, but it is
> capable of great things. As with anything, read the source code. If
> you're not willing to read the source code, a framework will never
> really be any good to you except for basic things. Figure it out.
> Contribute.

Jeff, I can't tell if you're trolling for flames here. 

Your sentiments reflect a mindset that I find not useful in business.  
It is not that I agree or disagree, it is more that the mindset has no 
place in a commercial venture.  Consider this mindset applied to PHP, we 
can take your sentence above and get this:

"If you're not willing to read the source code, PHP will never really be 
any good to you..."

For most of us this is crazy, we don't look at the source to PHP (or 
apache, or mysql, or linux...).  We don't need to because these are 
examples of successful 'black box' technologies, they work without you 
needing to know what's going on inside of them.

Would you tell your users that they won't get much use of your programs 
unless they read the source?

A framework cannot be a mainstream success until it is a black box, you 
download it, read the instructions, and it works as promised.  Until it 
can do that, there is an entire world of users that simply cannot ever 
use it. 

This is neither bad nor good.  Some products never go mainstream but are 
happily used.  At least I suppose there are, I've never actually heard 
of one.

This also does not mean the package will not someday become mainstream, 
only that it cannot yet.  Once it can be successfully used as a black 
box -- by downloading, reading the instructions, and watching everything 
work as promised -- then it has a *chance* against all of the other 
competing packages in that category.

I don't know what Nate hopes for for Cake.  If he wants it to be 
big-time mainstream, and users are complaining that the install doesn't 
work, he might want to fix it himself.  If big-time mainstream is not 
the goal, he can say to the complainer, "Hey, what do you want for 
free?"  I suspect the original rant from the OP was based on a 
disconnect between claims on the web site that implied black-box level 
maturity versus running into points where he had no guidance or 
instructions, robbing him of what he had been "promised" (Disclaimer: I 
can only guess on this, I'm not saying either case is the truth).

> Oh right, and I wrote an experimental Oracle driver for it. The latest
> driver is in the 1.2.x.x branch (not trunk)... Do my QA for me. :-)
> In the words of Borat, "frameworks are niiiice."
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