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

Nate Abele nate at
Wed Jan 10 11:33:04 EST 2007

Okay, I need to interject here, because I really don't think that's  
what Jeff is saying.  I think Jeff is saying what I'm saying, which  
is if you'd like to dig into the source code to help us improve and  
expand on our documentation, that would be really *really* helpful.   
Also, I really didn't want to get into this in my response to the  
original post, because there's really no way I can say this without  
being really insulting, but the fact is that I've never encountered  
such an utter lack of comprehension in all my time of providing  
support for Cake.

The page described in the original post ('but when I attempted to run  
it, I get  a "Your database configuration file is not present."') is  
the welcome page.  It means that he *already* installed Cake, and  
everything worked correctly (which is kind of redundant, since there  
is no installation, you just extract the archive to a folder in your  
docroot).  This welcome page (and subsequent error pages) spells out  
in painfully explicit detail what needs to happen in order for the  
situation to be remedied.

- Nate

> Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 16:54:37 -0500
> From: Kenneth Downs <ken at>
> Subject: [nycphp-talk] Philosophy of Frameworks (Was: CAKE Ain't Soup!)
> 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).

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