Thoughts on Zend Framework

Well I’ve jumped into the Zend Framework development… finally!

At first glance it looks like a mess, create the environment, separate models, views and controllers, configure the app, the bootstrap…. When I started working here (my current job, which I can’t give the name due to the terms of my job contract) I was hired because of my knowledge of PHP. Business owners stated that they needed a high profile PHP programmer. They said they were moving towards PHP development under Zend Framwork. Cool! a new learning experience.

I must say that when I got here I wasn’t familiar with ZF so it was a whole new experience. Days went by, and anfter a couple of months I have realized what is Zend Framework and why everybody thinks it’s too complicated. There is a big confusion even from Zend.

The confusion begins from the ZF tutorial. They start explaining you about MVC… here’s the whole confusion.

Zend Framework is a set of libraries that can help you with RAD, it has nothing to do woth MVC paradigm.

MVC is a coding paradigm, such as the three layers paradigm. You can code your whole application in whatever paradigm you wish and still use Zend Framework, but Zend treats both the paradigm and the set of libraries as the same. I’m not arguing that something is wrong, what I’m saying is that Zend Framework is one thing and MVC coding paradigm is a whole different one.

Do not be confused! MVC & ZF are a great, neat way of doing things but, as every technology, you should evaluate if both are needed for every project. If you are coding a simple web service then you might not need to use MVC but still use the framework to RAD.

Do a little research, clarify your needs and make the perfect choice for the case you’re dealing. Sometimes MVC can create a lot of garbage folders and files that wont be used at the end of the day.

Remember: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

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