I’m upgrading some of the behind the scenes systems at UserScape to support customer logins, hosted trials, update mailing lists and a few other goodies. Since I have about 4 minutes to actually spend on all this I’ve been looking around for a good PHP framework to help me out with the heavy lifting.
In the past I’ve had very very bad experiences with frameworks, finding them just about useless. One thing I think Rails really got right is that it was pulled from a real product. This gave it a huge leg up where things are just naturally in the right place. It’s very subtle, but it’s obviously hard to replicate as most frameworks that start as dude’s just thinking about the ‘best’ way to do it stink.
That’s why I made sure to note the URL with Rick Ellis (pMachine guy) released http://www.codeigniter.com/ a while back. Code Igniter was pulled from his Expression Engine product and in my first day with it I’m extremely impressed.
It’s super quick to get started, even faster than Rails if you ask me. It’s actually making PHP fun again! I even had an evil thought pass through my mind of rebuilding HelpSpot on top of it. Of course that’s insane, but it’s just that good.
The other HUGE plus is that it’s PHP4 compatible. I don’t use PHP 4 in any production work, but HelpSpot is 4 compatible and most of the PHP install base is 4 so this should be a big plus in the frameworks uptake.
It’s not perfect, it could use a few more docs in some places and I’d like to see a bit better way to handle global header/footer type includes but overall it’s a very nice package which I’m looking forward to working more with over the next few months.