PHP Frameworks: Which one is the best for me? (Part 1)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Before I get started I'd like to tell you that this is going to be a YAPFP but the purpose of it is to enlighten all those that are still in the beginning with some interesting tips, opinions and links.

So what could be a good reason to make someone use a framework? I'm sure that that everyone that enjoys coding (and development in general) wishes to become more productive by the time. He (or she) wants his code to look solid, to be easy to extend and refactor (in other words maintainable), to keep sure that he plays by the rules of KISS and DRY, spent time on something creative (and fun) rather than wasting time on common tasks (validation, form creation etc), have a good documentation with real life scenarios, and the list goes on. Many of these goals lets say is easy to accomplish when you follow the guidelines that others who have-been-there-done-them have set.

Lets say that you decided to get started with a framework. Great! But which one would be the one that covers your needs? Which one has the smaller learning curve compared to the features it offers? It's hard to have one straight answer for questions like these... I would suggest to try a couple of them on the same scenario, something small but basic and useful... lets say a CMS with some basic CRUD actions.

At first site this might not look challenging but lets consider what a project like this could include:

  • User Authorization
  • Hierarchical stored data
  • Access Control List
  • Content types
  • RSS Feeds
  • I18n and I10n
As you can see the list includes all the features that come with every open source CMS that works out of the box. The list could go on but lets keep it "short" for the time being.

So far I have worked with the Zend Framework, CakePHP and qCodo, and these three are going to be our tools during the whole thing. Please keep in mind that the purpose of these post series is to show you by example a possible use of each framework (nothing should be taken for granted) and not to make a final verdict such us "The XXX framework is the BEST! Everything should be eliminated!"

Zend Frameworks links:

CakePHP links:

qCodo links:

Google Chrome: Googles's web browser

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Great news from Google!

All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build.

More info

Eric Tabuchi: Alphabet Truck

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The French photo artist Eric Tabuchi followed trucks on the road for about 4 years in order to get a shot of their back. So what's so special about these trucks' back? Simply enough, they form the alphabet!

Telescopic Text

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Some people might say that splash screens in websites are dead (and personally I agree) but this guy here really made something good out of it.

Wireframing in Web Design

Saturday, August 30, 2008

After a discussion that happened here about an inquiry for a wireframing tool I thought that it might be a good idea to post an article about Wireframing in Web Design.

You might have heard the term Wireframing and/or Prototyping in web or application design/development or you might not. For those of you who haven't heard this term so far here is the explanation for you:

Wireframing: Wireframes are a basic visual guide used in web design to suggest the layout of fundamental elements in the interface. Because of this they are often completed before any artwork is developed. When completed correctly they will provide a visual reference upon which to structure each page. Wireframes also allow for the development of variations of a layout to maintain design consistency throughout the site. This is an important part of the initial development stage because it creates user expectations and helps to develop an awareness of and familiarity with the site. Wikipedia
In some cases you'll come to a situation of creating a skeleton for a website/web application in which your developer and your designer must coordinate their work in order to reach a very premature stage of the project. That premature stage is going to be your wireframe.

Wireframes' purpose is to present the hierarchy of how things are going to work when the project is done or how the content is going to be distributed in real life. In some cases wireframes are useful to simulate common tasks of user interaction or even perform tests for certain actions such as user login or password recovery etc. Also they might be used for planning and comparing different approaches of the website's navigation. The list can go on for a lot of things but I think you got the point.

When you start an new project from scratch the risk of falling into pitfalls is really ahead of you. This might not be bothering when working as an individual but imagine that the whole team of yours falls into pitfalls over and over again not because their not doing their work well but because things don't work out well every time or because of some misconception between you and your client.

So you might start getting the idea of using wireframes. A good question might be "How do you create a wireframe?". You can create a wireframe with either a tool (check the list at the bottom of this post) or with you bare hands and your web design tools you use daily. Remember that a wireframe doesn't have to be eye candy or of great design concept but has to present the overall user interaction with the user.

Interesting stuff:

Designing interactive products with Fireworks
Quick and Easy Flash Prototypes

Web Design Wireframing Tools:

Comp and Wireframing - Web Usability

Usability Testing

Ma.gnolia goes Open Source (M2 Project)!

Friday, August 29, 2008

About 6 days ago (yeap I know news sometimes take a while before they get here) the team announced that they decided to release their social booking platform as an open source project probably entitled "M2". I think these are good news and I'm really looking forward seeing the first release!

As stated from the team themselves the benefits from this move are going to be beneficial for everyone inveolved: Users, Developers and Magnolia Systems. Just to stay tuned about the way the project evolves, visit (it sounds like a / to me). If you want to take a deeper look of what is going to happen take a look to the .pdf file:

Vote for usability (or How Design Can Save Democracy)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Most of people that stay tuned about the US election over the years would probably are aware for the common mistakes and the wrongly cast votes for the candidate presidents and their party. In fact this has been in the eye of the tornado after the latest elections. Well this year the United States Election Assistance Commission has released some sort of guidelines for the ballots that are going to be used (to learn more about ballots click here). The New York Times have posted a very interesting article entitled "
How Design Can Save Democracy" that demonstrates the major problems in the 2004 ballot and assigns a solution for the upcoming elections.

Nokia: Music Almighty

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's been a while since I posted any flash related websites. So here it is... nominated by The FWA as website of the month Nokia: Music Almighty. Enjoy.

Firebug 1.2 Released

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The well known web development tool reached the 1.2 release. Click  here for firefox add-on to update your current version.

Passing the Torch: An Evolution of Form

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Well the Olymbics might be over a couple of days ago but I just stumbled upon a very interesting article of the New York Times. It's about the history of the Olympic Games represented throughout the different torches designs for the very first games to the latest conducted in Beijing. Roll over the mouse to read information and trivia about the history of each torch.

The Art of Photogravure

Monday, August 25, 2008

Well that is something that I heard today for the first time. Photogravure is the printing of a photo on a copper plate that includes at least four steps from the time the photo is taken until the photo is printed on the plate. For more information about the term photogravure pay a visit to wikipedia. is website that tends to keep and spread information about this technique which is considered from many as the ancestor of photography. To get an idea about the whole thing take a look the photo below or even better pay a visit here (nice website but it has some issues with user navigation...).

CouldBe.Me Project

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Since the ICANN's announcement for .me domains a while, I was sure that some interersiting domains would come along with some interesting projects. is one (and currently the only I came across) that really has something to show. According to the creator:

"Could be me" is a project exploring possibility of one artist occupying another's space. It is a visual adventure and an interpretation of the same sentence by different artists worldwide.

Font Conference

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony

Friday, August 08, 2008

And no something completely different! Here are some beautiful photos from the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Enjoy!

Experimental Flash: and the FontPark

Friday, August 08, 2008

I just ran over this fantastic flash website! Just drag and drop font characters onto the stage and create your own figure!

The sea makes me feel...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Enjoy the sea folks!

This is a scheduled post (I'm testing Blogger's scheduler) changes to become

Friday, August 01, 2008

Well I'm pretty sure that all of you have already heard or using the service as it has become one of the largest (if not the largest) online social bookmarking service with thousands users and millions of bookmarked URLs. That Web 2.0 monster undergone a extreme makeover (not the TV Show) with many things having changes for the sake of usability and effectiveness with the primary change to be the new domain name! I think that everybody enjoyed typing the neat stuff, but it seams like the guys in Delicious thought to make things more formal so they got themselves a new domain name so that you can now access Delicious from here.

The next thing that really made my day was the layout change something that should have been done a long time ago IMO. The new features really boost the usability to new levels. Just take a look here to see the complete list of all the new features and happy bookmarking!

Spectra: MSNBC's Visualised Newsreader

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Well does anyone remembers Marumushi's newsmap? All those who liked it are going to enjoy the following story as well. MSNBC a couple of months ago released a similar application valled "Spectra" (built on Papervision3D) that does about the same things as Maramushi's newsmap but with a different approach. It visualizes news in a more fancy way and also provides you a set of very nice features. To be more specific take a look at the feature list bellow:

  • Select topics from the news channel palette.
  • Your Channels manages active news topics.
  • Left, right or scrollbar flips through summaries and images.
  • Word Filter using search words or topic names.
  • Orbital Settings adjusts speeds and presentation order.
  • Auto Mode takes you on a 3D journey into the Orbital.
  • Use your webcam for human interaction.
Here is the description from the official Spectra website:
Spectra merges the news spectrum and the color spectrum into an expansive news viewing experience. With comprehensive live news coverage, striking design, complete customization, dynamic browsing, human body interaction and many other unique features, Spectra brings A Fuller Spectrum of News to life in our most immersive extension yet.

Adaptd Web Design & Development

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's been a while since the last time I showcased a website so I think that this is a good time to go for it again. This time I found a really neat (I.M.O) website of a Romanian web design & web development firm called "Adaptd". From what I saw at their website I think that the level of their design skill is kept high. Just visit the case studies page, click over to this project and enjoy the view!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fooling around in Youtube I was trying to find some info about CakePHP framework, you know any slideshows, presentations, quick tutorials, podcasts etc and I ran into the guys from Rails Envy is more than just a blog about Ruby and Rails. They are a company that develops web apps as well as offers speaking & training. They also have a podcast and create funny videos. I really enjoyed their videos parodies of "Mac VS PC" ads and specially the one called "Ruby on Rails vs .NET". Watch the video:

Back in Black!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I know it's been a long time since my last post but things got really tight so no spare time for blogging and stuff. Some things changed since the last time I posted something here such as the fact that I quit my daily job as a web developer in Net360 after a year and a half. I hope things work out well with me for the future and the goals I'm going to set... which I don't know yet :P The only thing that's for sure is that I'm going to relax for the rest of the summer, lay down (stay down as Deep Purple say) and start planning my future from October. If anyone reads this out there please drop a comment!