To Zend or not to Zend?

General discussion on Zend Studio
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gelierb
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:51 am

To Zend or not to Zend?

Post by gelierb » Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:48 pm

First off – excuse my ignorance – I’m trying to get a generalized handle on Zend Studio, Zend Framework and the whole “application”, “Model-View-Controller” thing.

We just had a client bring us a PHP application to review. The application generates 30 or so websites, using 10 different domains, all on the fly with one index.php as the main entry point to everything – all in one big directory. The sites are all cookie-cutter and look alike, with unique and individual data variables that feed from tables in SQL Server and other elements based on specific site/market ids and arrays. There was a CMS system in the works that was to be added at some point before everything went over schedule, out of scope, and the vendor/client relationship went downhill. I don’t think it uses the Zend Framework but the general setup seems similar, OOP, html template sets, etc.

Before all this, the 30 sites were static, set up physically by domain with links to the same SQL Server database for any dynamics. All sites existed and were easily updated with any individual requirements easily put in place. Now everything is joined at hip, dynamic and site updates require things like changing an array to get a button (from a limited button set) to appear or not appear, with database changes required for just about any update. The client wants 20 new additional websites, and the vendor responsible for the application says there’s no reasonable way to create those new sites without the completion of the CMS, etc.

The sites (hosted on a dedicated box) have a lot of jquery stuff thrown in and also seem abnormally slow, screen refresh, etc. So all this (although it’s kind of cool in some ways) seems way over the top and not very well thought out. These sites don’t really do much; for the most part they could be static and have the same functionally.

Zend related questions:
1) Does the MVC/pattern thing always demand complete outline/control over everything in a site? Is MVC really some sort of Holy Grail or just another established way to set up an application?
2) Can the ZF be used in a less “global” kind of way and just relate to certain areas in a website.
3) Do PHP applications tend to be slow and would that be one reason Zend markets a PHP server?
4) Is Zend Studio OK on a Mac?

Thanks,
Elier

sprocketlogic
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:43 pm

Re: To Zend or not to Zend?

Post by sprocketlogic » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:34 am

I'll address a few of your questions:

2. Zend Framework can be use in a less "global" kind of way. You can include only the files you need.
3. Zend Server is a good platform to run the Zend Framework because it lumps all of the technologies into one so updating it is a breeze. It is a little expensive (about $1000 per license) but the server version does a fantastic job of throwing real-time debugging information. And it doesn't bog down a server like Plesk or Cpanel can. However, it is not necessary to run a PHP application server.
4. Yes, it is OK. It's slow, tends to freeze a lot and is not worth the price. Zend Studio 7 seems to be an improvement but it's still based on Eclipse so, as I mentioned, it is slow, tends to freeze, is still bloated (385 megs?!). Netbeans 6.7 was recently released and is much smaller (25 MB), does a lot of the same things Zend Studio does, looks better, and is free.

furq
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:48 pm

Re: To Zend or not to Zend?

Post by furq » Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:47 am

Aptana is evidence that not all IDE's based on eclipse are as problematic.

Aptana has an advantage over Net Beans in that remote debugging is MUCH easier to get working - at least in our experience.

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