PHP code is commonly referred to as messy and unorganized. Compared to Java there are few standard frameworks and defined structures for development. But PHP is now working at addressing the issue. The Zend Framework Preview 0.1.2 was released a few days back. It’s currently only meant for experienced PHP developers wanting to get a sneak peek at what’s coming, but the framework’s moving quickly towards 1.0.
The framework site says “Zend Framework is a high quality and open source framework for developing Web Applications and Web Services. Built in the true PHP spirit, the Zend Framework delivers ease-of-use and powerful functionality. It provides solutions for building modern, robust, and secure websites.”
Don’t expect the framework to be similar to Apache Struts, as Andi Gutmans, the founder of Zend Technologies says “The main challenge is to create a model-controller that is both simple to use and powerful. I definitely wouldn’t want to go into what I consider a complicated route such as Java struts. Striking the right balance is hard and it often means implementing just the features, which make it “good enough”. In fact, that’s harder than doing something which does everything.”
The framework aims to enable enterprise-class PHP application development and deployment. While an MVC architecture is an important part of the framework, it also offers features for database access, data objects, security via filtering and quoting, form handling, consuming XML feeds, HTTP protocol handling, AJAX with JSON, logging, email, PDF handling, consuming web and XML/RPC services, service wrappers for common Web 2.0 services. One of the highlights is Zend_Search_Lucene, a port of the Apache Lucene engine written entirely in PHP 5, which offers search capabilities without the need for web services or Java.
Looks like some exciting time ahead, with both Ruby and PHP folks working hard to dislodge Java from the dominant player position in the enterprise web applications space.