Archives For zend

I’m often asked why I like the Yii framework, which is easy enough to answer: for starters it requires PHP 5 and uses jQuery natively. Then I like how it auto-generates a lot of code and folders for you. From there, it just kind of works and makes sense to me. In other words, Yii feels right. And unless you really investigate the framework’s underpinnings, how it feels (and can you get it to do what you need to do) is a large part of the criteria in making a selection.

The question I can’t really answer is what advantage Yii has over the X framework. The only other PHP framework I’ve used extensively is the Zend framework. The Zend framework has a lot going for it and is worth anyone’s consideration. To me, its biggest asset is that you can use it piecemeal and independently (I’ve often used components of the Zend Framework in Yii-based and non-framework-based sites), but I just don’t like the Zend Framework as the basis of an entire site. It requires a lot of work, the documentation is overwhelming while still not being that great, and it just doesn’t “feel” right to me.

Anyway, the point of this post is that there’s a nice article at SHELDMANDU from back in January in which the author does a great job of comparing the Yii framework with the Zend framework and Code Igniter (I’ve heard many good things about Code Igniter). Moreover, the author lays out some of his criteria for what he wants in a framework, has reasonable and detailed critiques, and also specifically details why he didn’t consider other frameworks in his comparison. If you’re looking into frameworks, spend five minutes reading that article to help educate yourself as to what considerations you should have in mind during your research.

Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP

April 22, 2011

Version 4.5 of the Flex framework makes it easier to develop applications destined for mobile devices (and there are some crazy-exciting developments along those lines, which I’ll post about separately), but version 4.5 of the corresponding Flash Builder IDE also comes with a nice bonus: even better integration with PHP.

PHP is my Web programming language of choice, and in version 4 of the Flex framework and the Flash Builder IDE, Adobe made a purposeful attempt to increase usage of Flex among the PHP community (this is also when I really began embracing Flex). For example, Flash Builder 4 comes with a wizard for connecting to PHP scripts, including creation of boilerplate PHP code. The new Flash Builder 4.5 IDE, due out May 11, comes in a couple of versions: Standard, Premium (with extra wizards, debugging tools, and profiling utilities), Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP Standard, and Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP Premium. The Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP versions were created in conjunction with Zend, and include an integrated version of Zend Studio 8. As both Flash Builder and Zend Studio are built upon Eclipse, this is a natural fit. And Flash Builder 4 started using Zend AMF to transmit data in Action Message Format between Flash applications and PHP scripts; the two companies have been working together for a while.

Needless to say, if you’re already doing Flex and PHP development (like I am), Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP is the perfect tool. The ability to do all the programming, both server-side PHP and client-side Flex, in one application, will save a lot of time. Just the debugging alone…Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP will let you debug both the PHP script and the Flash application without changing programs!

In terms of pricing Flash Builder 4.5 Standard is $249.00, if purchased new, and Zend Studio is $299.00 (all prices are in US dollars and accurate as I write this). Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP Standard is $399.00, so there’s a decent price break compared to having the applications individually.

For a good, quick introduction to Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP, see this article at the Adobe Developer Connection.

I suspect people commonly underestimate what’s required of a good Web site search engine. Some developers probably think that you just create a search box and then use the supplied terms in a database query to get the results. But there are actually three aspects to a search engine:

  • The index of the content to be searched
  • The act of actually performing the search
  • The reporting of the search results

Many people, I believe, only really think about these last two, but it’s really the index that’s key to the success of any search engine, just like a good index at the back of a book makes it possible for a reader to quickly find what they’re looking for.

As far as search engines go, the gold standard is Apache Lucene. Lucene has been a reliable and popular search engine of choice for years now. Although Lucene is written in Java, the Zend_Search_Lucene module, part of the Zend Framework, is a great PHP port of the software. [intlink id=”790″ type=”post”]In a previous post[/intlink], I explained how to integrate Zend_Search_Lucene into a Yii-based Web application. The focus in that post is really on getting the two different frameworks to work together. This is easily accomplished for two reasons:

  1. Yii supports third-party tools nicely
  2. The Zend Framework can be used piecemeal

So that previous post on Yii and Zend_Search_Lucene walks you through the Yii Controller and View files you’d create to perform a search and report upon the results, something that Zend_Search_Lucene does easily. Creating the index itself is the actual challenge, then, and one that I don’t feel is adequately documented elsewhere. In this post, I explain how to use Zend_Search_Lucene to create a search index of a site.

Continue Reading…

I’m just not a big fan of using the Zend Framework as my Web development tool, but one of the framework’s nicest features is that you can use only the parts of it you need. I am, however, a big fan of the Yii framework and one of its many plusses is that you can easily integrate other frameworks and tools into it. Like, for example, the Zend Framework. Yii does not have its own search engine functionality, and Apache’s Lucene is arguably the gold standard (although clearly not the only choice), so tapping into Zend’s Lucene module for a Yii-driven site makes a lot of sense. In this post, I’ll walk you through the steps for integrating  Zend_Lucene into Yii. This post does assume familiarity with PHP, MVC, and Yii. Continue Reading…