Hello Again, Old Friend: Revisiting a PHP Framework
I'm in the process of replumbing the lightweight PHP application framework I wrote with Joel Sutherland over three years ago. Its original design was inspired by the Java Struts Framework. It enabled us to rapidly develop the first version of New Media Campaigns' website management software. Two summers ago we did a major redesign inspired by the DRY nature of Ruby on Rails. Since then Joel and Josh Lockhart have been tweaking the framework by addressing the issues which crop up after their intensive use while rewriting New Media's system.
Energized by what I saw at the Web 2.0 Expo in NY I'm back at it again. My three big goals with this take:
1) Get it in the wild: Open source with an MIT license. This is going to happen before the New Year. Hopefully sooner. We intended to do this with V2. It actually was publicly available in 2006 for a brief period of time but without any real plan for evangelism. I've been using open source software for a long time and its high time to give back.
2) Play nice in the new RESTful world. If I had to bet on a paradigm for interacting with web APIs I would bet the farm on REST. It is perfectly aligned with the grain of the web. Most existing frameworks written without an emphasis on REST have made awkward face lifts to adapt. When revisiting our own framework and considering how to make it properly RESTful this would have held true if not for...
3) Signficantly Improving the Architecture. Revisiting old code is a joy. It's easy to forget how clever you were and how much work you did. Yet it's very disturbing to realize how hacked some of the fundamental design was. As mentioned, the current version was influenced significantly by what Rails plumbing looked like circa-2006. Since then two really important things have changed: 1) the emphasis on tying closer to HTTP protocol, and 2) two additional years of experience with systems design under the belt.
So, here's to take 3! Bits available for download in upcoming months. E-mail me at krisjordan/gmail if interested in being copied on barely functional, pre-release bits in the mean time. Otherwise, stay tuned.