If it aint broke

HomepageTools is up for a very long awaited overhaul, so over the last few months, I have been flitting from one rapid development framework to the other, trying to find a solution that would improve, speed up and excite my development experiences.

I'm a PHP guy at heart, and always have been. HPU and HPT are coded entirely in PHP and I believe it really has earned its title as the webs most popular scripting language. But when I keep hearing about these new fangled frameworks popping up all over the place, supposedly set to ease my development time in half, etc. etc., well I just gotta take a look. So that is what I have been doing. I am pretty sure I have tried them all; Symfony, CakePHP, BinaryCloud, PHP on Trax, CodeIgniter, QCodo, Seagull and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Heck, I even started writing my own framework at one point. Pretty chuffed with it too, but it left me wondering why I was writing a brand new framework from scratch, when there are already some perfectly (almost) good ones out there.

What really sparked all this off, was my discovery of Ruby on Rails. And I have probably spent the most time on RoR than all the others. But the problem (albeit one of the only problems) was that Rails is written in an entirely different language. So I found myself having to learn not only the framework, but an all new alien language.

What I had to do was figure out whether it was worth doing such a thing. At the end of the day, there is nothing wrong with PHP and it has served me well for a long time. It is constantly developing and has excellent community support (I don't think I have ever really had a problem that could be solved quickly and easily). Although Rails is also constantly developing, it is still very young and its documentation and community reflects that youthfulness.

So I am sticking with good old PHP!

OK. Now what? Oh yeah. I still gotta decide which PHP Framework to use, that is if I decide to actually use one. I could stick to coding everything from scratch using my trusty Textpad; I could carry on writing my own framework, or I could choose one of the many open source frameworks competing for my attention.

So you know what I decided on? The first PHP framework I found and really played with; CakePHP. And why? It's got the best community support and docs, and also seems to be more mature than the rest. It's also still simple and not bloated, yet still has some very useful tools and idioms which could really improve my development.

So Cake it is, and will be used for most, if not all of my development. The all new HomepageTools (soon to be renamed!?) will be the first to use it.

I'l be sure to let you all know how it goes.