More php framework musings

arty egg sandwich and latteJust like CMS’s I’m incredibly indecisive when it comes to frameworks. I spent years dragging my feet over deciding which php framework I would “standardise” on, before deciding on zend, then deciding against it (too big), then getting as far as using cake for a couple of things (it’s pretty good, but felt a bit too rigid, and call me ridiculous, but I just hate the name). I’ve now gone full circle and started using codeigniter (the first one I tried a few years back) for a couple of main reasons – firstly it is very light and loosely coupled, secondly I’m already using it on toooldtoskate.com, which runs sweetcron. I’m also in tandem using a pure php 5 port of codeigniter called kohana on another project.

I’m hoping the techniques I’ll learn for these will be mostly interchangeable so juggling the two won’t be counterproductive. There was no big deciding factor really, I had just started to realise that the ever growing collection of php code I had been using could be considered a framework of sorts, but was lacking a number of features I would get for free if I adopted an established framework. A friend suggested I steal bits of other frameworks to add to my code base, and another friend mentioned kohana, just as I came to key point in my longest running project (referred to as “frankenapp”, due to the mixture of technologies in use!). I started looking at how I could impose a standard structure for future code and make it more modular, and before I knew it I had the front end being served up by kohana, and a library acting as a simple bridge to legacy code. At the very least, adopting kohana will encourage me to stick to a structure rather than making it up as I go along!

new sweetcron/ codeigniter based site Too Old To skate

too old to skate

I’m pleased to say i’ve achieved another of my 2009 goals, by launching the (unfinished) new version of one of my personal projects Too Old To Skate. The main site is now running php/codeigniter based sweetcron, which is used to pull content in from the original wordpress, flickr, delicious, twitter, vimeo and a friends blogger based site. I have plenty more planned for the site, but little to no time to do it, so I thought i’d upload the site unfinished in the meantime to allow myself to do incremental updates, rather than be embarrased by a holding page.

Amongst the plans are:-

  • bring in the content (articles and photo galleries) from the now defunct plone(2) based DFR Skate zine – i’m thinking some sort of PHP/ codeigniter* front-end sucking in content (as XML/JSON or even plain HTML) from a Plone 3 site acting as a content server. Doing something like this with Plone has been on my mind for years! Maybe I should stick this in as a 2010 goal. Alternatively it may just end up as a skinned Plone 3 site on another subdomain – either would be good.
  • Skin the blog to fit in with the main site.
  • Other awesomeness – this is a non-commercial personal project and therefore my playground 😉

*Having now played with both codeigniter and cakephp, I think I prefer cake. However as sweetcron is codeigniter based it would be plain silly to be using cake on the same project.