Moving to PHP5

Why are people still using PHP4 again?

Oh yes, the compatibility issue. Ok, since i’m rewriting all my web apps using Zend Framework now, i guess I don’t have much choice except to switch my PHP installed on my server to PHP5 (Zend Framework was written in PHP5).

Why would i use Zend Framework? two words: beautiful and simple. ZF knows very well how to use the power which comes with PHP5. OOP and design pattern are well written all over the place. Having a quick look at Zend_Controller will explain why i say this.

About the simplicity, Aaron Warmus put it well when he said this,

When evaluating the code within Zend Framework, it was clear that the concept of “Extreme Simplicty” meant that when faced with design decisions, Zend Framework always went with using the power which is built into PHP5 …

In a couple words, extreme simplicity means not reimplementing functionality already available in PHP5.

ZF now in days away from its stable version (currently in 1.0.0-RC2). As many other people out there, i hope ZF will be the rescuer of PHP5 slow adoption. In broad, i hope it will make alot easier for us to build a profesional yet reliable web apps using PHP.

Anyway, i’m switching my server now, wish me luck.

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  1. I think WordPress has a good design. They keep things simple and leave everything else to the plugins that can be easily developed by other developers. Again, this is due to their good design on hooking up everything into Action and Filter which are easily extensible.

    However, as any other project that was started using PHP4, there are many functionalities that won’t be needed if you use PHP5. And i see they tried to use design pattern on their design, but it gets too complicated when you implement it using PHP4 which is not fully OOP.

    But i can understand if they stick to their own framework, instead of switching to others or creating a new one in PHP5. When your software is used by thousands of people, you can’t just change things whenever you like, especially when there are thousands of plugins out there which depend strongly on your API.

    Another reason is when your application’s getting bigger and complex, it is hard to change the framework which sits beneath other part of the system. The only possible way to do this is to rewrite the code from scratch.

    That’s why a group of developer who’s not happy with the way WordPress was designed, set up a new blogging platform project called Habari ( which was written totally from scratch.

  2. If WP has good design, why are there so many plugins that only work with certain version of WP? Is it the fault of the plugins developers?

    I heard that an application with a good design would encapsulate the nitty gritty implementation. So providing WP does have a good design, then they wouldn’t have a problem changing their own framework to other framework without changing their external API (e.g. for plugins).

    The fact that Habari Project exists contradicts what you said about WP having a good design.

  3. What i meant by good design was how WP handle things. Not compatibility with plugins. And for the application that built using PHP4, it’s pretty good.

    You’re right. But i doubt if WP developers agree with us about changing their framework. There might be some considerations why they won’t change some area of codes. That’s i belive one of the reason why some developers who don’t like this kind of policy start their own blogging software project.


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