The Zend Framework has always been my favorite PHP framework. The thing I love about this framework is that its components are loosely coupled. That is to say that its components have well-defined, and well-thought out dependencies. If you don’t like certain components, you don’t have to use them. Other frameworks boast this kind of modularity, but honestly I haven’t seen any that really back it up. For our last two or three PHP projects, we gave CakePHP a try. At first I was really happy with cake because of how quickly I was able to wire frame an application, but the more I use it the more I realize that the components in cake are far too coupled and there is just too damn much “auto-magic” going on in cake. I really prefer explicit to implicit code.
The reason we decided to leave Zend and go to CakePHP was because it lacked two main components that made it very difficult to wire frame applications quickly and easily. Those components are a layout system, and a form manager. I am happy to announce that Zend has tackled both of these problems in this release, and has actually done a decent job on them. Neither of them are 100% yet (at least not in my opinion), but both are very usable and helpful at the very least. Go grab a copy of the new release and give it a go. I think you’ll be quite happy with it!
For a full list of the new features, check out the official release page on zend developer zone.0
UPDATE! – Zend Developer Zone has published a webinar on Zend_View and Zend_Layout by Ralph Schindler. Go check it out!