Creating an Open Source PHP Development Platform

In January 2008 I started my own business to specialize in Cloud Computing software development and over the past three years developed a simple PHP framework for our development purposes. This was done because at the time no existing framework fitted within the scope of development we did, they were either overly complicated and required very specialized server stacks or just plain too simple to develop true Rich Internet Applications.

However, three years down the line both my business and the technological landscape has changed. Currently we are tasked to develop a full web based ERP/Management Information System and once again evaluated our own framework in comparison with others such as Zend Framework. The similarities were astonishing, yet the differences still vast. We realized that our framework has huge potential due to its simplicity, it runs on standard web servers, but that proper development and maintenance of it will be a full time business. The conundrum is thus, to invest the resources of building and maintaining our own proprietary framework in addition to our existing business, or to Open Source it and take advantage of the most revolutionary development paradigm and give back to the very community that made our business possible in the first place?

The objective of our framework is basically surmised as follows: “To create a development platform or framework that masks the complexity and nuances of Internet based software development and allows application developers to focus on business logic while providing full interface flexibility.”

Our question is thus: Is there any interest amongst the serious, advanced rich internet application developers for such a framework, or is the existing ones sufficient?

I don’t understand people who think they are doing the world a big favor by making a project open source. Take a look around… everyone is doing it. There probably is nothing special about your framework that has not already been accomplished in another more established one, sorry.

I’m always interested in seeing what others have done when facing similar problems to my own. Keep in mind though that you’ll have far more idea miners than adopters. Still, I’m curious as to what it does even though I’ve seen more than a few frameworks and even written one.

:mad: That is perhaps the rudest and most uncooperative post I’ve ever seen on this forum, ever.

I’ll agree that’s not the most polite reply I’ve ever seen, sorry.

Assuming that Zanicar doesn’t think going open-source is so much doing a favor as it is off-loading some work on the project, “probably is nothing special about your framework” does bring up a valid point.

Without knowing more details a guess is as good as it gets.

Is there any interest amongst the serious, advanced rich internet application developers for such a framework, or is the existing ones sufficient?

I think developers will always be interested in tweaking improvements.

A new project, Why? What makes this one unique and stand apart?

I can think of a half a dozen PHP frameworks off the top of my head…Zend, CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Kohona, Symfony, Yii.

What would your framework do (or do better) that existing frameworks can’t or have trouble doing?

Would it be better if the enhancements/features you have in mind be integrated into existing framework projects? Have you tried posting your ideas or code for inclusion?

I don’t understand people who think they are doing the world a big favor by making a project open source. Take a look around… everyone is doing it. There probably is nothing special about your framework that has not already been accomplished in another more established one, sorry.

The power of Open Source is in people offering a contribution. Maybe, just maybe we have done something, albeit small, that may prove to be a valuable contribution. The thing is we would rather focus on building applications that solve the problems of our clients, than first solving our own - when other developers may need the same very solutions for very different applications.

That aside, having compared our simple framework with existing ones revealed a lot of similarities as well as differences. It is currently not nearly in a state of being share-ready as it is specifically tailored to dealing with scenarios we often encounter and our style of application development. Its unique value however is that it does not require a special development or deployment environment. Once the core system is deployed all further development, testing and delivery takes place online. New business logic, new files and even entire modules can be deployed from within the core system – no service restarts required and I can do it from my iPad (or any standards compliant browser). Also any changes or updates of the core system is deployed to all applications, whether it is an ERP/MIS system or an e-commerce site; the business logic of the application is unaffected even if the entire security and authentication module is completely overhauled. Even if a particular module is customized for a client, the customizations will be unaffected if the module is updated, because the customized module overrides the underlying one (in similar fashion to an object inheritance hierarchy). Its weakness at this time is that it is tailored to our style of applications and not yet suited to building any application imaginable.

The framework is not meant for standard run of the mill internet applications, we use it to develop fully independent ERP and Management Information Systems. I am interested in knowing who are interested in such a framework and possibly willing to share resources and collaborate on such a project; if any at all. If not, we will happily continue our work in isolation seeing as none of the mentioned frameworks fully meet with our requirements, but I’m sure there are other developers that are also not yet satisfied.

Personally, I think its a great thing that your framework caters to your specific needs. That is how all software should be built. The more and more generic you make something the more sacrifices need to be made. However, like you said since it is so specific to your business goals it probably won’t be to great for others. Though is that really a bad thing. Although I get the feeling your talking for about a content management system the a framework. If that is the case then having it be specific to business needs is the way to go, making it generic just makes he whole thing a convoluted nightmare for none technical users, ever seen the admin of Drupal. Yeah… that is what you get when you make something to generic. Its best to stay clear of meta fields, and generic content and all that other voodoo imo.

You aren’t around enough then. Unless by this forum you are referring to the PHP App Dev forum then perhaps. Honestly, I just get sick of people thinking they are doing the world such a big favor with their uber awesome framework that they work on in their personal time, w/e.

Let’s keep it civilized here you guys. You’re both adults; there’s no need for all this bickering.
Please dial it down, okay?

Our question is thus: Is there any interest amongst the serious, advanced rich internet application developers for such a framework, or is the existing ones sufficient?

I’m personally obsessed with frameworks. I spend a majority of my day and free time, reading, downloading and experimenting with frameworks, both (micro and full stack) MVC frameworks such as CodeIgnitor, Zend, CakePHP, Symphony, etc. As well as CMF, such as Drupal, Joomla, WordPress (gag) and dozens of others over the last 10 or so years.

The truth is, most are only slight deviations from the next. Drupal, in the grand scheme of things is drastically different from Joomla, but ultimately solve the same problems, but with a different culture and set of solutions.

To answer your question: Yes I would be very interested in looking at your framework. :smiley:

Post it and see what happens. There are so many options available, marketing becomes just as (if not more) important as constant maintenance and development.

Cheers,
Alex

To remind those of the topic, the question is

Our question is thus: Is there any interest amongst the serious, advanced rich internet application developers for such a framework, or is the existing ones sufficient?

Just to clarify, are you talking about a framework based on php? Or are you talking about extensions to the web server that allow for more advanced php development? This thing about service restarts is confusing in a pure php context.