ZK: a rich internet application framework

Published March 2nd, 2006

Yes, another one, but ZK has an interesting approach. It provides a very rich set of interface elements, which are scripted in XUL or XHTML (or both) and communicate seamlessly with your server logic. I’ve yet to try it in a real-world scenario but it certainly looks the part, and works well in Firefox and IE.

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  1. Edan on March 14, 2006

    I read about Cake in your blog, I tried it and I can’t say I enjoyed the experience.

    I was wondering if you end up using it for a real live project/site.

  2. Stickman on March 14, 2006

    Sadly, real life (ie. paid work) got in the way of my Cake experiments. I’m still hoping to find time to complete the project I started, although I’m not sure if I’d carry on with Cake or something else — possibly I’ll be looking more closely at Qcodo since my host now supports PHP5.

    What was it about Cake that you didn’t like?

  3. Edan on March 15, 2006

    Lack of simple examples and documentation (I know they have many, but i didn’t find them very helpful).

    Also, there are some basic stuff they do that I don’t like, for example, the name convention. The plural and singular naming. It’s just a bad idea or the fact that i need to have a primary row named ‘id’.

    I did like the directory structure of Cake, and simplicity of starting to work with it (which i didn’t find in any other framework).

    I think that I just didn’t like the fact that stuff is too automated (PHP for dummies kinda).

    I believe Cake and all the other frameworks are ment for new users who are looking for shortcuts and easy ways to do basic simple stuff – but as soon as you want something a little bit more complicated those frameworks are not good for you.

    I consider myself a pro PHPer and when I code I like to know how stuff works, make it optimized/cacheable and the frameworks just don’t deliver it (and i tried A LOT of them) .

    I gave up on using a ready made framework and started to build my own MVC framework, it’s optimized for my use (= not to many AUTO functions just a basic MVC directory structure).

    PHP5 frameworks are currently not an option for me, since my servers are working with php4 and i’m not planning to upgrade any time soon (too much code to review).

  4. Stickman on March 15, 2006

    I would agree with pretty much all your points — in fact I even posted about the danger of poor documentation. And I too, quickly came to realisation that for an experienced developer the ‘wow’ factor of RAD frameworks wears off pretty quickly, especially once you’ve got past the early prototyping stage.

    Having said that, for those who aren’t concerned about optimisation and are more concerned with just getting the job done and moving on, I think that such frameworks have their place. As I said in my original article, the main motivation for using an existing framework was that when I tried to write my own I found that I ended up spending all my time on the framework and never completed any of the projects that the framework was designed to facilitate!

    Anyway, the point is moot for me at the moment since I don’t have time for my own projects right now. Maybe in a few months I’ll have time to look at the subject again. If I find a better alternative to Cake, I’ll post about it.

    Best of luck with your projects.

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