Burlington PHP Users Group

Matthew WeierO'Phinney Last week saw quite a turnout at the Burlington PHP Users Group meeting. The event featured a talk by Matthew Weier O’Phinney, from the Zend Framework team at Zend Technologies. The discussion was lively and informative – there was a really good mix of people there, which made for great conversation. We even had some crossover from the rails group (ok, just me and one other person – but it was nice to see a familiar face there). Here are a few tidbits that I took away from the presentation and the various discussions.

Multiple actions per request with the Zend Framework

This is one of those features you don’t think about until you need it and it’s not there. The documentation for dispatch() describes the process pretty well:

Routing takes place exactly once, using the values in the request object when dispatch() is called. Dispatching takes place in a loop; a request may either indicate multiple actions to dispatch, or the controller or a plugin may reset the request object to force additional actions to dispatch. When all is done, the front controller returns a response.

It’s features like this that add elegance to a set of tools.

Zend Framework’s flexible view interface for portability

Some frameworks come with their own template syntax – by default, Zend just uses PHP. However with Zend_View_Interface you can roll your own template system, or easily build a wrapper for a third party engine like Smarty.

Some folks commented that over the years they had been through several back-end systems, and having the front-end in smarty was a huge timesaver. Using Zend_View_Interface you could conceivably even switch template engines if you had to.

Deployment and Subversion

All sorts of other information came up out of various conversations we had as a group. Here are a few off the top of my head.

  • It looks like the Symfony framework has some deployment tools available.
  • There were a few subversion hosting services suggested, including Assembla, which looks impressive (the image annotation feature sounds especially slick).

If you’re in the area, sign up or keep an eye on the Burlington PHP Users Group mailing list for word of the next meeting.

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