I’ve been looking at a few PHP frameworks to aid the redesign of my website surfspot.de. After toying around with Cake and Symfony for a while, I finally stumbled upon Zend Framework, or ZF for short. When I started out learning ZF, it seemed to me that this was the one framework able to handle whatever tasks I needed, without much of a hassle like CLIs (short for Command Line Interface – just hate them), and with a very good documentation plus forum support.

Now, a couple of months and some 100 liters of coffee later, some parts of the structure of ZF, or even the need for the structure itself, is still a mystery to me. The separation of Model, View and Controller, IMHO, is not too bad in itself, but separating all those components into different directories, as well, only adds to the confusion. In other words, my attention span is just not long enough to figure where to change action, view and so on when those are spread across my whole server ­čśë

Anyway, somewhere along the line ZF introduced “ ZF Applications“… including my worst enemy – CLIs ­čśë That┬┤s the point where I started to think that it should be possible to use ZF like a „normal“ PHP library – the old „include“ way – with only those components needed to perform the task. And that’s the beauty of ZF: it is possible. You don’t have to bother with the ZF way of doing things, you can just simply utilize all of their classes to suit your own purpose, in your own way.

In this little series, I will share my experience doing exactly that, hoping you’ll be able to skip some of the pitfalls I came across.