As developers we are always looking for new and exciting technologies, tools and ideas that we can use as part of our daily work.
We believe one of the biggest contributions from the web industry has been the creation of web frameworks. These frameworks allow developers to build websites faster, more securely and more consistently.
This is why we have chosen three of the most influential (in our opinion of course) PHP framework creators to talk about, and show some appreciation for their efforts.
Firstly, some background on PHP and frameworks in general.
Today's internet is a constantly developing environment which is enabled by the constantly developing technologies that power it, PHP is one of those technologies. In years gone by, PHP has been ridiculed as being an ill-equipped language with many drawbacks but it has long been a convenient, widely available and easy to understand solution to many simple programmatic requirements.
As the technical requirements of any task grow in their complexity, it is often a good idea to break those requirements down into components and deal with each aspect separately. When creating software, this can usually be achieved using what is known as an application framework. Many computer languages had established frameworks for many years before PHP, this was partly due to the fact that PHP was severely lacking in object model support up until version 5 which was released during 2004. It was then that frameworks built in PHP started to become more prevalent, the first object oriented framework of note was PRADO which won its creator, Qiang Xue, the Zend PHP 5 coding contest in 2004.
Though the first version of PRADO was written in PHP 4 before there was object model support, when it was rewritten in PHP 5, leveraging many of language's new capabilities it paved the way for many of the newer and more advanced frameworks we use nowadays, including Qiang's newer frameworks Yii and Yii2.
It's the attitude that Qiang exhibited back in 2004 that inspires us to take advantage of new technologies whenever possible to the benefit of the software and its users.
The creator of the widely used Symfony PHP framework, Fabien made a framework which underpins some of the biggest sites out there. As well as Symfony, he is also responsible for many other popular open source projects, including: Twig - the templating language, Silex - a micro-framework (essentially a stripped down Symfony) and SwiftMailer - a flexible and well documented PHP email library.
Due to it’s stability and flexibility, Symphony components are often borrowed for use in other projects, the Laravel framework is one example, which we use at Reflect Digital. Without his work, many of today’s tools wouldn’t exist.
Fabien is also an active blogger talking about everything PHP, from library releases, PHP news, and tutorials.
This is where most of the contribution comes from for Taylor, he spends most of his time working on the framework that is Laravel, from its early conception in June 2011, up until now and further forward. The framework has come a long way since the start, with Taylor listening to what developers want he has been able to push the framework into a direction that makes life easy. With the upcoming release of Laravel which will house the most features to date, that will push the web industry further into the unknown.
This is by far one of his best contributions to the community although a paid service it makes it far easier to boot new servers up. This allows the developer to save a lot of time and forget about the daunting task that is servers.
Deploying code made easy by Taylor, created for simplicity and to scratch an own itch, this coupled with Forge can become a powerful set when it comes to deploying, maintaining code bases.
The past few years we have had the grace of Talks, the speakers have been put together by Taylor himself, to share subjects they are inspired about to the community, helping others to know more about what's going on.