Zend Framework Test Drive

First Impressions

The first thing that struck me was the size of the initial framework from the Zend site. At 6.3 megs for the tar.gz and a whopping 34Megs when unpacked, I was hoping the bulk of this would be for docs and as it turns out, 19 Megs is for just that. A further 12 Megs for Demo's. I was sadly mistaken. This package is huge as far as frameworks go. We tested out some of the features to see what the lack of hype is all about. With a package this size, we were hoping for great things...




Although 12 Megs of documentation are included in the package (API and end_user) it is not difficult to see the incompatibilities immediately between them as they are generated using different tools. The use of phpDocumentor or DocBook has caused many religious wars in the past and this seems to have been the case here. A compromise of sorts allowing each doc team to choose its own tool at the cost of consistency.

A simple site

Extention API

Unlike more evolved solutions such as ez-publish, the Zend offering lacks cohesion. That is, a lack of total togetherness or integration. Nowhere in the API does it refer to use with other applications for any purpose at all, almost as if it were a stand-alone counterpart to itself.


Tests with Apache Bench show this to be a real dog. Sadly though, many will not use the Zend Framework for its speed, but will more likely go with it simply because its better supported than a bunch of random developers with a Trac installed.

Design Goals


This application is obviously far from complete, the documentation is often misleading if not totally inacurate. One can only assume that it has passed alpha testing and the PHP community is the goat for the beta phase. What does this bring to the PHP community that is not already in place? A commercial arrangement with Amazon, Flickr, and Yahoo!