Why Does the PCP (PHP Collaboration Project) Scare Me?

Am I allowed to say that this worries me just a bit?

Is it normal to think that maybe, just maybe, dropping this much more power into the lap of Zend may turn things a bit sour?

Right now, the Zend PHP Collaboration Project sounds more like a vaporware kind of thing – nothing more than promises between companies that they’ll help each other out. I can’t help but wonder, though, if this inclusion of larger companies with influence on this framework might cause some kind of trickle-down effect on the language itself. What happens if, say, IBM comes up with a spectacular module for the framework, but it needs an update to the PHP source to really work. Do the Zend boys make the change to the code that other developers have worked up and made as bug-free as possible?

I’m not saying that the framework is all-together a bad thing. I know I’m putting a bit of a negative spin on it all, and maybe that’s just me, but I’m also a bit worried about the PHP community as well. I try to keep on top of things that are happening (especially the news), and most of the press about this announcement has been positive. I just hope that a move to bring more companies “into the fold” of PHP development doesn’t cause too many issues around the community – especially with other framework developers. What’s going to happen to their frameworks if the Zend one, obviously funded and developed by a larger group than most, comes in and blows them out of the water?

Will all of these fade into obsolesce?

[UPDATE]: They’ve launched their official site about the collaboration today. Am I the only one out there that finds it amusing that the video they placed so prominently not only doesn’t talk about the collaboration at all (seems like a Zend marketing video to me), but it also includes quotes from companies not even involved with the collaboration!



  1. PHP needs a Framework. Sort of Struts, but that doesn’t suck. PHP needs something accepted which developers can learn how to use well, and is an acceptable solution for large projects and commercially backed. Conferences are also getting a bit dull… this should provide some new topics ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As long as its open sourced, it is a Good Thing ™


  2. I’m taking a calm, reasonable “wait and see” approach. If I see even one tiny whiff of “Java-ism” influencing the development of this framework, I’m running away like sixty. But if it really follows Zend’s claim that it will try to be extremely simple, fast, and useful, then I’m all for it. I think that PHP 5 makes standard OOP practices much more possible, and a good standardized framework design will help solidify PHP 5 mindshare.



  3. I contacted Andi and Zeev two years ago about the possibility of a PHP framework geared toward business use. The response I received at the time said that it was an interesting idea–yet one that Zend still didn’t find interesting enough to pursue. I followed up with them throughout 2004 and 2005, and was constantly given the runaround by various Zend employees. I submitted a talk idea earlier this year for the Zend conference on my PHP framework, and was rejected. (I wonder why.) At a previous conference, one Zend rep told me, “we’re a difficult company to work with. You don’t wan’t to work with us.”

    Now, as you’ve pointed out here, Zend wants everyone to work with them. It’s too little, too late, I’m afraid.

    I’m going to push Think’s Lampshade non-OO PHP framework as hard as I can. Contrary to Zend’s claims, it is simple, possibly the simplest one out there, and it isn’t restricted to one particular industry. (If it were, I’m not sure how educational loan officers, medical researchers and T-Shirt distributors could all be using it at once.) In the meantime, we’ll see if Zend’s vaporware ever materializes.


  4. The frustrating thing is their statement about the license. They say “Our goal is to make the framework widely available to a whole range of developers and/or businesses using a PHP-type of license”. If its under the PHPL, its not GPL-compatible, and hundreds of php apps won’t be able to use it. I really hope they go BSDL, but their phrasing really doesn’t reassure me that they will. Worse, of course, is that they don’t want the Internet communicating centrally on their site until January of 2006?!.. Just throw up a forum.. Almost every php blogger has mentioned it on their blog already, might as well give a central point for discussion.


  5. I’ll wait for the code before I form an opinion on this. I’m a framework developer myself (http://www.achievo.org/atk) and we’ve been working on our framework for almost 5 years now (since 1 year it’s open source), so I’m a bit worried about this new framework. But it’s too early to tell anything.


  6. The interesting thing imho about this Collaboration Project is regardless (or irregardless as we say here in ohio) of whether or not Zend’s framework will succeed or not, it definitely has had an impact on driving PHP to the forefront and legitimizing its use in enterprise. Even though Zend Studio has been around a while, the majority of developers I know are using something else. Likewise, I don’t think this framework will take over, but I do think it will cause the creators of other frameworks to keep on their toes– the result of which is an awesome array of continually improving tools from which a developer can choose. So from a developer’s standpoint I don’t think it’s scary at all, I think we will benefit greatly. Of course that’s imho.


  7. I’m not sure that this is something to be worried about yet – if at all. If it’s an open source framework (regardles of the actual license they pick) then it’s something the wider community can take and run with, or just ignore entirely, leaving other more established frameworks to take up the task. I also don’t understand how people can be blogging that it is vapourware – something so new that it is still collecting concept ideas and teams onboard doesn’t warrant a vapourware title. Perhaps this time next year it will ๐Ÿ™‚ It is early days, and for now I think the only people this could really affect directly are those working on php internals.


  8. I’m not worried about dawn of yet another PHP framework, but I’m definitely worried about this thing becoming “standard” and shaping the language.


  9. Frankly speaking, if its only Zend and a few companies only known to the developers that are going to be touting this framework, this is going to turn out to be another one of those Zend cool toys no one really uses. Come to think of it, they have great products but compare the number of devs that use php to those who use php with these tools. Open source or not, unless the f/w itself is free from licensing costs, I don’t see it getting anywhere.


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