Aug 262008


After receiving quite some feedback on my post “Why Delphi for PHP should have used Prado instead of VCL” I decided to do a follow up to that post. Some of the feedback was quite interesting, hence this post was born.

First and foremost I’d like to address the feedback I got regarding the class name prefixing in VCL/PHP. I argued that the lack of class prefixes could create problems in the future, and used Prado’s T notation as as sample of something that would at least be a bit better. Let’s take a look at two VCL/PHP classes named Collection and Object. These two names are often reserved in programming langues (atleast object oriented ones). If PHP decides to introduce these two classes the VCL/PHP guys would be pretty screwed. It would involve refactoring the framework as well as applications which uses those classes. Prado on the other hand has a prefix (TCollection etc. minor, but it’s a world of difference). I assume that the VCL/PHP authors will introduce namespace support with PHP 5.3, so this issue will hopefully be a thing of the past when 5.3 ships. That said, I’m a bit curious to see how the migration / backwards compability would turn out if VCL/PHP adopt namespaces.

What I miss in the feedback I got from my previous post was people acually using VCL/PHP for enterprise applications and how that is working. From what I can tell the usage of Exceptions is still limited to the 3rd party libs such as Zend Framework which are included with VCL/PHP. That’s a bit interesting.

I’d like to touch on the comment made by Pieter Viljoen for my original post. I agree that Codegear pushed quite a toolset for the PHP community in a short time, but the underlying code is not enterprise quality. One can argue that PHP is ugly and flawed (not sure I agree on that part), but that does not mean that one should not strive for good architecture and methodology when developing frameworks on top of PHP. I see the point that VCL/PJP offers features that are interesting for starting PHP developers, but for large scale applications I just don’t see it. I’d be pretty cautious pulling in a framework without exception support if I was to create an application.

Again, I’m really interested in some feedback from someone that actually has built applications with VCL/PHP.

I’ve also noticed that there is not much activity in the VCL/PHP SVN repository. Anyone know what’s going on there?

[tags]PHP, Prado, VCL4PHP[/tags]  

2 Responses to “VCL/PHP followup”

  1. [...] choice of VCL over Prado for the behind the scenes framework for their software, Eirik Hoem has posted this based on feedback from the original post. What I miss in the feedback I got from my previous post [...]

  2. “It’s easy to open your source code, but hard to build a community” – Adam Jollans, Director of Open Source Strategy, IBM

    Even though they seem to have a nice RAD tool they will probably have a hard time to take market shares unless they do some dramatic changes and understand how to run a successful open source project.

    With only 382 members registered in their forum the community seems quite small. VCL for PHP isn’t listed at http://www.phpframeworks.com either.

    Can’t wait to see the upcoming PRADO support in NetBeans 6.5 – the best of both worlds – a great framework in a free IDE :)

    See: http://forums.netbeans.org/viewtopic.php?t=1202

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