Last week, while I was on vacation, the news broke that
href="http://www.infoworld.com">IDG’s InfoWorld had announced its annual
InfoWorld Bossie Award winners
(“Bossie” stands for “Best of Open Source Software”), and that href="http://framework.zend.com/">Zend Framework had won the “ href="http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source/bossie-awards-2010-the-best-open-source-application-development-software-140¤t=4&last=1#slideshowTop">best open source application development software” award.
I am one of the privileged few to have worked with Zend Framework since before the original public pre-alpha release. In August 2005, when I was flown to Zend’s Cupertino offices to interview for a position, one of my interviewers was Mike Naberezny. After a few minutes of vetting me, he opened up his IDE and showed me this thing he was working on, “Zend Framework.” What he showed me at the time captured my imagination: the company with the best known name in the PHP industry was building an application framework, and the code I was seeing was simple, straight-forward PHP. It was the first time I’d seen a framework I was actually interested in using — even if it was in its early, early infancy. I knew at that moment that I wanted to be involved in the project.
While Zend Framework today is often considered an industry standard, it was fairly groundbreaking when it was first introduced. Other frameworks such as CakePHP and symfony were already released and popular, but we shook things up:
- We required PHP 5 from the outset.
- We required a Contributors License Agreement for all contributors.
- We required unit tests for all contributions.
- We required end-user documentation in addition to standard API documentation for all contributions.
Basically, Zend Framework set the bar high both for contributions and usage. However, this has aided in keeping a high quality framework, pushing PHP 5 adoption, and increasing awareness around best practices within the PHP industry. Since then, a number of PHP 5-only frameworks have appeared, and several frameworks have stopped supporting PHP 4; many are now requiring CLAs; most mainstream frameworks now have testing and documentation requirements.
Since the public announcement in autumn 2005 of the framework, and the first public preview release the following spring, Zend Framework has grown astronomically, both in size and popularity. We have literally hundreds of contributors, many dozens of components, and a vibrant community of users ranging from rank beginners to seasoned professionals. These are the people who make Zend Framework a success.
I, for one, am proud to be part of this project. Please join me in a hearty round of congratulations to the Zend Framework community!