Rapid Application Development in PHP

I am working on a large project that involves developing a complex Web-based application for both client-facing and service-side users. Frustrated with the complexities of endless .php includes cluttering up folders, and seeking the enlightenment of an MVC approach to Web-apps, I started looking into the myriad of design patterns and frameworks available for the PHP platform.

Like anyone else involved in recent Web development, I have heard of (even looked at) Ruby on Rails, but found its lack of availability amongst hosting providers to be off-putting. Whatsmore, with ActionScript, Objective-C, Java and PHP running around my head - as well as some real languages I am learning (Italian, German, French and Spanish thanks to these) - I don't really fancy introducing myself to another syntax just yet.

After some desk research, I came across a few object-oriented frameworks for PHP. By far the most impressive (look at those production values...) was the Prado framework. Prado appears to heavily influenced by the .NET Framework, and this certainly shows.

Unfortunately, though, despite running through the for a rapid application development framework - and I'm an impatient developer :).

It was, however, interesting to see the application of OO and MVC principles to PHP, and thus I have embarked instead on writing my own reusable, themeable, modular framework for PHP apps. Given the time/achievement worries I had about using Prado and other third-party frameworks, it will be interesting to see how this pans out. Initial indications are good, though, and I have a modular administration system with multi-user authentication working after little over a day's work.

As always, time will tell.