Qcodo – PHP Development Framework: I think you’re going to see that phrase a lot in the future: “Rails for [insert language here].” I had heard that Cake was “Rails for PHP,” but after watching some demos, I think the QCodo guys have actually obtained that title.
It is a completely object-oriented framework that takes the best of PHP and provides a truly rapid application development platform. Initial prototypes roll out in minutes instead of hours. Iterations come around in hours instead of days (or even weeks). As projects iterate into more cohesive solutions, the framework allows developers to take prototypes to the next level by providing the capability of bringing the application maturity.
QCodo appears to be very good. It’s for PHP5, and to do object relationships it requires MySQL with InnoDB (they use actual foreign keys rather than field-naming conventions), but don’t let that slow you down.
I watched a 14-minute demo of someone building a small trouble-ticket app. It’s Rails-ish beyond belief — I got the same “Good God, things will never be the same” feeling I got when I learned Rails for the first time. Plus, if you know PHP, then you don’t need to learn a new language.
Like Rails, it does a lot of code-genning to create the scaffolding of your app. However, the code-gen is Web based, which is nice, and the templates are all accessible and written in PHP, so you can dial-in your templates to gen really good stuff if you want. You could probably get to the point where your genned stuff was good enough to release without too many changes.
I think this proves that beyond being good in its own right, Rails is going to have a massive secondary effect: it’s going to raise the bar for everyone else. Expectations have suddenly come up, and platforms are going to scramble to get to the same level.
For PHP, I think QCodo has come extremely close.