Kohana: The Promising PHP framework

When selecting a web application framework for a particular development project, it’s very important to compare and consider the advantages and disadvantages of the different frameworks that are available. With so many PHP based web application frameworks, it can be difficult to choose one. For this blog post I’ll be focusing on a very promising PHP based web application framework Kohana.

Kohana is a PHP 5 framework that uses the Model View Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. It provides a rich set of components for building web applications. Its main purpose is to be safe, simple and easy to use, and so it is.

A little of history

Kohana was created as a branch of the PHP framework CodeIgniter. It was originally known as the Blue Flame. The main reason for “splitting” into two separate projects was a shift to a more open to the public development model due to the fact that many people were unhappy with the speed of development and fixing errors in CodeIgniter. Rick Ellis – creator and owner of CodeIgniter – was happy to see a fork of his project, but refused to help. He pushed a new project to create its own documentation and advised to rename the project. In July 2007 Blue Flame was renamed into Kohana to avoid copyright problems in the future. Developers began to look through the dictionaries of Native Americans to select a word that doesn’t violate copyright rights. Finally the name “Kohana” was chosen which in Sioux language means “swift”, which is absolutely true about this framework.

Why Kohana is an awesome framework

Although Kohana reuses many common design patterns and concepts, there are some things that make Kohana awesome and stand out. These are the most important of them:

1. Quick and easy development process. Kohana is really a very fast framework. With it you may build applications easily and quickly. There are many common components such as translation tools, database access, code profiling, encryption, validation, and more. Extending existing components and adding new libraries is very easy. While benchmarking a framework is hard and rarely reflects the real world, Kohana stands out as it is very efficient and carefully optimized for real world usage.

2. Community manageability. What is great about this framework is that it is community, not company, driven. Kohana development is driven by a team of dedicated people that need a framework for fast, powerful solutions. There exists a very active community forum and IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channel means that most questions are answered very quickly. Moreover, as it uses the BSD license (permissive free software license), you can use and modify it for commercial purposes.

3. A simple routing structure. Kohana has an excellent routing mechanism with which we can manage different kinds of URLs. For a URI, the routing mechanism will search for the first matching rout and the remaining will be ignored.

4. Kohana is OOP framework. It means that everything is built using strict PHP 5 classes and objects. It offers many benefits such as visibility protection, automatic class loading, overloading, interfaces, abstracts, and singletons.

5. Simple and effective debugging and profiling tools. Kohana has very simple and effective debugging and profiling tools that help to identify and solve performance issues very quickly.

6. No code generators and endless configuration files.There are no code generators and endless configuration files, so setting up is fast and easy.

7. Extremely lightweight. Kohana has no dependencies on PECL extensions or PEAR libraries. Large, monolithic libraries are avoided in favor of optimized solutions.

8. True auto-loading of classes. True on-demand loading of classes, as they are requested in your application. There are no namespace conflicts. All classes are suffixed to allow similar names between components, for a more coherent API.

9. Cascading resources offer unparalleled extensibility. Almost every part of Kohana can be overloaded or extended without editing core system files. Modules allow multi-file plug-ins to be added to your application.

10. Customization potential. Kohana has powerful event handler. Observer-style event handlers allow for extreme levels of customization potential.

To sum it up, Kohana is really an excellent framework because of many nice features incorporated in it. It is more scalable, flexible and light weight than many other well known frameworks. It is very fast, very efficient and carefully optimized for real world usage. So if you are looking for a feature rich, flexible, fast and sensibly configurable PHP framework, then look no further than Kohana.

Thank you for attention! As usual, please feel free to share your thoughts in comments. 🙂