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    Favorite framework / dev environment?

    Mike_Mitchell

      Hello, all. Given the upcoming data API for FileMaker, I've started thinking about moving up to a framework environment for doing web development. (Been doing PHP by hand for a while. Yes, I'm a masochist.)

       

      I need something that runs on the Mac (really don't want to run on my Parallels virtual), and something that isn't tremendously hard to learn. Suggestions?

       

      TIA

        • 1. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
          wimdecorte

          To do what kind of coding?  PHP?

           

          Here are some of the tools that I use on a Mac:

          - Visual Studio Code - a free and very nifty mini-coding environment

          - the new Visual Studio for Mac - for all my C# needs when I don't want to use my Windows 10 machine

          - Postman: for testing sending and receiving data to web services (including the FMS XML API).  I use Fiddler on Windows for the same thing.

          - SOAPUI: for when I need SOAP testing capabilities that are beyond POSTMAN. I typically run this in a lightweight Linux instance through VMware Fusion, I like the Linux version better than the Mac version

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
            beverly

            No offenses intended...

            Why do you feel the need for a framework? Are you hoping some of the work is done for you? Have you previously used frameworks? If so, which one(s)?

             

            MVC is a theory on how a website should be designed, for example. I've studied several variations on MVC, but have found they don't provide the structure & flexibility that I desired. 

             

            So, I'm mostly trying to provoke thought from you, Mike, in hopes you make a decision with which you will be comfortable and that works with other "frameworks" you may need in the future.

            beverly

             

            Sent from miPhone

            • 3. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
              everyman

              If you are asking me (and I guess you are), it depends on the nature of the project, how much you can push yourself to learn a new environment quickly, and how you already work.  You'll probably want to try a few.   (I've got a personal project I developed the old-fashioned way and need to re-write, so I'm in the same boat.)  In the end, there's probably not all that much difference when you cut through it all.

               

              I've worked with Cake a bit and like its rapid prototyping features.  I'll be looking at Symfony (which seems to be more popular) too.  I don't think popularity really indicates much; so far, Cake can do what I want and need, and can help me develop far more quickly and robustly than I could by hand.  If another framework can do it better, great; but I've been around long enough to avoid the trap of looking for the "best" tool: it's a never-ending search, because these things will always leapfrog each other and new ones emerge every other day.

               

              No problem developing with either of these on your Mac.  My only need for Parallels (or Virtual Box, or both) is to test against other OSes and browsers.  Besides a browser, bash and Emacs (or your own favorite shell and editor) are the only tools you'll really need.

              2 of 2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                Mike_Mitchell

                beverly wrote:

                 

                No offenses intended...

                Why do you feel the need for a framework? Are you hoping some of the work is done for you? Have you previously used frameworks? If so, which one(s)?

                 

                None taken.   :-)

                 

                I have a little (very little) experience with .NET and Visual Studio. Wasn't impressed; it feels very force-you-into-a-box to me. Which is what I'm trying to avoid. Having done the hand coding, the whole "code-behind" thing is ... uncomfortable.

                 

                But yes, having some of the work done by the tool would be nice. I'm only peripherally familiar with various tools like jQuery, and frankly, they mystify me.

                 

                MVC is a theory on how a website should be designed, for example. I've studied several variations on MVC, but have found they don't provide the structure & flexibility that I desired.

                 

                Not encouraging, given that's the way my day job is trying to force things.   :-/

                 

                But thanks!

                • 5. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                  Mike_Mitchell

                  Thanks, Wim.

                   

                  To do what kind of coding? PHP?

                   

                  Yes, primarily. But also wondering if perhaps there's another language worth learning. For web development, is there something better / easier?

                   

                  Here are some of the tools that I use on a Mac:

                  - Visual Studio Code - a free and very nifty mini-coding environment

                  - the new Visual Studio for Mac - for all my C# needs when I don't want to use my Windows 10 machine

                  - Postman: for testing sending and receiving data to web services (including the FMS XML API). I use Fiddler on Windows for the same thing.

                  - SOAPUI: for when I need SOAP testing capabilities that are beyond POSTMAN. I typically run this in a lightweight Linux instance through VMware Fusion, I like the Linux version better than the Mac version

                   

                  Great, thanks. I'll check these out.

                  • 6. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                    Mike_Mitchell

                    Great, thanks. I'll check these out.

                    • 7. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                      beverly

                      MVC is a good thing & my preference for how a website should be 'separated'. I just haven't found any frameworks that meet my needs for using MVC. Cake was close.

                       

                      Sent from miPhone

                      • 8. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                        everyman

                        beverly wrote:

                         

                        MVC is a good thing & my preference for how a website should be 'separated'. I just haven't found any frameworks that meet my needs for using MVC. Cake was close.

                        Agreed.  I don't think any framework is ever going to meet all of my needs (or yours) all of the time; it's really a matter of finding something that's good enough, and close enough, to make a difference.

                        • 9. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                          planteg

                          Hi Beverly,

                           

                          your point about MVC is interesting and intriguing to me as a beginner in Web development. Looks like to you MVC would be missing something. On my part, looking for a framework I tried CodeIgniter as it was qualified as easy to learn for newcomers. I did the tutorial, unfortunately outdated for 3.x, and was able to create a proof of concept.

                           

                          Did you try CodeIgniter and what are your thoughts ? I know it's a bit off this post, but it's interesting to get other's opinion .

                          • 10. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                            beverly

                            Yes I looked at Code Igniter.

                             

                            I guess I would not say 'missing' as much as 'overly bloated'. The main point of MVC is to be elegant and flexible to grow a web site (add, remove, change - because it will). And like developing in FMP, a lot of planning will make it possible to make those changes later. I think the frameworks lock you into something that may be easier to start, but if badly pre-planned are much harder to fix. (Remind anyone of FMP?!)

                             

                            And if like FMP, if you don't learn the capabilities and how you can add your own twist, then you get yourself into a problem.

                             

                            JavaScript (or PHP or ??) can be the same way. Using something 'canned' still may need you to understand the technology behind the framework, etc. at some point, so why not include basic training, too?

                             

                            So for elegant and forethought (no pun intended) look at CSSZENGARDEN. it's extremely flexible and a change in the CSS can entirely change the web site. MVC should be the same.

                             

                            I had converted many websites to use different web apps and/or databases. So I learned to design with MVC in a way that made it more easily to make such radical changes (like swapping out a CSS).

                             

                            MVC should also make it more possible to have a team work on a web site and have it appear quite seamless.

                             

                            Sent from miPhone

                            • 11. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                              Mike_Mitchell

                              I guess one thing I'm struggling with is figuring out how to go from, ,"I want the site to do X" to making it happen. For example, I have one site that has a table on it (still) because I've never been able to get the grid system to work right. So my (perhaps faulty) thought is that a framework might help me get some sort of understanding of that or similar issues.

                               

                              In general, I absolutely agree that an underlying understanding is invaluable. Copy / paste from sample libraries might work okay initially, but if you ever have to customize, you're in trouble unless there's an understanding of how the thing works. But by the same token, I have only limited time to do any kind of training or studying, and the technology has changed so fast ...

                              • 12. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                                planteg

                                beverly,

                                 

                                I had a look at CSSZenGarden. It's amazing what it can do. I am not sure that it can take the place of a framework, but I may be wrong.

                                 

                                I have been creating programs, not Web programming, for some while, and I am used to frameworks. I see them as libraries that provides functions/objects to take care of low level things, like reading/writing files, interfacing to databases, etc. Without a framework, you would need to create all of those functionalities, and that takes quite a lot of time.

                                 

                                In the Web world, one needs high level functions helping in the creation of tables for example.

                                 

                                Mike_Mitchell,

                                 

                                In my opinion, you need to have an understanding of how tings works to use a framework. And in your case, that's html and css. Using a framework, you will dig into these as you develop and you will then learn more things. I don't think you may find a package that you simply feed and that will create a Web page for you (that would be nice though ).

                                 

                                • 13. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                                  Mike_Mitchell

                                  I think I said that already. I've never been a fan of "black box" environments. But by the same token, I only have so much time for trial and error. Not to mention that sometimes, I simply can't make it do what I want. Perhaps using a framework to create what I want and then working backwards will help.

                                   

                                  Thanks to everyone who participated. I'm sure I can find something suitable from among the suggestions.

                                  • 14. Re: Favorite framework / dev environment?
                                    beverly

                                    For others following, a definition:

                                     

                                    Mike Bootstrap might be worth a look-see.

                                     

                                    Sent from miPhone

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