Archive for March 2013
In our blog we’ve been talking a lot about best PHP frameworks, and many of them in particular: Yii, Symfony, Kohana. There are still lots of them, for sure, but today I’m going to focus on one of the most long-living and simplest ones – CodeIgniter or simply put-CI.
A piece of dry facts about CodeIgniter:
CodeIgniter is an open source rapid development web application framework, for use in building dynamic web sites with PHP. The first public version of CodeIgniter was released on February 28, 2006, and the latest stable version 2.1.3 was released October 8, 2012.
The two things that immediately strike the eye here are simplicity and a huge community. But the one important thing here to remember: if you’ve still decided to develop a big and complicated application on CodeIgniter, you will not be able to find lots of things to implement the needed functionality. Thus, we have defined the main CI’s advantage-its simplicity.
At the same time besides simplicity there’re observed lots of other advantages. Have a look at them below.
1. Simple to learn. If to compare CodeIgniter with alternative solutions, it is safe to say it’s the simplest one. Besides well-thought project architecture, developers didn’t dabble and provided perfect documentation. Really, CI’s documentation is detailed, well-structured and is updated operatively.
2. Security. Problems in the security system are inherent to every web-project, though with CI many of them are solved automatically. For instance, there is a special function for accurate filtering the received data for XSS, which allows not only deleting dangerous data but saving them into log. This is very convenient.
3. Extendability. CI is a very flexible and extendable framework. It’s a piece of cake to make the framework do new things. You just need to plug in a required helper/library/plugin and to rejoice the new functionality.
4. Rich possibilities. Together with CI there are delivered libraries, plugins, helpers that allow solving the tasks right away without reinventing the wheel. You don’t have to dig the code, it’s enough to use a special mechanism that will let you “rehabilitate” CI.
5. Active Record. In CI there is used a modified version of the pattern Active Record Database. With the help of Active record work with the database turns into a pure pleasure. You don’t have to write the endless “SELECT” for choosing the data, it’s enough to use the class’s methods which is only two small lines of code. Besides a simplified access to a DB, this class allows to forget about used DBMS. You can build an application using MySQL, and then launch it easily on Oracle. Moreover, AR allows (though a bit) to secure work with DBMS, as while framing queries all values are shielding.
6. High productivity. Such big possibilities haven’t influence CI’s productivity. It works really fast. Such high-speed performance is achieved because of a very “light” core. All additional libraries are plugged in only when needed.
7. MVC architecture. CI uses MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture that allows separating logics from the image. While working in the team (programmers+designers), such approach will be in a high demand.
8. Support of a template system. Although using template system is not compulsory in CI, it is still can be used if you’d like to.
9. Search engines friendly. Due to its URLs, CodeIgniter is super friendly to search engines and is subject to indexation.
I believe the other PHP frameworks reviews are on their way. In the meantime, if I’ve missed something in the list, feel free to comment!
Business Development Manager
Professional Software Development
This time I would like to tell you how to organize your startup if the bank or investor you referred to considered you project too risky for funding. Where to find the money to make the project happen?
The way to get this problem solved is crowd funding – financial phenomenon that became so popular these days.
What is crowdfunding?
Generally speaking crowd funding describes the idea how to raise the investment for the startup.
There are three types of crowd funding:
– Donation Model – campaigns gather hundreds of small donations to achieve a financial goal (growth/extension or start up). Donors choose their benefactors and feel good about contributing to an economic or artistic endeavor.
– Reward Model – supporters make a monetary contribution in return for reward of some sort. The rewards can be wholly intangible, such as being identified publicly as a supporter, or a T-shirt.
– Equity Model – investors receive an interest in the profits of the business that they are helping fund.
As you may see from the main models, to grow the startup besides the investors could be possible with the help of so called collective supporters/individuals. Due to the social funding platforms like Kisckstarter, IndieGoGo etc. so called donors/individuals pool their money to support the projects that seem attractive and financially successful. The amount of donation could be different and can vary from 5 to hundred dollars.
As the result crowdfunding becomes really thrilling process and encourages both as creators and the supporters, forming close relationships with each other.
As I make the focus in this article on how to raise the money with social funding platforms I would like to have a look at the Kickstarter as an example to see how it all works.
The following websites (SF platforms)/startups considered to be the main ones in crowdfunding: IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and RocketHub. They serve well for two types of project: small business launches and big project launches.
Kickstarter – is an American startup founded in 2009 through its website, tools to raise funds for creative projects via crowd funding.
The funding spans on vary projects as webcomics, serial fiction, poetry events, divination, music, illustration, sculpture, movies, games and other media. According to the diary of Kickstarter startup the art projects are the leading ones, they consist 60% of all funded projects. In order to be sure I took a look at www.kisckstarter.com, so in the category of most funded projects since 2009 (from its launch) the first 10 positions indeed go to art projects: 1/art 2/ comics 3/ dance 4/ design 5/ fashion and then goes 6/ film and video 7/ food, 9/games and 10/music. From the Kickstarter’s launch from 2009 till 2012 the most funded project is Pebble: E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android from design category. It raised 10,266,845$ from 68,928 backers. Then goes video game console Ouya with the fund of 8,596,475$. Accorsing to the published statistics of October 10, 2012 there were 73,620 launched projects (3,426 in progress), with a success rate of 43.85%. The total number of dollars pledged was $381 million.
Regarding the funding duration, primary there were projects with 30, 60, 90 days duration. After the analysis conducted the projects duration was cut to 60 days, because the success of these projects was more evident, 44% of such projects were successfully funded in respect of 24% with 90 days duration.
Also was discovered that if one person supports the idea/project the chance to have a successful result will increase to 52%, and the project funded on 30% from the required sum has almost 90% of the success to collect the entire sum.
So, one of frequently asked questions for new runners is how could I start the project on Kickstarter?
Of course everything begins with an idea, and then you need to go through the formalities. As we’re speaking about Kickstarter in US, you should be permanent US resident, have US address, US bank account, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), have a major US credit or debit card and to be 18 years old. Then follow the projects’ presentation with text, photos and video on your profile, you need also to decide on the funding duration and start-up budget. You have unlimited access to your profile and you could be able to make updates and edits. When you will be sure that the project is rather mature to be shown on public your video appears in the relevant category and additionally you could start your own promotion campaign in social networks to attract backers.
If the project is fully funded you need to think over about reward for your supporters. Kickstarter takes 5% of the funds raised. Amazon charges an additional 3–5%. For supporters you may prepare different types of presents due to the backers’ sum donation. It could be a pen, T-shirt, DVD, books, a limited edition of the comic etc. Rewards can be priced between $1 and $10,000, and they must fall within the project guidelines.
The project is considered to be successful when it raises necessary sum for its launching. And you get all funded the money. If the project funding fails all the money came back to the backers.
If a project reaches its funding goal before time expires, projects continue to accept pledges until the funding deadline. There is no option to end a project early.
On average, successfully funded projects raise around 130% of their goal.
It should be also noted that all rights on the project belong to its creators.
Crowdfunding shows that nothing is impossible. This model proves that even a dollar counts and helps those who unable to finish or start the project by themselves. Kisckstarter is one of the websites/platforms that help to raise money for American residents and creators; in UK the largest crowdfunding platform is Wefund, in Finland – Brickstarter etc. So as was to be proved crowdfunding is very popular.
The basic idea of crowdfunding is to take money and then make money realizing your project. Sometimes the creators begin with the modest goal and at the end raise the sum that overcomes the initial one two or three times. In return the supporters receive the reward/present according to the amount of contribution made.
So if you don’t afraid and ready to share your ideas with community, would like to see your project in the reality, crowdfunding is the right place.
Hope that information presented would be use and interest of you.
Thank you in advance!
Business Development Manager
Professional Software Development
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. 🙂