Enough is enough. I’ve been trying to make my way through Practical Web 2.0 Applications with PHP the last few weeks, but have found myself unmotivated and making little progress. The book uses Zend Framework to build an Ajax heavy blogging system.
I can’t talk programming theory, but I can tell you that programming with ZF just didn’t feel right. The framework is bloated and fat and doesn’t make doing easy things easy. The examples in the book would go something like this: “Oh, that’s easy with ZF: Just follow these ten easy steps and voila, you’re ready to go.” Learning the intracicies of the framework became a chore and I just did not look forward to it.
Originally I attributed this to my own inexperience with frameworks. “I don’t care how annoying this is, I’m going to make it through this book” was how I approached it. But something was wrong, I realized, when I was looking for excuses not to program. That’s not what a programming language should do. It should encourage you to experiment and should enable you to do the things you want to do.
I went to Borders looking for a book on Django. They didn’t have it, so I went to B&N to see if they did. Why Django? No reason in particular. I’ve heard some good things and wanted to try something new. B&N didn’t have it either though so I scanned the shelves… PHP… ASP… Visual Basic 2008… Rails. Hmm, Rails. That’s not a bad idea. But wait: do I really want to become one of those people?
Sure, why not? I picked up Simply Rails 2 and made it through about 100 pages yesterday afternoon. My initial impression? The language just makes sense. It’s intuitive, relatively easy, and dares me to do something.
This is what programming is all about.