With the release of symfony 1.0, it's time for those who haven't tried it yet to see what's inside this beautiful framework. Stable, fully documented, and released under the open-source MIT license, symfony is used by hundreds of web sites, including some very large ones (Yahoo! Bookmarks, with its 20 million-strong user base, is built with symfony). If you haven't taken the time to look at the introductory screencasts on the symfony project website, this simple tutorial will lead you through the basics.
The best way to learn and understand symfony is to use it, so this article will lead you through the creation of a photo album application with this framework. You already know the basic features such an application should offer: the ability to upload photos, to describe and tag them, and the ability for visitors to browse and comment on your photos.
Symfony is a Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework written in PHP that's aimed at building web applications. If you're already familiar with the MVC paradigm, you won't be surprised by the way symfony organizes scripts. If you aren't familiar with MVC, you just need to understand that separating the code into three parts -- the logic code (called the Model), the presentation code (the View), and the request handling code (the Controller) -- is a good way to ensure the maintainability and reusability of code.
Not only is Symfony an MVC implementation in PHP, it also integrates a lot of objects that facilitate the development of web applications -- and integrates them all with a coherent syntax. Smart URLs, code generation, easy templating, internationalization, caching, automated form validation, and Ajax, are among the most appreciated symfony features. Developing an application with symfony is slightly different than building it with any other framework, or without any framework at all. It's faster, more productive, and just plain fun. But enough talk, let's see some code.
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