The most anticipated PHP framework in a number of years, the Zend Framework 2.0 is on track for release in early 2012. This beta release is the first in a series of beta releases that will happen approximately every six weeks. When the code becomes stable the new framework will move to Release Candidate status just prior to release.
The first Zend Framework has been used by independent and corporate developers with larger development teams ever since it was first announced in December 2007.
As time went on more and more open source PHP frameworks became available to compete with the Zend framework, while the Zend framework added more functionality, became larger, and gradually slowed down. The newer frameworks were less functional, but considerably faster.
PHP gradually moved to object oriented coding and added namespaces in PHP 5.3. New impovements and changes to PHP itself were not able to be easily incorporated into the first Zend framework.
The result was an outdated framework that was slower than the newer frameworks available. It was time for an upgrade.
The goals of Zend Framework 2 were to be considerably faster in the range of the faster PHP frameworks, to make the Zend framework much easier to learn, to be easier to use only what you needed, to be easier to extend for adding new modulues, and to use PHP 5.3 functionality through out the code base.
Much of the code that slowed the framework down has been refactored. This first Beta release features an updated autoloader with StandardAutoloader, ClassMapAutoloader, and AutoLoad Factory. A new plugin broker strategy, a refactored routing system, a reworked Exception system to allow catching by exception type, a rewritten session component, refactored View and HTTP components, a new cloud infrastructure component, a scanner component, and a new annotation system. Finally a Module component for developing modular applications, and a completely reworked MVC layer built on top of an event manager.
They even included a skeleton application and quick start documentation with the Beta to get you started. That should get your mouth watering, and if it does, you're a true geek. Forget the wife or girlfriend, and wrap your head around this puppy. If you'd like to download the Beta release you can get it from the new Zend Framework 2 Packages website, have fun, and help the community get it right.