Why I use a framework...

A colleague on Facebook sent me a quick question asking me about frameworks:

Why use a framework?
What are the positives about having a framework?
If you made a very simple framework without trying to code it what would you LIKE it to do?
Is there anything you think it should NOT do?

So one by one….

Why use a framework?

I use a framework because it solves a problem. I try to apply that to anything cool I see in regards to frameworks, design patterns, etc. If it doesn’t solve a problem I have, then it isn’t something I need at the moment. As to what problem it solves for me - it helps me deal with how I organize my files and structure the ‘flow’ of my application. That may seem minor, but it really relieves me of a lot of ‘grunt thinking’ - ie, thinking about simple crap. It lets me focus on more difficult stuff.

What are the positives about having a framework?

Well along with what I described above, it also gives my application a standard that makes it easier for other folks to work with. So given that an application uses framework X, I can hop on the web site, check the docs, and I’ll be able to more easily understand it.

If you made a very simple framework without trying to code it what would you LIKE it to do?

Well, I’d look at what I like in Model-Glue and FW/1 - mainly the mechanics of handling the flow of my application. I hate to sound like I’m repeating myself, but what I described above as what I liked is obviously what I’d build into a new framework. (But let me just add - before creating a new framework, you probably want to look into working with an existing one!)

Is there anything you think it should NOT do?

As I said above, a good framework handles the flow and layout of an application. I get to focus on business logic and UI. To me - that’s all a framework should do. Anything else is cow bell and not strictly necessary. I’m happy, for example, that Model-Glue doesn’t do what ColdSpring does. Let each take care of their own domain.

What do you not use a framework?

There isn’t a hard and fast rule for this. For “smaller” sites I probably wouldn’t bother, but I’ve rarely seen sites shrink. Most sites grow. I didn’t use a framework for ColdFusion Bloggers and I wish I had. Also, it depends on your framework. Something like FW/1 which runs completely by convention has an extremely small amount of overhead. In cases where I feel an application is too small for Model-Glue I might still consider FW/1.

In general, I tend to work with sites. I don’t build tiny one page applications. So I almost always use a framework.

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About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a developer advocate. He focuses on JavaScript, serverless and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support.

Lafayette, LA https://www.raymondcamden.com

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