You’ve heard about Zend Framework (ZF). You’ve watched the screeencasts. Yet, you haven’t put your toe into the ZF waters. Why? Most likely, you saw it as a lot of work to get started or perhaps you ran into issues with the demo that came packaged with the ZF you installed.

You are not alone. Others had that exact same frustrations and created zfKit as “a starter kit for ZF to enable a productive ‘out of the box’ experience“. Let’s take a look.

Along comes zfKit

zfKit was designed to be a download away from getting you up and going faster with some best practices on ZF. From the zfKit about page:

zfKit provides Doctrine 1.3, PHPUnit and ZendFramework 1.10 in a ready to run package.

You might imagine that zfKit streamlines the process of getting up and running. In fact, the instructions might have you wondering what is missing — but it really is this simple to get started:


Alternatively, you can visit the github repository for zfKit to get started.

Behind zfKit

The zfKit creator and developer, Michael Kimsal, shared the following with RWH regarding the project goals, approach, and planned enhancements:
“zfKit aims to provide a starter kit for Zend Framework to enable a productive ‘out of the box’ experience.”
RWH: What led you or prompted you to create zfKit?

Kimsal: Every time I’d used Zend Framework before, there was always a large amount of setup that I needed to do (decisions about what libraries to use, configuration options/settings, etc). zfKit was an effort to distill those decisions down to a reusable project.

RWH: Why did you choose github to host zfKit?

While I’m not a git guru, I’m liking git more and more because of the offline-nature. I can commit and branch locally as much as needed, and only push out the changes that really matter. github simply makes it easy to get started with git, but they also make it extremely easy to fork and modify other projects, then share those changes back. I recently had someone branch zfKit and add in some configuration options he finds handy – I wasn’t even aware of them. 🙂 That level of transparency, openness and sharing was not something I’d ever seen with sourceforge back in the olden days.

RWH: What do you plan to add to zfKit in the future?

Kimsal: I’m planning on adding in support for Doctrine2 in the near future, and would like to have a basic user/role/group management system in place by the end of the year. Beyond those, I’m open to requests or contributions from the community.

Do you plan to try out zfKit or do have you have other starter projects you’ve enjoyed using? Let us know in the comments below!