The Zend Framework has been with us for quite some time but exploratory articles which deliver a full example of how to use the Framework without getting completely buried in the detail remain thin on the ground. To add to the landscape, last April I wrote Part 1 of an “Example Zend Framework Blog Application Tutorial” and the series continued for 9 Parts.

A lot happens in a short time! The Zend Framework has itself added more features, corrected bugs, and programmers have started to wield the framework in greater numbers. This “Revised” series is an update to the original series which temporarily ceased over the Summer months. In these revised articles I’ll continue the tradition of detailed examinations of specific topics within the scope of a single real life Blog Application, which I will be deploying once completed, with the addition of corrections, better flowing steps and additional pointers.

No one person article is capable of being perfect. Over the months people have made dozens of comments by blog and email and these will also be incorporated along with several intermediary editing entries. The result should be a fantastic introduction to the Zend Framework which gets down and dirty with a real application but keeps the overwhelming details at a distance. The point is to see a real application being developed in simple consumable steps without repeating the entire reference manual.

The revised series will also spark the process of a more formalised publishing process. As new Parts are unveiled, transformed PDF and HTML versions will come online (at an undisclosed future location) for download. You will be able to print off copies for future reference outside of the current blog format. Unlike the blog, these are more malleable to subsequent updates and corrections. Manning’s MEAP in other words – without the upfront cost (though donations to my server costs will be appreciated :) ).

The PDF/HTML publishing process has been setup and automated for quite a while. Some of you might have remembered the test PDF release of Part 9 to see how the format struck readers. I’ll talk more about that process in a future article because it’s nice to show that professional looking documentation isn’t remotely difficult and just takes a little bit of patience to get your environment setup for it.

Expect Part 1 (Revised) in the very near future! :)

I had a lot of internal debate over what to do with the tutorial. The summer months made it clear that hosting the series was beyond the capabilities of a shared host, and I later discovered even my Slicehost account was running into swap space. To balance my complete devotion to free access to the series with the resources needed to keep it online, I’ll be adopting a mixed donation/advertising model. The blog will always (emphatically!) remain ad free but the PDF/HTML versions will have a prominant donations button and at least one advertisement column (ed: not in the actual PDF file – just its hosting page). The resulting funds should cover the hosting costs quite handily.

More details soon. It’s been a long time coming.