A web application development framework for PHP5.
This project is no longer under active development and should not be used in
This is being put up here as a historical reference.
Canvas began as a project to simplify development of web applications at
The HUB, Tech Support for
Clayton State University in Atlanta, GA. We had several
projects planned for simplifying our workflow and keeping track of historical
records so obviously a database-backed web application would fit perfectly,
but being a perfectionist, I wasn’t happy with the available various
development tools and frameworks, including CakePHP, Symphony, and the
unfinished Zend Framework.
So I decided to take the MVC pattern and make a framework to simplify my tasks.
Having seen some of Rails I had a good source to take some inspiration from
(though, at the time, I didn’t understand the code very well at all so I
just wrote how I thought things should work). I was using Ruby for various
small scripts and had a great appreciation of clean and conscious design, which
had a significant impact on how I developed and assembled this framework.
I worked hard to make the framework be clean and modular as possible.
What’s included in this framework is essentially ActiveRecord and ActionPack.
However, all of the development is original (and as such, being developed
solely by myself, lacks a lot of functionality and polish). The model supports
associations, finder conditions, etc, but nothing to a very great degree. I
chose Smarty because we had some other programmers on staff with experience
with it and some templates already made with it so it made sense to employ it.
However, after using Ruby more and more and working with the PHP community and
core contributors, I grew conflicted over the development and direction of the
language and a lot of the limiting, technical issues that it seemed to embrace
and not want to change. Things as obvious as simplifying the way to write an
array literal to serious issues with early binding on static class attributes,
This and my further delving into Rails, as well as the use of Canvas to educate
the developers in The HUB in sane development practices, good design and
architecture, and familiarity with the MVC pattern, we were finally able to
transition to using Rails for several projects, and the need for this framework
disappeared (since it was mainly used internally, though it was open source
for its entire life).
And here we are today, years after its creation. I realized I didn’t have it
here on GitHub and it lacked any documentation about where it came from and why
it’s no longer being developed, so I wrote this.
Copyright & License
© 2006-2008 Matt Todd.
Licensed under the MIT License.