What Is Critical I?

Critical I is a collection of libraries for building web applications in PHP. If you want to see it in action, you should head on over to the Quick Start Tutorial and check it out. The tutorial shows off the MVC framework that is a part of the collection. Most notably it includes an ActiveRecord implementation (including validations and associations).

Critical I grew out of a need we found in building numerous websites. As developers we would quite happily code every site in Rails, but, from a practical standpoint, not every site is a great match for Rails. In particular, small sites where the developer isn't in control of the deployment environment can be a pain with Rails. Organizations who are accustomed to websites just being a collection of files they can FTP up to the web server may not be ready for the additional maintenance required by bigger frameworks. Yet, as developers, we found it hard to justify the added time and error prone nature of building sites from scratch with just the built-in functionality in PHP.

Of course, this is when any smart developer would turn to the numerous frameworks already in existence. We wanted a framework that utilized the features of PHP 5 (meaning object-oriented with, yes, exceptions), was easily embeddable within a site, and that had an object-relational mapping component as fully-featured and easy to use as the one in Ruby on Rails. At the time we started cobbling our various utilities together, we simply couldn't find one that met our needs. Thus, Critical I was born.

Ready to check it out? Download the installer and run it with the command:
php get-criticali.php