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About Trongate

Trongate is PHP's first credible alternative to the Composer, Packagist, PSR triad. Trongate was built with a love of pure PHP and a belief that PHP is best when it's easy, stable and fast. Trongate uses PHP the way that PHP was originally intended to be used, i.e., as a templating engine.

Trongate's Priorities

  1. Stability
  2. No third-party dependencies
  3. Extreme productivity
  4. Class-leading benchmarks

Is Trongate Right For You?

Trongate is for everyone. However, there are four types of developer, in particular, who would benefit enormously by switching to Trongate. They are:

1). Commercial Developers

If you're a commercial web developer who is in the business of building large scale enterprise applications, then Trongate is a perfect choice. The main reason why Trongate is a perfect choice is because it's the only PHP framework that values massive levels of stability above all else. What this means is that we won't send you emails in the middle of the night, telling you that there's a new version and your existing work is out of date.

Trongate developers are unique. Instead of constantly celebrating, 'the next new version', we put massive value on stability. One of our main goals is to remain 'v1 forever'. Of course, we can't guarantee that we'll achieve this goal but we're certainly giving it our best shot!


2). Mobile App Developers & Front-End Developers

Trongate is also a perfect choice for mobile app developers and front-end developers (such as JavaScript developers).

The main reason why Trongate is a great choice for developers in this category is because Trongate has a best-in-class API manager. This gives front-end developers the ability to quickly and automatically generate online API endpoints - even in instances where the developer has little or no experience of using PHP.

PHP is, of course, the world's most popular server-side technology. This means that developers who choose Trongate can enjoy massive levels of convenience and affordability when it comes to the business of launching and hosting their apps.


3). Returning PHP Developers

There are a lot of developers who previously used PHP but were lured away by the promises of more 'hipster' technologies, such as NodeJS. Many of those developers have become increasingly frustrated by security concerns and a culture of never-ending rewrites.

Some of those developers don't really feel as though they belong with a particular technology or community. Many of them are great developers, but they're generally undecided about what they should be using for building their web apps. For the moment, let's call this category of developers 'PHP refugees'.

If you're in that category, Trongate is here to rescue you! We want you to come back to PHP and there has never been a better time. We think you're going to love Trongate. With Trongate, you'll discover a complete reinvention of the very concept of a PHP framework. We're bringing pure PHP back and PHP is more powerful than ever!


4). Experienced Programmers

A significant part of our community is made up of programmers who have come from a more 'traditional' programming background. Some of them have vast experience in using technologies like; C/C++, Cobol Delphi and other great languages. Our contributors roster includes people who have worked for organisations like; NASA, IBM, Rolls Royce Aerospace, Motorola and AWS.

Attracting that kind of userbase was a surprise, but a good one! What they tell us - over and over - is that they love Trongate's simplicity as well as its class leading benchmarks.


Points Of Clarification

Because Trongate is such a radical change of direction for PHP, it's no surprise that there has been some controversy and a great deal of misunderstanding about what Trongate stands for and what Trongate even is. Therefore, for the record:

  • Trongate is a PHP framework (not a CMS)
  • Trongate is fully open source and uses the MIT licence
  • Trongate has no third-party library dependencies.
  • You can use things like Packagist with Trongate, if you want to
  • You can also use third-party libraries (like Bootstrap), with Trongate, if you want to
  • 'v1 forever' does not mean that Trongate never gets updated
  • Trongate favours stability above everything else
  • Trongate is free
  • Trongate will always be free

A Framework For Developers Who Mean Business

Trongate was designed for people who want to build large scale, database-driven commercial applications. It's not a general-purpose framework. Even though Trongate is open source and free, the framework - from a coding perspective - is run like a business.

To clarify what this means, let's consider strict type-setting, as an example:

At the time of writing, PHP is going through a transitional phase and strict type-setting is gradually becoming more of an industry norm. Some PHP framework makers see the introduction of strict type-setting (for PHP) as being an excuse for an immediate and urgent framework rewrite. They proudly declare on their websites that their frameworks are now using type-setting from the ground up.

Trongate has a different approach.

When something like strict type-setting comes along, our preference is to neither endorse it or reject it. Our approach is far more nuanced. We know, for example, that strict type setting is not guaranteed to work for versions of PHP that are below 8.0. We also know that the vast majority of PHP websites that are on the web are below version 8. Therefore, we have to make a business decision on behalf of our community, by asking:

"Are we willing to break massive numbers of websites for the sake of having something new?"

In the case of type-setting the answer is 'no'. This does not mean that Trongate is hostile towards everything that's new. However, if we're talking about mission critical features, our policy is to wait two years - the industry norm. The two year waiting period is essential for allowing new technologies to become battle-tested and, eventually more stable. During that two-year period, our ideal scenario is to make the shiny new feature (in this example, type-setting) entirely optional. In other words, if you like it - you can use it. If you don't, then you don't have to.

To the ill-informed, this policy might make Trongate appear to be a little bit out of date. However, for those who understand business, this policy is Trongate's crowning glory. What we're doing is precisely in alignment with how big tech companies - like Google and Apple - behave when it comes to their own in-house IT systems.


Our Promises To You

The Trongate framework will be improved and looked after in a way that puts the best interests of our users first. Trongate will never offer certification - paid or unpaid. Instead, Trongate will continue to boldly tackle real problems that face real developers every day.

Remember, the Trongate framework is free. The Trongate desktop app is also free. These things will always be free.

If you believe in an alternative kind of PHP development that's faster, easier and better than the offerings from other PHP frameworks then please do consider giving Trongate a star on GitHub. We need your support.

About The Name

Trongate is the name of a street in Glasgow, in Scotland. It's one of the oldest streets in the world. It happens to be a few miles from where the creator of the framework lives. He chose the name, Trongate, because he wanted a name that was short and easy to spell. He also thought that 'Trongate' had a sort of futuristic ring to it. Nevertheless, it's just a word. Don't dwell on it!

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