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Liquid is a PHP Rapid Application Development (RAD) framework for PHP. It was written by Robert Mirabelle, a random dude that some people think is cool.

Why write another framework?

That’s a good question and we’ve got a few good answers. Liquid was borne of frustration with the other PHP frameworks out there. Here’s what we didn’t like:

Too hard to learn.

The learning curves on existing frameworks are out of control. Even experienced PHP developers often go running. We went running and came up with Liquid. You can start using Liquid right away. And though Liquid is incredibly deep, getting starting and doing cool things is really easy.

Overkill

MVC in PHP is redundant. It’s overkill. There. We said it. It needed to be said and now we’ve said it. The HTML and JavaScript and CSS that are sent to the browser when a user requests a web page constitute the View. The web server is the Controller, accepting input requests from the browser and routing them to the right place. And your database and PHP classes are the Model. The whole MVC architecture is already in place, alive and well. Superimposing another MVC architecture, written purely in PHP over the top of all this, just muddles things. We think it makes things harder to understand, not easier. Liquid does not use or enforce a virtual MVC architecture, which makes it a lot easier to learn, use and integrate.

Bad to designers.

We listed this point last, but could just as well have listed it first. In this age of generalization, The jobs of designer and developer are increasingly merging. Liquid was created by a guy who started life as a designer and never lost his passion for it. As such, Liquid was built from the ground up to work well with visual design tools like Dreamweaver. With Liquid, you can design and develop your big project at the same time. In other words you get to design and develop visually too.

So what is Liquid?

Liquid is a collection of PHP classes, JavaScripts, CSS stylesheets and Flash widgets designed to help you design and develop web sites faster and easier. At it’s core, Liquid implements an Object Relational Map, which auto-generates PHP classes from some or all of your MySQL tables, so you can work with your tables using intuitive object syntax and without writing SQL.

Liquid also comes with 2 powerful web-based builders (Liquid Grids and Liquid Forms) that allow you to create robust CSS-styled HTML tables for displaying data or to construct complex web forms in just a few short clicks.

Finally, Liquid comes with a big library of classes and support files designed to help you handle everything from file uploads to image processing to encryption to debugging to emailing and beyond.

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