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Some Kohana advice required
  • Hello. I'm very new to Kohana, didn't even know about it until last week. I have been asked to look at this website (http://viaromance.com/) with the view of making some modifications to it. It has been built in Kohana.

    The client has been advised that the site is pretty old and should be rebuilt, I think its was developed around 2009, and I think the current host (person responsible for developing it) may just not really want to get involved in it regarding modifications (I think they'd rather rebuild with something they know, from scratch, just taking a guess here), that's where I have been asked to step in to look at it. So my question is, bearing in mind that it has been built some time ago with a fairly early version of Kohana, is the rebuild issue valid? Are there general issues that will probably need to be addressed that are known about with earlier versions ( I know it's pretty hard to say without seeing the site first). And second, if no, is there anybody out there, preferably in New Zealand, that would be interested in doing the modifications required; these are, some basic content changes, some basic additions to the database, adding a "chat" feature for registered users to contact each other, and introduce a payment system that is tied into the chat feature.

    Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  • Right, so the site's using Kohana v2.2.

    If I owned the site and could afford a rebuild, I would get one. Kohana 3 is beautiful, and it's so nice to work with, but then I never got 'properly into' v2 development, I only modified existing installations.

    Obviously the advantage with a fresh build is that you will be completely aware with how it works, and you avoid the risk of breaking things. I can't even imagine developing on a v2 build after using this beautiful V3 that they've built. You'll get some more credible opinions on here, I'm sure. But, if the client wants (and had budget) for a rebuild, I'd definitely encourage it.

    I don't believe Kohana v2 is HMVC either? But I may be wrong.

  • I'm on the fence as to whether or not a complete rewrite is a good idea. If the codebase is in decent shape and the website is generally functioning well, then I'd say a rewrite is a bad choice even if the framework is outdated; it's probably better to replace/refactor components gradually rather than rewriting entirely. Often a rewrite sounds like a good idea, but ends up taking wayyyy longer than expected, introduces more bugs, and creates a ton of headaches. It depends on the scale of the site/application, of course; refactoring is probably more appropriate to large-scale commercial applications with a lot of business logic than, say, a basic blog or e-commerce site, which could be re-written fairly easily.

    There's lots of arguments online that rewriting an application (or website) from scratch is one of the worst decisions you can make. One of the most cited articles is this one, which is 12+ years old and isn't specific to web development, but provides a perfect (and still relevant) example as to why it's a bad idea: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html

    Just weigh your options thoroughly before scrapping code, especially if it's code that currently works reasonably well.

  • adding things to the database is benign enough and obviously does not warrant a rewrite. However, adding a new chat feature and payment feature seems fairly intrusive on not just the Kohana side but also on the client side of things so a rewrite may be necessary (like using node for chat vs php). The UI looks fairly clean (jquery 1.3/ui 1.7) so this is an interesting one .. it will be really up to the developer and budget.

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