From Zend Framework To The Laminas Project

Ten years ago this month, I was involved in a couple of huge changes for Zend Framework.

First, I helped spearhead integration of the JavaScript library Dojo Toolkit into Zend Framework, and finalized the work that month. I'd worked closely with the two developers who had been leading that project at the time, and one thing that came up during our discussions was that they had helped create an open source foundation for the project, to ensure its continuity and longevity, and to ensure the project can outlive the ups and downs of any commercial company. This idea intrigued me, and has stuck in the back of my mind ever since.

The other thing that happened that month was that I was promoted to Project Lead of Zend Framework. I've held that position ever since.

Today, I get to announce another change: Zend Framework is transitioning to an open source project under the Linux Foundation!

How Zend Framework Becomes Laminas

As I noted, I've been thinking about this for 10 years now, and actually doing research and trying to figure out a way to make it happen for almost two years. When my employer announced some restructuring of the Zend portfolio last fall, moving the project to a foundation was foremost on my mind.

So, imagine my surprise when an old PHP friend, John Mertic, reached out to me and offered the assistance of the Linux Foundation!

I had no idea that this was even a possibility. But, as it turns out, the mission of the foundation is to help create sustainable open source communities, and the primary way they do that is to help create foundations for projects. The beauty is that they take care of the business stuff that developers like myself don't have expertise in: legal issues, taxes, bookkeeping, and even help with things like marketing. They do this so that those of us working on open source projects can focus on our communities and our code. It's an absolutely perfect scenario for the project.

Over the last few months, I've worked with Rogue Wave (my employer) and the Linux Foundation to work out the logistics of this transition, including coming up with some initial budgets, helping flesh out a governance model, and identifying potential founding members. I've also worked with the Zend Framework community review team to come up with a name for the project, and work out some of the technical details for migrating both the project and its users.

So, please say a warm hello to the Laminas Project.

Laminas Project

What we announced today is just a beginning. The project is not yet operational. We're still working on tooling for migrating the project and its users, and, more importantly, recruiting more founding members. If your company is interested, please fill out our form, and we'll get back to you to discuss the details.


As a parting note, I need to acknowledge a number of people who helped me through the last few months:

  • My wife, Jen, who has been my chief sounding board, and helped me keep my sanity while I juggle meetings, emails, and growing task lists. Love you!
  • Enrico Zimuel, who has been my co-worker, confidante, and friend for years, and continued to help even when he left Rogue Wave last month. I'm excited for this new chapter!
  • The various folks in the Zend Professional Services team, for letting me bounce ideas off of them and occasionally voice my frustrations. You all know who you are!
  • The entire Zend Framework community review team: Rob, Gary, Marco, Frank, James, Evan, Adam, Aleksei, Andreas, Ben, Geert, Ryan, Michał, Michael, and Mike (yes, those last three are all different people!). In particular, Michał has been putting in crazy hours working on migration tooling, and Frank just this morning sent over changes for the Laminas website for me to incorporate!
  • John Mertic and Michael Dolan of the Linux Foundation for holding my hand through this entire process and helping make it happen. We still have work to do, but even getting this far feels like a huge accomplishment, and I couldn't have done it without your support.

If all goes to plan, I'm hoping we'll be announcing the project is operational in the next few months; keep an eye on the ZF and Laminas websites and twitter handles for updates!