Former Zend Framework lead Mike Naberezny has now launched an alternative product to counter the direction from Zend. The new framework is gathering momentum as as more and more developers choose a leaner code base than that offered by the Zend camp.
Appropriately named the Maintainable Framework, it offers all the usual features expected from Model View Controller systems, and provides a few additions to help the user simplify code and reduce development time, while leaving a small code footprint.
A feature of the frameworks is the Mad_Model which is an object-relational mapping (ORM) component to make life easy for those doing simplistic tasks within the Model.
Rather than re-invent the wheel with another template language, the views use php which is assigned from the controller. A NAF implementation feature with short_open_tags means that short open tags can be used and the system will correct this even when the php.ini short_open_tags directive is set to off.
<? if (! $this->user): ?>
<? else: ?>
<div><?= Welcome, $this->h( $this->user->name ) ?></div>
<? endif ?>
You can see the works in progress at the Maintainable Framework site at http://framework.maintainable.com