I'll add onto this thread rather than start a new one.
As another newb, I found it a struggle to get my head around frameworks but got on with it and eventually got Yii running and the basic CRUD going. Unfortunately the tutorials then become really hard-going, and getting any further with it seems really difficult. I don't know if I'll ever figure out the rest. I had a look at Symfony2's "The Book" and it was a breath of fresh air to start with, then I got bogged down in more unexplained confusion around the time of every app being a "bundle".
It seems every time I look at another framework it's like driving an underpowered car up a steep dirt track... I get so far and then come to a wheelspinning halt
Documentation suddenly hits a patch where things aren't explained, and my wheels fall off.
I've looked at RoR and Python ones like Django too, but eventually I hit a wall, discover I'm not happy with the licensing, or there isn't any community help that suits me. There's a puzzling lack of good forums in the Python world, it's all privacy-restricted google groups, mailing lists or IRC channels that need faffing about with NickServs... no thanks
Great to see that PHP has good old forums. And although Ruby has some nice features, it seems to only thrive because of Rails, so it's not much use otherwise. I though Python might be handy to have in the old kitbag, but really I just don't need it either. I'm sorted for general scripts or GUI programs using other languages. And both Ruby and Python seem to be Swiss Army knives forcibly adapted into web use, as opposed to PHP being natively right for the job. So here I am!
Maybe I need to learn ALL the ins and outs of PHP and write something entirely by hand, and then come back to the frameworks. Maybe I'd be better off just manually adding to the basics that Yii gave me, ignoring the rest of the millions of classes and 'helpers'. It seems like it's more hard work to study the framework for months to get familiar with all of it, than to just write stuff myself!
I can cope with learning languages, syntax is easy. But learning a massive system that someone else has designed, leaves me screaming.
I wrote a test script that queries my MS-SQL database and shows me a table of results. I patted myself on the back for that, but it looks like cr*p - a 1990s style HTML table. I'm not a designer or artistic type; presentation and CSS bores me rigid. So I'm going to need something to make my efforts look presentable. So Yii seems great in that respect, as it make my efforts look part of this century. And I can understand the MVC principle too - it's just the rest of it that makes my head spin!
Any advice for me, please? Can anyone identify with this?!